Writer’s block. We’ve all had it or at least heard of the mythical beast. Some authors claim it isn’t a real thing that exists. Some people swear it does. Me? I’m a firm believer that everyone gets dry spells once in a while and sometimes they’re hard to shake. But ultimately, they can be shaken off.
I apologize in advance for all the constipation metaphors.
Pandean’s Tips and Tricks for Writer’s Block
1. Rest Your Head:
I find that writer’s block can increase in difficultly and blockage the more you try to force yourself through it. Sometimes it works, don’t get me wrong, but other times it’s like straining on the toilet while already constipated. All it will do is give you hemorrhoi–er creative fatigue. If you can’t do it, don’t force it. Try to do things that’ll spice up that section of your brain and give you inspiration. Watch a TV series, read a new book, binge watch an anime, draw, paint, go see a movie. See if inspiration comes to you during these things. I find I get super inspired by watching movie trailers so I go on Youtube and find a bunch of upcoming movie trailers.
2. Analyze the Blockage
When dealing with a blockage there is never one singular cause. You could be lacking in fiber or variety, you could have something wrong internally, or you could have nothing really wrong at all. When writing, you may come across a block when you find yourself stuck because of a plot issue or a character issue–maybe the character’s arc isn’t going the right way and now you’re stuck or maybe you wrote yourself into a corner. Maybe there’s nothing wrong at all and you just need to sit tight until things get regular again. There are a lot of different causes and each other requires a different solution. Evaluate the character arc, see what you can do differently in the plot, if you don’t need any type of stimulant to fix your situation, just sit tight and let things happen naturally.
3. Energize Yourself
Energizing yourself can be done in many different ways. Getting burnt out is more common than most people suspect. Writing a novel isn’t easy–if so all the people in your high school literature class who bragged they could write a better novel than The Great Gatsby would have done so already. So if you’re halfway through a book and your energy levels have tanked, don’t fret. Do something to get your excitement back up. As I mentioned before, movie trailers always seem to do it for me. Or I’ll watch those weird Tribute videos on Youtube to series I like. If that doesn’t work, I go to a bookstore and look at all the books on the shelves and say to myself “I want that to be me” until I get slightly jealous and then use that as fuel to continue writing because ‘god damn that’ll be me some day’ can actually be pretty productive if you’re not using it to negatively impact anything. A little competitiveness can help in the long run.
4. Sometimes It Happens for a Reason
Lastly, sometimes writer’s block happens for a good reason. Maybe this wasn’t the project you’d thought it’d be. Maybe you’re on your 3rd plot rewrite and still can’t find your footing. Maybe you didn’t let it stew long enough in your head and it’s not fully developed. There’s nothing wrong with admitting that and shelving the project for later on when you do have the ability to continue. I’ve started and stopped so many projects I couldn’t even begin to tell you all of them. It’s a lot. A lot, a lot.
All in all, writer’s block, a lack of creativity, burning out, whatever you want to call it, happens to everyone in some way, shape, or form. There are many reasons why it exists and many ways to remedy it. But first you have to find the root of the problem itself.