Overcoming Writer's Block
Updated: Apr 11, 2018
Writer's Block, that dreaded feeling that hits you most of the time after a brilliant roll in your story. It’s going to happen, that is a fact. There hasn’t been an author that hasn’t had it but the amazing thing is, you will overcome it!
There are many reasons why writer’s block hits and sometimes it can be something very simple as to why:
1 You're a perfectionist:
You want everything to be perfect, even on the first draft. You're trying too hard to make it work and you’re creating problems that don’t need to be there. It doesn’t need to flow as it does in your mind straight away, nor do you need to get every single detail down - that's what editing is for.
Stop trying to gain perfection. Just write the book as it is and edit it later.
2. You're not getting enough sleep:
Staying up past midnight writing? Have been all day? These are common mistakes with writers as you think your on a roll but really you’re just burning yourself out completely. The more you stay up, the harder it’s going to be to write your novel.
Aim to get at least seven hours of sleep a night. Stop at a set time and stay clear of all electrical objects (and notebooks!) to get the best sleep.
3. You're not eating and drinking the right food:
If you're staying up late the first point of call is caffeine, right? This is going to play havoc with your mental state. Not only does it force you to be awake, but it creates anxiety which in turn is going to make the writers block worse. Eating plays a massive part also, if you're not eating good nutritious food, your brain has no fuel.
Have a bottle of water with you at all times and drink it! Have no more than two cups of caffeine a day. If you can’t live without tea, switch to decaf. Make sure you are also getting your five a day.
4. You're trying too hard:
It could be a worry about deadlines or the fact you want this book to be the next best thing. Stop trying so hard. Just be you and that is enough. Putting too much pressure on yourself and the book is going to create mental blocks. Limit all the pressure - the deadline will be met better!
Plan out your deadlines and stick to a writing schedule. Avoid paying too much attention to the end result and just write.
Overcoming writer's block
When trying to rid the annoying block there are many things that you can do to help.
The first and most important point is don’t beat yourself up over it. There is no point getting stressed out or annoyed, when did that ever help? Doing this just attaches more meaning to the problem and in turn it makes you feel worse. Instead try some of these ideas:
Get out the house. Go out for lunch with friends, a walk or even see a movie - get the book out your head for a while.
Sort out your writing space. Maybe change it up a little, have a clean and get rid of any distractions that might be getting in the way. Make the place feel good and a place you love to be. You could even try writing somewhere else such as a coffee shop, it could be the muse you need!
Go to a place that fits the book. If you’re writing a bit about a forest, go to a forest. If it’s a beach, go to the beach! Get the feel of the place and scene you're writing about. Feel it for real and not just what your imagination is telling you. Make notes and take photos. Sometimes a little inspiration is key.
Take the day off from writing and spend it brainstorming ideas. Get some big pieces of card and loads of pens and work out where you want the story to go, characters, places, scenes and random ideas. Pin them up in your writing space for that added inspiration when you need it.
Just write without the emotional connection to your book. Don’t worry about how it sounds, flows or reads. Just write. It will, somewhere down the line light the spark again and get you back in the swing of things. The only way you can overcome something, is to do it.
Writer's block is annoying but it's always overcome. Just remember to take time, look after yourself and don't beat yourself up!
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