Beating Writer’s Block

Hey all, Dani here.

So, I recently came across this article from Writer’s Circle: 10 Tricks, Tips, and Techniques to Beat Writer’s Block. With Camp NaNoWriMo literally just around the corner, I decided it would be a good topic to discuss right now, because hey, we have all faced writer’s block at one point or another.

I actually like all the tips mentioned in the article, and they can be quite useful when you find yourself stuck.

Another huge tip that I have used in the past is to work on a different project. Sometimes the block is with the story you’ve been working on for a while and so writing on some random side project can actually get those creative juices flowing again and get you back on track.

This is something I have done the past few years with NaNoWriMo, having a secondary project for if the words just aren’t flowing. Most of the time I end up writing anywhere from 2,000 to 15,000 words on the side project over the course of the month. It saves me from having a number of days where I write very few words because I just can’t get my characters to cooperate.

I especially enjoy the Writer’s Circle tip of unplugging for a while. It is even more effective during the sessions of Camp NaNoWriMo, where I find that it can be fun to get out of the house, library, or coffee shop, and go to a park or the beach or a campground, just me and my notebook…and sometimes my iPod because I like to write while listening to music. Looking at that article again I guess I totally just combined two tips: unplug and change your surroundings. Seriously, it is super helpful. Being somewhere different from usual helps you to see things in a different light and to think about events from another perspective. Plus you break up the monotony of your routine just a bit.

I’ve also broken out of my writer’s block by talking to my fellow writers. Not only do we discuss books we love, the shows and movies we’ve been watching, and whatever else we can think of, but we also talk about where we are with our writing. Talking through whatever issues you have with a fellow writer who can listen and then fire off some suggestions can be a great way to get out of that writing slump. It is a technique I have used many times before and has led to wonderfully elevated daily word counts.

I suppose this leads to my next tip: word wars. Whether you set up writing sprints for just yourself or participate in timed challenges with other writers, having that pressure of a deadline plus the drive of competition really works…or at least it does for me. When I can’t find a fellow writer to write with, I just open up my Write or Die app and set the timer for 15-30 minutes and just write as much as I can during that time.

Now is the time to mention that I keep myself motivated on these solo challenges by rewarding myself once I’m done. So, I’ll write for 30 minutes which usually gets me about 1500 words. To celebrate I allow myself to watch an episode of something from my DVR list, or I let myself have 30 minutes of reading time. This also allows my fingers some time to rest and recharges my mind with the creative output of other individuals.

One of the biggest tips I have for beating writer’s block is that it is okay to step away from writing for a couple of days to focus on your own well-being. Readers and fans will understand that you aren’t a machine, and if you take the time to keep yourself well-rested and healthy then you will be in a much better shape to get back to writing. It’s fine to be selfish every once-in-a-while. The story will still be there after you’ve taken a weekend off to rejuvenate.

Thanks for reading everyone. I’m really hoping to keep going with my one post a week through April, but that really depends on how my writing is going with Camp NaNoWriMo. Then again, if I’m really lucky I’ll be able to write up a couple posts in the next couple days so I’m ahead of the game.

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