Simple Techniques to Defeat Writer's Block...
Updated: Oct 10, 2021
All writer's go through it at some point or another. There you'll be, hovering over your laptop, PC or paper, mind churning with a plethora of story ideas but none want to come to fruition. It's like they're those little lottery balls bouncing around in that plastic bulb in your skull, but the damn things just absolutely refuse to pop into the tube. So, you sit there, frustrated and annoyed at the fact that you're just wasting time. But worry not! I may be able to offer some assistance. Over the years, whenever I've had this issue, I have developed a few simple techniques to combat the dreaded writer's block. Most are pretty obvious, but some took me a bit of time to discover. So here is a short list of some things that help me get through writer's block. Hopefully it can help you too.
1. Take a break.
Yeah, I know, pretty obvious, right? But it's true, and generally works. I know there may be a great deal of workaholics out there (I'm not one, I enjoy my free time far too much heh), but the brain needs rest and recuperation just like every other part of the body. So let it. If you find yourself struggling to bring forth an idea in your story, just do something that will shut your brain off for a bit: have some tea, go for a walk, watch an episode of some crappy reality TV show, I dunno. You decide.
2. Get some sun.
Nature is a marvelous and powerful thing. When it's not trying to kill us, it feeds us, heals us, instills within us nutrients and energy, and it also is highly capable of granting us peace and serenity in times of woe. So when you feel the floodgates of your mind straining but still refusing to open, unleashing a torrent of characters, plot and subtext into your story, then I highly recommend the option of simply going outside and getting some sun. This ties into option 1, just take a break and go for a walk. Head to your local park and sit on a bench for a while, breathing in that crisp air. Maybe go for a hike if you're near a trail. Nature walks are always awesome and grant the body and mind a moment to reflect and just cool down. This is one of my favorite and most effective techniques that work for me at least. Give it a go!
3. Read, or watch, something.
This one can be somewhat controversial, as many writers may consider it cheating, but if you just pick up your favorite book or a book from your favorite author and give it a read, or watch an episode of a show you really like, then you may find inspiration and, quite frankly, ideas to help get your brain in the right mode. Personally, when I watch a show or film with good writing, it gets me pumped and makes me want to write something on par or (hopefully) better. Hell, even if I watch a crappily (is that a word?) written show I get pumped, because my thoughts are, "I can write better than that!" Same goes for reading books, comics or graphic novels. Consider it some friendly competition that helps push you into being productive. Kinda like watching some super fit people at the gym tearing it up. Don't let it intimidate you or feed on your insecurities, let it get you pumped. Embrace it.
4. Write something else.
Stay with me, this is actually very effective. As of writing this post, I am in the process of writing two simultaneous sequels to my novel (shameless plug alert!) Into the Mind of Pennywell: Plight of the Fallen. And quite frankly, it really is an interesting and productive co-dependence writing two books at once, especially when they are set within the same universe with links to several characters and storylines. Whenever I get bogged down with one book, and my brain starts to shut down, I can simply switch to writing the other and it's like I'm taking on an entirely new project. I get all these new ideas for that particular story that are tied in with the other, and I'm able to just continue pounding away at them keys. So, if you're getting that brick wall in the brain and are stuck on a specific story, maybe switch to writing another, or maybe write a blog post or even something as simple as writing an email to a friend. Just get your brain back into the process of writing while taking a short hiatus from the story that is constipating your creative plumbing. I find that I can go on for hours using this technique by switching back and forth between my two sequels. It's worth a shot.
So there ya have it, four simple techniques to hopefully help get your brain blood flowing when it comes to getting your stories out there to all of us. These techniques may not work for everyone, but hopefully some of you will get some use out of them. So stay sharp, keep brain strong, and get writing!