Writer’s block is a controversial subject. Some say there’s no such thing while others see it as a real problem for writers. The cause could come from several fronts. A lack of inspiration is probably the foremost people cite. Other causes can be from distractions, adverse life events ranging from mild to serious, fear of failure, and the one I’m most guilty of: laziness.
Aside from a serious adverse life event, which may require professional help, most cases of writer’s block, with a little effort, can be overcome or prevented.
I’ve got six ideas that might help the next time you sit at the keyboard and feel absolutely stuck:
- Outline your work before you begin your actual writing. Having an outline provides a roadmap for your work. Depending on how detailed your outline is, you will know exactly or at least approximately where you’re going with your particular piece of writing. And, you’re less likely to become stuck.
- Stop in the middle of a sentence at the end of your writing session. This way you have a definite starting point for your next session. All you need do is complete that sentence, and the next, and others will likely flow.
- If you are stuck, get up and do something else—do a load of laundry, get a cup of coffee, take a walk, listen to music. The change of activity will allow your subconscious to work on the problem while you concentrate on a totally unrelated activity.
- Just write something, even if its nonsense. Sometimes just the act of writing itself will ignite the fire you need to resume your project.
- Begin work on another chapter or another project, one that you have a clear idea regarding the content. If you’ve outlined your work it’s likely you’ve thought about different chapters or sections. So, when you’re stuck on one you can work on another section, one in which you have a clearer vision of where you’re going.
- Read something. This could be poetry, a work in your genre or a work in another genre. The point is that reading can spark your creative juices and overcome that writer’s block.
Consider these potential solutions to writer’s block. Put one or more into action the next time those creative juices don’t seem to be flowing and you may find that you can plow right through that writer’s block.