The Dreaded "Writers Block" What do you do?


#1

I thought this would be a good place for people to offer their suggestions for that pesky thing called Writers Block. It’s an ugly term, one that causes many writers to stop in their tracks and die a little. The thing about Writers Block, is no two authors will always have the same approach to stopping it. What works for one, might now work for others. What worked once, might not work a second time. It’s 100% trial and error.

So how about a mega thread where we all put in our methods of stopping that evil beast in its tracks.

How do you slay the writers block?

Personally I have several methods that can work for me. It depends on the block and what is causing it. Being a pantser, I don’t start out with a lot planning. I have my MC, often the villain (but many times not even that), and I know my end game. The end game is really the only thing I truly need before I start writing, I need to know where my story is headed to be able to get there. Doesn’t mean it’s a good end game that won’t evolve as I write, but I still need a general direction to shoot for. Being a pantser does tend to mean I’m more susceptible to blocks.

  • My first go-to method is just walking away. This can be for a day, a week, sometimes even a month, I just walk away and wait until I get that bug to write again. I almost always get the bug again.

  • Write out of order. If I’m blocked on one scene, but another scene is clear as day, I’ll write it. Just last night I was woken up at 4 am with my brain churning over one of the final scenes in Draygon Inferno, the book I’m writing now. Now because it was 4am and my bed was warm, I didn’t actually write it down which could haunt me later :laughing:, but usually when that happens I’ll at least note it in my phone. Eventually the dots will connect to that scene.

  • Brainstorm. If there is a specific issue stopping you, then brainstorm that issue. You can do this with a friend or you can do it alone. I personally find doing it with someone who will let you spoil the book for them to be a great help. @Makaylasophia got a taste of that the other day. I was blocked on a solution to a corner I wrote myself into and so she let me bounce things off her until I got one that I liked. So find someone that you can bounce things off of without fear of spoiling something in your book.

  • Going along with the above, don’t shoot down every idea you do get when you do ask for help. Why ask for help if you don’t actually want the help? Be open to new ideas and try a different style! If you’re typically a plotter who is just stuck, try being a pantser instead. If you’re typically a pantser and are stuck, try being a plotter. Any little thing someone suggest can unstick you. Even if you tried it in the past, be open to trying it again. It might work this time.

Those are the ones I can think of that help me with the evil demon writers block. Your turn!


#2

I can’t really remember the last time I had writer’s block.

Usually, I just focus on developing my characters to the point where they grow minds of their own. Then when I write, it’s like walking a dog that pulls on the leash and runs away from you.

So… I let them take over the story while I watch in horror at all the amazing twists that happen.

The wildest things happen when I write like this. It’s like flying by the seat of my pants.

I both love it and hate it so much.


#3

Oh, but if my characters refuse to cooperate, I just re-read the last chapter or two to get the juices flowing again. Rereading my story helps me remember where I left off, so I know where to go next.


#4

I almost always do this before I start a new writing session. Especially if my last session ended in mid chapter. I’ll re-read everything I wrote in that chapter prior to when I stopped writing, and that can usually get my mind back on track for where I left off.

Ooh that’s another one…

  • Don’t set a word count goal if you’re stuck. Even if all you write is a sentence, that’s still one more sentence than you had before. It’s okay to chip away at the story. This is a marathon, not a sprint.

#5

Great idea! :prisim:

  • I sometimes get blocked on one project, so if there are other people like me out there who work on several at a time, I leave it for now and work on another. This has proved to be super effective as I keep working and writing, but at the same time let the blocked project rest.

  • Go back and figure out why I got blocked; what doesn’t work? Usually when I get blocked it’s because there’s something that just doesn’t work in the WIP. So, I backtrack and sometimes rewrite the entire book to make it work. Just do what needs to be done in order to move forward.

  • A good way to not get blocked is to relax. Don’t get all worked up about a first draft. It’s okay to write a less than great first draft - that’s what editing is for. Just get the first draft done and then focus on what needs work after.


#6

:heart_eyes_cat:Me too!

I also have issues feeling like the quality is too crappy to move on. When that happens, I go back to the beginning and physically retype everything.