We all know the feeling… We spend hours sitting over a computer or a piece of paper, struggling to write. We feel a creative block. We erase sentences and feel like our ideas are just not good enough. This is the experience of writer’s block, a universal feeling for writers.
What you should know is that writer’s block is a completely normal event that happens to every author. However, the good thing about writer’s block is that it is combatable! With these steps, you’ll find yourself out of a writing slump in no time.
Find Inspiration in Novels, TV, & Film
Often one of the best techniques to conquering writer’s block is to find inspiration in other forms of media such as books and television.
If you are writing in a specific genre, such as fantasy, seek out novels and television that feature fantasy elements. This way, you can follow familiar conventions that are featured in similar forms of media. For example, in a fantasy novel, you’ll view conventions such as good vs evil, a hero’s quest, and a final, ultimate battle. By observing genre conventions in novels and film, you can brainstorm unique ways to convey these conventions in your own novel.
As long as you are not plagiarizing the work of another writer or director, you can find inspiration in the work of others.
Discover Motivation in Real-Life Locations
Where is the setting of the novel you are creating? If your novel takes place in a big city, go visit a city. Do what your character would do in that city. Would they walk up and down the streets, viewing the city skyline? Or would they be fiercely shopping? If your novel takes place in an old hotel, go stay a few nights in an old hotel. Wander the hallways and write down how you feel in specific areas or what certain corridors look like.
The big idea for this method is to try writing in a different location other than your usual writing spot. It will enhance your imagination if you are physically present in the spot where your novel will take place in.
If you are not writing a novel and feel yourself getting stuck on what to write for an essay, you can also use this step! By removing yourself from your desk or kitchen table at home, you might feel more inspired. Go write in a local library, the park, or even the beach! Visit the spot you feel most free and creative.
Try Using Music & Sounds
Whatever you are writing, whether it be a research paper or a novel, you can use music to enhance the quality of your work.
Does your horror novel take place in a creepy forest? Maybe try finding rain sounds or woodland sounds online. There are tons of options on YouTube, Spotify, and other listening platforms! By listening to these sounds, you’ll feel more inspired.
If you’re writing a paper, try listening to white noise or classical music. I personally enjoy listening to classical music while I do any form of writing because I am able to block out the rest of the world and focus solely on my writing.
Listening to music and sounds while writing is a great tip to limit distractions!
Try Your Hand at the Pomodoro Technique
Three decades ago, author Francesco Cirillo developed the Pomodoro Technique which is reputable across the world to increase productivity.
So, how does it work? According to Cirillo, people are most productive in blocks of twenty-five minutes. What you’ll do to use this technique is set a timer for twenty-five minutes and hammer out whatever writing you can get down. Do as much as possible. Then, once that timer goes off, take a break. You can decide how long the intervals of your breaks are.
The most important part of this technique is to work as hard as possible for those twenty-five minutes. You can consider it a workout for your mind!
If you are still struggling to come up with ideas or you are unsure of where to begin for whatever you are writing, use the twenty-five minutes to brainstorm. Try creative writing throughout those twenty-five minutes and develop your ideas over time.
Use Creative Writing Prompts
When I am struggling with writer’s block, I always use writing prompts to gain imagination and motivation back. Writing prompts encourage you to return to the proper creative headspace.
When finding writing prompts, you don’t have to use prompts that relate to what you are writing. The purpose of this exercise is to spark creativity and encourage motivation, so use whatever prompt that inspires you.
Take a Nap
Sometimes, the best way to conquer writer’s block is to take a break from writing and sleep. When our minds are tired, we don’t reach our full potential. A good night’s sleep is essential for brainstorming ideas and writing.
So, take a break! Sleep for a bit and then try writing again a little while after you have woken up.
Most Importantly… Don’t Beat Yourself Up.
Writer’s block is frustrating. It makes us feel unsuccessful and uncreative. However, you must know that writer’s block is a universal experience. All writers experience writer’s block from time to time. So, don’t be too hard on yourself and know that feeling stuck is completely okay.
Don’t ever doubt your writing abilities just because you are experiencing writer’s block. I promise that in time, it will pass!
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