Some say there’s no such thing as writer’s block. But that’s hard to believe when you’re stuck and can’t move forward with your story.
How to break writer’s block
Change Your Routine
Change when you write. If you usually write in the evening, try writing in the morning or at lunch.
Change Your Location
Try writing at the park, at a coffee shop, if you usually write in your office. If you usually write in the kitchen, try the den or the patio. Try writing in your car.
Change Your Tools
If you usually write on your computer, try writing on your phone or use a notebook and pen. Use a different colored pen, add highlighters.
Change your Format
Instead of forcing complete sentences, let your words or ideas emerge and write them down without considering format or structure. If you usually write dialogue, try narrative instead or vice versa.
Pick a Different Segment
If you’re stuck in one part of your story, move on to another scene or chapter or sequence.
Ask Your Character
Ask your characters what they’d do, what they want. Sometimes we get stuck because they want something that’s different from what we originally envisioned. Find out what that is and allow yourself to explore it.
Set It Aside and Move
Get up and leave the writing behind. Go for a walk. Move your body. Listen to a favorite song and dance. Keep a notebook or your phone nearby in case things shake loose.
Still feeling stuck? Here are more ways to approach dealing with writers block.
When you don’t know where to start:
Write anything. It doesn’t matter what. Free write. Complain to yourself in your journal. Start with a different scene.
When you’re short on time:
make the time, you know the time of day when you do your best work, that’s when you should spend some time writing. Put it on your calendar, build it into your routine.
When you have no idea what to write:
You may need to prime the pump. This means reading something for enjoyment. It could also mean doing something creative that’s not related to writing. Visit a garden, a museum, something that can fill your tank.
When you’re overwhelmed by your project:
Spend some time reviewing your notes, your outline, or notes about the project. Organize them. The simple act of reviewing what you’ve already done can spur new ideas.
When you still feel unmotivated and can’t get going?
Then step away, go for a walk, exercise or meditate. Tend to your creature comforts. A little self care goes a long way to restoring your energy.