September 14, 2012

What To Do If You Struggle With Writing

There is no sure-fire way to break out of writer's block, but here are ten tactics that have helped me:

1. Read the last chapter or two that you wrote. Sometimes going over your work will get you back into the groove of your book and will motivate you to continue from where you left off.

2. Write a song or poem for a specific part in your book to help you tap into the emotion you need to write it. In the end, you may be able to use whole verses from the song or poem you created in your book. That’s a double bonus!

3. If you are good with a pencil, draw a picture to help your creative juices flow. This technique is great to help release an image trapped within your mind. Once you get it down on paper in one form, you can do it again in another.

4. Listen to music. Find songs that hold the same emotion and have the same theme as the event in your book. Then plug in your headphones and let the music call to your muse.

5. Watch a movie with scenes similar to what you have to write.

6. Read a book (or five) in the same genre as yours.

7. Discuss your book with a trusted person to bounce your ideas off him/her. You may be surprised at how helpful a second party can be. My mom actually helped me come up with a couple of details for the battle at the end of the third book in my unpublished series.

8. Motivate yourself. Say, “I don’t have writer’s block. Nothing can stop me from writing right now! I can do it!!” 

9. Step away from your book for a while:

· Take a nap
· Go for a walk or run
· Work in the garden
· Take a long bath
· Wash the dishes
  Then go back to your book when you’re done and try again.

10. If all else fails, skip the part you are struggling with and start writing a different chapter/event instead. Just don’t forget to go back to it later!


Don't give yourself too much to work on. Writing a book is a big job, but if you keep looking at it as writing three hundred pages or so, you will shut down. Whenever you sit down to write, don't focus on writing your entire book. Worry about the next paragraph that you have to write, not the next chapter. Don't aim to fill the whole white page. Go sentence by sentence. Or as Anne Lamott would say, "Take it bird by bird."

QUESTION: Do you have a method that helps you battle writers block? Share it!

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