Monday, September 25, 2017

Tips for Writer's Block

I imagine every writer feels blocked or stalled at some time.  Are we intimidated because our goal is too big? Writing in short bursts, a paragraph or one scene at a time could well bring the flow back. We need to make a friend of adjusting our goals to doable levels. It’s not a failure; it’s smart. 

Periods of heightened stress and anxiety exhaust our energy and disrupt creativity. Take a break, visit a museum, arboretum, or kick back at a coffee shop—overheard conversations may spark ideas,.
Tip Suggestions:
  • Set aside more time to read; read a lot, read what you like and what inspires you.
  • For a few weeks write a little every day but for you only—forget production, just write and love it.
  • Instead of “blocked” think “stuck”. Stuck is fixable. Refer to “A Writer’s Book of Days” by Judy Reeves pages 142-148. Judy wrote about boxing ourselves into a corner, caught rehashing the same things over, and over, and drained of ideas. She makes suggestions for the way out. It’s fixable.
  • Plan projects in bite size pieces and write whether you want to or not.
  • Consider switching to write, to outline or to research one of your other projects.
  • Try free writing.
  • Listen to music. Create a play-list for writing—classics for background, movie themes for high action, or sentimental songs for story.
  • Exercise—get moving. 
  • Reset by playing a video in your genre or one of your favorites.
  • Ask yourself “What If” questions and note your answers.
  • Do some people watching at the park or coffee shop far enough away that you can’t hear their conversation. Interpret their body language and write that scene.
  • Make a list of the reasons you write.

Many of you have a favorite “unstuck” method. Please share with us in the comments section. Thanks

Deborah Lyn Stanley is a writer, artist, and editor.  She is a retired project manager who now devotes her time to writing, art and caregiving mentally impaired seniors.  Deborah writes articles, essays and stories. She has published a collection of 24 artists’ interviews entitled the Artists Interview Series.  Careful editing preserves each artist’s voice as they share their journey. The series published as monthly articles for an online news network, can also be found on her web-blog: Deborah Lyn Stanley - Writers Blog.  Her “How-To” articles have appeared in magazines. 

“Explore, Dream, Discover”

1 comment:

Karen Cioffi said...

Deborah, great list of ways to get unstuck with your writing. Sometimes when I'm looking at an idea I have or a client's idea, I think how on earth am I going to bring this to life. Fortunately I have so many distractions going on that I don't have time to worry about it. Once I get to writing, it comes to me.

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