Writer’s block: the apparent end to all that genius; the moment when your creative juices dry up and all you’re left with is gritty, unpalatable pulp. Writer’s block happens to all authors from time to time, and usually comes at a time when the author has exhausted much of their original material.
Sure, writer’s block sucks, and can leave us wondering if we will ever finish that grand idea we set out to illuminate.
But it doesn’t have to be this way, and there are many methods for surpassing that heinous wall and getting back on course to completing your magnum opus.
It doesn’t matter if you’re writing contemporary realistic fiction, historical fiction, manga or a mind-bending, genre-bending tour de force – follow these four simple methods for defeating the writer’s worst enemy in writer’s block:
- Write about something different for a while
Sometimes the cure for writer’s block is untangling your thought process. One of the main causes of writer’s block is when the author has been so focused and working so hard on their piece that their thoughts become convoluted and they can’t break through the confusion.
So, why not try writing yourself out of the convolution for a while? One great way to do this is to keep a journal, simply writing whatever comes to mind, regardless of how embarrassing it is.
After all, who’s going to see it? And you’re just putting your thoughts down on the page, getting all that mumbo jumbo out in the process!
You can always burn it if you’re scared someone will see it.
- Talk to a friend
You’re a writer, right? Then there’s a good chance you probably have at least one creative confidant that you can discuss your block with in the hopes of seeing past it.
It doesn’t mean they are taking over your piece, and many of history’s great writers have openly admitted to seeking help from friends in the pursuit of completing something that is staring down the barrel of production hell.
If you don’t want to actually tell your friend about the blockage, simply imagine that you are – you may find that by imagining you are describing the work to someone that it opens up your creative process.
- Walk it off
Acute writers’ block cannot be defeated by sitting around, wallowing in your disdain. You will only find yourself frustrated and disenchanted. Instead, why not put on your gym shoes and go for a good stroll?
Walking is one of the ultimate ways to clear your thoughts and put things into a better perspective. Plus, you can walk down to some really beautiful, inspirational places, as well as see things in daily life that you wouldn’t if you were otherwise holed-up inside.
Go for a walk: you may just find those ideas, lines, even new themes come flowing to you…
- Give it a rest!
Hey, it took James Joyce seven years to write Ulysses, and writer’s block can be often hard to surpass, even with the above suggestions. So, why not consider giving the writing a miss for the afternoon?
Unless you’re on a contract with some major publisher, and your work is due tomorrow, you probably have the time to sleep on the writer’s block so that you don’t end up writing something you are completely unhappy with.
A little rest refreshes the senses and the novels’s creative process – it could be exactly what you need to get that masterpiece back on the right track.