9 Easy and Fast Tips to Cure Writer's Block


Let's face it...writer's block sucks!

Writing is a difficult task. There’s no doubt about it. But you can make it even harder on yourself by accepting writer’s block. But the truth is, YOU control it, and it does NOT control you. 


Once you realize that, the non-writing cycle can be broken.

If you’re feeling stuck, or feel like you can’t write, it is really all in your own mind. Now that might be hard to hear, but it is true. The writer is mentally blocking their own creativity. It is not outside distractions. It is not a busy lifestyle. It is not your day-job or your family. It is not any other excuse. Even I can admit that whenever I whine about blockage, it is all my own doing. And deep down, I know it. The trick is to find a way to break free and write again.


For me personally, writer's block usually strikes when I'm not feeling passionate or excited about the story. Because when I'm excited about writing, the words just flow, and I even wake up eager to start working. I feel this holds true for most writers.

And if you’re stuck, it usually means your characters are not fleshed out enough. The “block” is most likely an issue with the character’s journey. Because once you get excited about a story, writer’s block fades away like a bad dream. You must dig deep to find the story’s heart and I promise, you’ll feel that tingling excitement to write again. So I have put together 9 quick and simple tips to cure writers block...


Tip 1

Start with the “what ifs” and go from there. Take out a piece of paper and a pen, or open your writing software and make a list.  ‘What if my character…’ or 'What if the villain did this...' then fill in the blanks. This can lead to lots of fun possibilities in your plot and get you amped up about writing again. 


Tip 2

Reach out to your critique partners, writer's group, or a writer friend for help. Often just brainstorming with another writer can wake up your snoozing creative muse and unblock your writing. Tell them about your story, and I bet as you're talking or writing about it, you'll rediscover what made you eager to write this tale, too.


Tip 3

Try revising your first chapter or writing a different one then the scene you originally had in mind. Because if the start of your story is blocking you, then it usually means the plot is starting in the wrong place. So write a different one. Just one page or 300 words. You can do it. Remember, YOU are control of your own thoughts and feelings. Sometimes trying to write the perfect opening can obstruct your writing process.

Tip 4

 Only write the scenes that you feel the most excited about. You can always go back later and connect the dots. Remind yourself what first excited you about this project. Was it the forbidden love between your characters? Was it the thrilling murder mystery? Was it the harrowing journey your main character was going to take? Write those scenes and the rest will fall into place.


Tip 5

Spend an hour or two writing your main POV character's backstory. Where do they come from? What motivates them? Where did they grow up? How did they this get to this point in their story? Often writing out details like this will again remind you why wanted to write this story in this first place.


Tip 6

I assume since you're writing in a particular genre, that you've read it as well. So crack open one of your favorite books and reread a chapter or two to remind yourself why you love this genre so much and why you felt compelled to write a story within this same genre. Then either open your writing program or get a pen and paper, and then copy word-for-word one page from any book in this genre. This writing exercise can often unblock you instantly.


Tip 7

When it comes to writer's bock, the only thing that works for most fiction writers (myself included) is to force your-butt-in-chair. Which simply means, a writer must force themselves to sit at their desk (or wherever you like to write) and place their fingertips on the keyboard, no matter how much they don't feel like. Remember, the block is all in your head. So get out of your own way and write the character's story. Forcing yourself to write, even one single page, or writing anything, will usually knock down the block. Or revise the last scene you wrote, then keep going. Just write what happens next. Even if what you write is utter garbage, the upside is that you wrote something! 


Tip 8

Sometimes, the problem can be the Character ARC (or hero’s journey). Try writing out a brief outline on the transformation process or inner journey that your main character(s) will take over the course of your story. Try listing the stakes. List the character's motivations. Make a list of goals. These blog posts might help...


Writing Character ARCs


Three types of Character ARCs


Plotting the Hero's Journey

The Hero's Journey for Romance Writers

 


Tip 9

Writer's block could be caused by an undefined Character GMC. Each story must include characters who want something (goal) for a reason (motivation), but have trouble achieving it because of obstacles (conflict) that stand in their way of obtaining their goal(s). 

G = Goal. (What is it the character wants more than anything? Or what is the one thing that the character wants to avoid? Or what is the thing they're most passionate about or desire most?)

M = Motivation. (Why does the character want to obtain this goal?  What happens that compels them to want this goal so badly? What is the driving force behind your character's actions and wants?)

C = Conflict. (What obstacles are preventing the character from reaching their goal?
What will happen if they don't get it? How do they overcome whatever is standing in their way?)

There are two types of GMCs: internal ones and external ones.
These blog posts might help...

3 Tips on Tension and Goals

Get Clear on Your Character's GMC - Plus Profile Template


GMC Stupidly Simple

How to Find Your Character's GMC


Develop Stronger Character ARCs
 

Now you can stand up with your fist raised high in the air and your imaginary superhero cape flapping behind you to declare, "Take that writer's block!"

3 comments

  1. Please let me know if any of these tips helped you get past your writer's block.

    Happy Reading,
    Sherry
    Author Amazon Profile

    ReplyDelete
  2. Great article, thanks for posting. Now to put my butt in the chair. Ciao

    ReplyDelete

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