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Writer’s Block!

November 24, 2009

So what do you call it when you get up in the morning, sit down in front of your computer, open up the document you’re supposed to be working on, then stare aimlessly at it for about ten minutes? That would be writer’s block. What do you call it when this happens consecutively for about thirty days in a row? My personal hell!

Writer’s block is the most frustrating part of writing. I’ve gone for months on end without writing a thing, even when I want to, because I can think of how to properly word things, or dialogue refuses to come into my head. (Matter of fact, I had a mini writer’s block when it came to writing that last sentence!)  So what do you do when that happens?

Here’s some things you might try:

  1. The fact is, when you have writer’s block, it doesn’t necessarily mean that you have NO ideas. So carry a notebook around; that’s what I do. Sometimes just scribbling down ideas or random bits of dialogue will prompt you to write more. I have notebooks with pages of random dialogue that I haven’t found a place for yet, but writing it all down has helped.
  2. Yes…. I’ll say it… and you’ll hate me…. but outlining seriously helps! Even if you just scribble down some bullet point of basic parts of yor plot, you’ll have guideline that you can refer to if you ever think to yourself, “Where was I going with this?” Nothing too elaborate; keep it simple. Your outline isn’t meant to tell the whole story. If it was, you wouldn’t have to bother writing the book. (It took me about three years to realize, “Dangflabbit, my English teacher may have been right!”)
  3. Go back and re-read what you’ve already written. You may find that you’ll have to change some things to make the next part of your story fit. (Trust me; I’ve done this a dozen times!)
  4. Though not always advisable, (and ONLY try this after you’ve tried #3), skip ahead! If you have a section in mind, write it out. Just remember to go back and fill in the story later!
  5. DON’T THINK ABOUT IT. Just let it come to you. You can’t force inspiration!

That’s about all I have for now. But honestly, writer’s block is awful, but it’ll pass.

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