7 Incredibly Simple Ways to Conquer Writer’s Block
You’ve caught a bad case of writer’s block.
You fear your work sucks, and there’s no chance of finishing your book.
You’ve listened to podcasts and read books that teach you how to write.
Yet, the words just don’t want to come out, right?
But maybe it’s not you’re fault.
Maybe you just need a few more tools in your writer’s belt.
Before you resign yourself to writer’s block, try these seven author-inspired ways to get back on track.
1. Keep your project secret like K.M. Weiland
Think sharing your intentions to write a book is a good idea? Think again.
After spending months preparing another historical-fiction adventure, Weiland began writing her novel like a boss. Life was great!
Then, she blew it.
She talked about her book, and suddenly, her words stopped flowing.
Likewise, sharing your private intentions to pen your great novel, before you’ve actually finished it, could cause your mind to experience a “sense of completion.”
If you tell others before you’re done, you’ll trick your brain into thinking that you’ve already finished writing.
So why would it continue to create?
If your inspiration well has dried up, consider keeping your projects secret.
At least until after you’ve finished the first draft.
2. Write cliffhanger-style like J.J. Abrams
When he wrote for the television series, Lost, Abrams ended every episode with a cliffhanger.
Cliffhangers, or open loops, drive people wild with curiosity because the human mind must have closure. We must know what happens next. Right?
Hollywood uses this trick all the time. (They know us well.)
Use this technique in your writing. End your writing sessions with a prompt or a question to help you pick up where you left off.
You’ll experience a surge of ideas. Plus, your mind will continue to work on what comes next.
3. Get inspired like William Faulkner
If you’re like some people, you probably think great writers like Faulkner had inspiration pouring from their ears.
In fact, Faulkner’s inspiration was simpler than that. He’s known for saying, “I only write when I am inspired. Fortunately, I am inspired at 9 o’clock every morning.”
Likewise, set your own writing time every morning to find your inspiration. Form your own daily habit. The routine will keep your creative juices flowing.
The first thing you must do for inspiration to strike is to be there when it does.
4. Attract a writing buddy like Jyotsna Ramachandran
Imagine savoring that last lick of frosting on a chocolate-covered donut or that last chip at the bottom of the bag. But you know it’s off-limits.
Sometimes you need someone to keep you from devouring those gut-busting treats.
The same is true of writing. You need someone to hold you accountable.
Ramachandran works with an accountability partner to keep her on track.
Partners encourage and support each other regularly to accomplish their goals. They connect easily from anywhere in the world via internet.
Find a partner who has similar goals and interests. Commit to providing honest feedback and communicate weekly.
Motivate each other during your writing workouts and procrastination diets.
5. Learn to dictate like John Milton
Many famous writers use dictation to write their books.
Milton used one of the world’s earliest forms of dictation to pen his famous work, Paradise Lost.
He used his daughters.
Before he finished his book, he went blind. Thus, he relied on his daughters to write down his words as he spoke.
Fortunately, you have access to more advanced technology: your smartphone or mobile device.
Use your device to dictate your book, chapter or section. Save your file as a mp3. Then upload your file to a transcription service like rev.com to get your file transcribed for approximately $1 per minute of audio.
Dictation not only increases your productivity but also boosts your word count.
If you hate typing, try dictation and see if this technique cures your big block.
6. Nurture your inner J.K. Rowling
Do you believe in what you’re writing? Seriously.
J.K. Rowling did.
As a single mother, she wrote in coffee shops while living on public assistance. Publishers rejected her manuscript 12 times before one finally bought the first in the Harry Potter series.
Many people want to be authors. But self-doubt and limiting beliefs swoop in like a hawk and snatch their inspiration to create something wonderful.
That’s why, you must do this…
Nurture your desire to be a writer. Tell yourself every day that you are worthy of creating something wonderful. Give yourself permission to write in coffee shops, to fail, and to get back up and keep going.
If you don’t believe in yourself, who will?
7. Become your critics’ worst nightmare like Stephen King
Still worried what others might think of your work?
Maybe you’re wondering who would want to read your book anyway.
Don’t let those obnoxious beliefs crush your dreams of publishing your work.
Instead of fearing those revolting lies, show some guts and be the hero of your journey.
This is your story, and you need to tell it your way.
Next time someone tries to cripple your ideas, imagine you’re Kathy Bates in Misery and cripple their smug opinions with your sledgehammer as they scream in terror.
But don’t get carried away.
Compose your awesomeness on paper (or computer screen) and show’em who’s boss.
Get that frustration out of your system. Then delete or throw your letter away. They never have to know you wrote it.
It’s time to get those words flowing
Writing can be tough, especially when you’re going through a period of writer’s block.
But with the right strategies and a little determination, you can keep it from holding you back.
Just imagine being able to stop the block before it starts.
Or knowing how to avoid a block in the first place.
Next time your mind stops churning out words for your masterpiece, try one of the suggestions above.
You’ll soon find an approach that works best for you.
Which one will you try first?
About the Author
Michael T. Wilkinson is the bestselling author of Fathers Guide to Raising Daughters and founder of authorhabits.com. His life-long dream is to be a writer and to share what he learns with the world. Sign-up for his free 7-day email course: 7 More Incredibly Simple Ways to Conquer Writer’s Block.
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