The Woeful World of Writer’s Block

Monday, 25th April

If you consider yourself a writer then you have probably experienced the soul-sucking pain of sitting in front of a blank piece of paper/word document screen.

We’ve all been there.  You are not alone!

Now, I personally think that there are two different types of writer’s block, and the best way to overcome it is to identify which one you are suffering from.

The first (and probably the harder one to overcome) is when you are stuck on your plot.  Everything you have written so far has been great but now, suddenly, you have reached a dead end.  Where does your character go from this point?  How do you want the story to end?  Or maybe you know how you want your story to end but you have this big gaping hole in the middle which you hoped fill itself up as you went.   Alas, that is not the case.

 The second is where you have an outline of your plot.  You even know exactly where and how you want your story to end!  But, no matter how hard you try you cannot seem to get these ideas onto the page.  You type and you delete, you write and cross out, it’s a never ending loop and it is slowly crushing your hopes and dreams.

Is any of this ringing true with you?

Don’t worry, there is hope.

If you fall into the first category I would say sit down and really think about your plot.  Look at what you have so far and come up with a few different places that your story could go.  You could come up with a few alternate endings (none of which have to be perfect.)  Then give yourself a rough outline of about five to ten chapters. Finally, attempt to write a few scenes based on the ideas that you have come up with.  Even if those ideas suck, just write and see what happens, even if you don’t like the majority of what you write, chances are you will have at least one new idea that you will use.

If you find yourself nodding along to the second category I would say TEAR YOURSELF AWAY FROM YOUR COMPUTER RIGHT NOW.  Stop researching, stop going over every tiny detail, and stop re-writing the same sentence over and over again.  Take a break, a week or two away from your novel.  Don’t talk and or think about it.  Maybe even try writing something else, when you’ve done all this, THEN go back to it.  Hopefully you will have a fresh pair of eyes and you can approach it from an entirely new angle.  Or alternatively, give your work to someone else, someone you trust and have them throw ideas at you.  Maybe the reason you’re struggling to write is because of what you are writing.

Simple solutions, I know.  And I recognize that this advice isn’t new or revolutionary in any way – but I do believe it really does help.

Of course, the most important piece of advice I can give you is to love what you are writing.  If you are passionate about your work then the chances are somebody else will be too!

Let me know if you have any other methods of combating writer’s block in the comment section below 🙂

Stay awesome internet.

Rachel

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