Ever find yourself . . .
Reading and rereading a scene and not knowing where to go next.
Staring at your computer and letting your focus go in and out, in and out.
Typing anything, just to get the momentum going.
Playing a mental tennis match where no idea seems right. Even your eyes bounce left to right as you discard bad idea after bad idea.
These are symptoms of . . . dum dum dum . .. WRITER’S BLOCK.
Yes, it’s NaNoWriMo and you have no time for waste on writer’s block. So here are five quick fixes to get the engine going again.
- Rewrite (but do not erase) the previous scene. Perhaps that is the culprit. Perhaps the story needs to go a different direction and your muse refuses to work until you realize you made a wrong turn. Try a completely different path in your last scene and see if that feels better and opens up where the story needs to go next.
- Turn off your computer. (after reading this brilliant article of course). and
- Go for a drive
- Walk the dog
- Fold the laundry
- Take a shower
- Talk it out with someone. Anyone. They might not even have to contribute. Thinking out loud may be all you need. I find my dogs to be quite attentive listeners sometimes. If you have a writing buddy, they may offer suggestions. They may offer one that you like. Or more likely, that argumentative side of your brain will negate their idea and come up with what you were looking for. Healthy debate gets brain juices flowing.
- Draw it out. I’m a terrible artist. But my oldest sister who is a talented artist recently told me, “When writers are stuck, visual creating can help unstick. And verbal helps to unstick the visual creative.” Doodle. Get out your kids’ crayons. Even more fun: Finger Paint! Don’t consciously think about your story.
- Play! Jigsaw puzzles. Legos! Scrabble. Have some fun. You have gotten yourself all worked up with the stress from writing, the pressure to be perfect, to get your word count in. Play!
Writing a story is world building and magical. If it has stopped being that, take a break for a while. It’s going to be okay.
Fast and Furious Bonus 5:
- Pour a drink
- Change your playlist
- Write a blog!
Got a tip? Leave it here!