Tips for fighting writer’s block

First, what is writer’s block? Does it exist? Many authors say yes, many say no. Personally, I just think it depends on how you define writer’s block.

So let’s define writer’s block.

Writer’s block is the inability to write when there’s no good reason why you shouldn’t be writing right along.

And yes, I believe it exists.

Maybe it’s an excuse to be lazy, to not do something when you know you should. A habit of procrastination.

Then again, it could be a chemical imbalance in the brain, akin to depression, ADD, or SAD. Something that happens for no apparent reason, but something that impacts your life in ways you could never anticipate or appreciate until you’ve suffered from the disorder in question.

Regardless of the cause, writer’s block affects many writers, including myself on occasion. I’ve never had the kind that wouldn’t go away, but I’ve had the kind that kept me from writing for a week or two at a time.

Here are some tips that can help you break through (or simply work through) a case of writer’s block. All the tips might not be helpful, considering there are many possible causes of writer’s block, but hopefully a few will help you out like they’ve helped me.

  • Try to figure out if the reason you can’t write is because you’ve taken a wrong turn in your current work in progress.
  • Spend extra time exercising. I’ve noticed that this has an energizing effect on my creativity. Sometimes, it takes only one idea to start a flood.
  • Write outside the genre you usually write in. The change in style and content can spark excitement, which can bleed over into your work in progress.
  • Read.
  • Don’t read. Seems contradictory to the previous tip, but sometimes, denying yourself the right to read or watch tv until after you’ve gotten a few words down on your work in progress can really get you motivated to get past your block.
  • Don’t read. I know, same tip as above, but different reason. Reading can sometimes make me feel inadequate as a writer, and this is never a help when I’m already having trouble getting words out.
  • Then again, don’t pressure yourself. The more I try to force myself to write, the harder it is to do just that.
  • Take a break. Not a ten minute break or an afternoon break, but a serious break from writing. Take a week off, or two, and don’t let yourself write anything during that time. When I stay away from writing for long, I start getting antsy, and usually, I can’t stop myself from writing something.

Whether you believe in writer’s block or not, if you’re having trouble writing, I hope you find some of these tips helpful. Finally, once you've overcome your writer's block and completed your work, consider self publishing a book with Lulu. Seeing your words in print could spur you on to write another one!"

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