A question every writer must face at some point in their life. Eventually, they end up googling for help. What help do you get, the most common answer I received was ‘Write’… Like, thanks… Needed that… IF I COULD WRITE I WOULDN’T BE HERE!
So, that said I have since learnt many a method. Here are my top tips on “How do I get rid of writers’ block.”
Know Your Enemy
Writers’ block is when you look at the blank sheet of paper in front of you and get… nothing. Nothing comes to mind, or something comes to mind which you promptly delete before banging your head against the desk. the little writers’ block goblin chuckling on the sidelines.
Writers’ block is when you want to write but don’t know how to get your ideas on to the page, when you need to write but have 0 inspiration. When you had perfect ideas the other day but now you’ve sat to write them down the writing goblins have taken those ideas and run off with them leaving you sat sad and alone with no plans but a need to write.
Writers Block is a writers worst nightmare.
The worst thing you can do is decide not to write that day, this will only make things worse, you will lose valuable writing time. You need to show those writing Goblins that you are the boss, that you will not be defeated by them.
Here are a few techniques that I use, these are tried and tested techniques that work. Note, the same techniques will not work for everyone, try them all and see what works for you.
I don’t mean read any old book, this will only distract you. If you have notes to do with what you are working on, read through them. If you are halfway through writing a novel when you stopped, read what you have so far. If the story you are working on was inspired by another piece of literature, read that.
The goal here is to find the inspiration behind your work. As you read you may automatically continue writing it in your head, when you do, get back to writing. That Goblin has been ignored to death.
2. Writers Table
This is my all-time favourite way of defeating writers’ block.
Pick up your pen/keyboard, get your characters around a table and tell them what you are stuck on. What ideas will they offer? make sure they all stay in character, treat them as partners and talk it out with them. Don’t include too many details, keep it conversational. You’d be surprised at the results.
Here’s an example:
Me: You guys are going to be in that room for a long time. I need you to interact with each other. I’m at a loss.
Bee: (runs on emotions) We have to talk to each other at some point. I don’t think a love triangle is an answer, I don’t feel for any of the guys that way.
Banks: (always logical) Obviously, we will be talking about the game a lot, things are going to get tense as we miss normal every day activities. I can get mad with Whittles for being an idiot.
Whittles: (always trying to lighten the mood) I bet you would too, I could prat about inside the game and get someone killed by missing a heal.
Dark: (Serious leader) -Groan- that would be me, it’s my guy that takes the most damage. I’ll be mad too. We’re simply going to be tired and fed up ith the situation to deal with you being you.
Bee: And then I’ll decide everyone needs a timeout?
Me: This is sounding good so far, but what are you going to do in a timeout. You are all locked in that room until the game is completed.
Bee: I make them sit on the floor in a circle
The others: Okay. (they all leave the table and sit on the floor in a circle while I watch.
Bee: I make everyone hold hands.
Me: Okay, so everyone holds hands probably a little begrudgingly after the argument. Now what.
Dark: We’re all in this together
Banks: If you start singing high school musical I will destroy you
Dark: (Now smiling) Tensions are high. Dying hurts, but we cannot be so uptight. The more uptight we get the more we gonna get tense and lose ourselves. So, Whittles, mess and play like you always do, but please keep your eye on the ball in a boss fight. Banks, breathe, loosen up. We can do this if we keep as a team. Bee, try to stay out of those AOE’s Your concentration is also slipping.
Look what has happened. I started with no clue, legit didn’t know what to do about a problem section in a book I was working on, now I’ve almost got a scene. Get your goblin involved in fixing the problem. This works.
3. Write Conversation Only
This is similar to above but a little harder. Make your characters have a conversation, anywhere in the piece you’re working on, and write only that.
Forget what is happening around them, forget if anyone is in danger, or upset, or hurt, or trying to clean a gun, or do the pots, forget all events and details and scenes. Just have a conversation. You can write in the other necessary details when you go back to it.
An example: (This one pulled from my notes)
When they get into the base scarlet starts talking.
“Where have you been we thought you’d both been snatched.” Priestley’s reply, “You should have used the pc to find us, our bike got snatched, we walked.”
“The Govner wants to know what’s going on, and why he hasn’t got his ammo yet. stores are about empty.” Matt talking
“What did you tell him?”
“I didn’t mention the school, but it was on the news an hour ago.”
“Great. Lisa and Laura?”
“Claimed the outlaws threatened them, which is half true, the Eagles got hold of Lisa’s husband.” Scarlet
“Is he alright?”
“Wu let him go in exchange for Kaz, they are now all under police protection. Chief’s keeping an eye on the situation through his contacts. He’s not thanking us for causing trouble in a school though.” Scarlet again
Matt “No kidding, I’d stay away from him if I were you, Priestley. He isn’t happy.”
It is unpolished and raw, in the book it is the same but different. Things changed, it is more polished, but writing it out as an unpolished conversation allows you to move past it and get back into writing, you can always go back and clean something up.
That’s right, this method is simply talking over the writers block goblin.
4. Use A Motivational App
This helps more then you think. You suddenly have a goal, you have a purpose, you can do it.
The writing app I recommend is free for the first 30 days then $4 a month. 4thewords is not bad at all, I’d totally sign up just for the free trial even if nothing else.
This option literally allows you to use words to kill the goblin! Here’s a vid that tells you all about it:
5. Change Your Font
Like that’s going to help, I hear you say. Yes, it will, don’t knock this till you try it.
I know exactly what my next line will say and I can already hear you all crying in despair, or skipping to the next option!
Kill the goblin with your crazy imagination as you start typing wildly in your favourite childhood fonts.
Why not share your favourite fonts below, I’d love to see what everyone is a fan off.
Still Stuck. Here’s One More Idea…
But I use this one as a last resort. Why? because going down this lane, you may not get any writing done today.
Go on Deviant Art.
Go on Pin It.
Go look at amazing art and fun little stories. Go be inspired. find a crazy word prompt and write a paragraph in response. look at that awesome painting and create a story behind it.
Yes, you’re letting the Goblin win, today. Tomorrow you gonna kick his leathery ass because you will have found so many inspiring and wondrous worlds that you’ll just want to write.