Writing Tips: Getting Over the Block

Hi all!

Today, we have some writing tips about getting over writer’s block.  Please enjoy and stay warm!

Happy Writing,

Leandra and Gwen

Writing Tips:  Getting Over the Block

  1.       Give your work space: If you aren’t having any good ideas or are fighting yourself with your writing, you may be feeling bored or unimpressed by your work. Try taking a break.  Sleep on it. Watch, read, and/or listen to new and different things. During this time, your mind will distance itself from your ideas, which will allow you to approach them more objectively and with more enthusiasm.  Whether you decide the idea is worth more than you thought or find a better one, you will come back refreshed and ready to move forward.
  2.       Write whatever: Sometimes we just need to shove ourselves into it. This may mean writing a poor quality scene just to get it down and editing it heavily later.  It may mean jumping around and writing later scenes that you are more inspired with.  It may mean working on some other project.  It may also help to take a break and write something that is not intended for an audience.  Writing something that stays in the privacy of your space can help you refocus on why you write, especially if you tend to be self-conscious about your writing.
  3.       Put the scene in a different format: People learn and think in different ways.  If you are having issues with conceptualizing words on a page, it may help to put them in another format.  Talk it out with another person.  Act it out.  Draw it. All of these may break the block caused by being limited to written word.
  4.       Break it down to basics: Put on page the bare bones of your scene or story.  What needs to happen?  Why is this important to the plot?  What themes are you trying to illustrate?  Which characters are involved?  What are they trying to make happen, and how are they trying to accomplish this?  At its least useful, this will give you a framework to move forward with.  At its most helpful, it will reveal tensions in the scene make-up you were unaware of (for example, maybe what needs to happen to move the plot forward contradicts your themes, or your characters all want B to happen but you really need A to happen instead).
  5.       Do additional research: You may be blocked because you are struggling with either ignorance of facts necessary for the scene or weaknesses in your writing style that are central to the work.  Do some research to straighten this out.  If you need more facts, look them up.  Become an expert so that, when you sit down to write, the knowledge is within reach.  If you are struggling with a certain aspect with your writing, find ways to learn about and practice that thing until you feel strong enough to re-approach the scene.  Feel free to check out our “Extras” tab for guides discussing both real world facts and more writing tips to get you started.


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