Writer’s Block keeps me up at night. Then when I do fall asleep it’s always a nightmare … I’m lying on an operating table. The anesthesiologist has just injected the dose into my veins in preparation for my operation, but WAIT!!! It didn’t take and now the surgeon is slicing me open like a can of sardines and I can feel every move her small, sharp knife is making, only my body is paralyzed, including my mouth and I can’t speak … I can’t stop her and must lie there, enduring the pain of each deep cut.
Okay truth,writer’s block isn’t that bad but when you’re sitting there staring at your blank computer screen and the words just aren’t coming, at times it can feel like torture.
I used to get really down about this and allow my anxiety to get the best of me, but recently I put my foot down and decided to do something about it … to be exact I tried 11 different new things and for me, all of them work at different times.
1. Watch a movie starring one of your favourite actors.
I recently watched, The Wolf of Wall Street after a recent bout of writer’s block and watching Leonardo DiCaprio reminded me why I became a writer in the first place … human spirit and passion!! Leo has lots of it in this movie. Of course, I’m not advocating getting into money laundering, an expensive cocaine habit, or a sex addiction, but this movie will remind you that human beings have the capacity for deep passion and spirit, be it good or bad.
2. Read an old book.
Sometimes as writer’s we forget to read because we get so engrossed in trying to express our own stories, but sometimes it’s useful to step back from your own writing and read a classic by another great writer.
3. Get outside.
More often than not we writers find ourselves sitting inside a stuffy house, inside a cluttered room, and please don’t tell me your writing desk isn’t cluttered with papers … mine sure is. But getting outside, whether it’s just a walk in the park or a drive to the country, or even taking your laptop to a local coffee shop to try and write there. A change of scenery always helps me.
4. Review your credit card statement.
Now unless you’re Steven King or J.K. Rowling you probably carry a balance on your credit card and I find looking at it from time to time inspires me to write … in the hopes of selling something so that I can pay off my bills.
5. Make any day Halloween.
Dress up as one of the characters in your current novel/short story and go out in public and do something they would do. For example, if you’re writing a mystery about a wealthy art buyer, dress as he/she would and then head out to a local gallery and walk around. You never know where inspiration may hit.
6. Start a blog, if you haven’t already.
Blogs force you to write, even when you don’t want to.
7. If you’re stuck on a word or a sentence flow think to yourself …
How would Shakespeare have handled this? While you’re at it, read one of his plays.
8. Laugh out loud.
Get to your bathroom, look at yourself in the mirror and laugh out loud. Force the laugh at first and then be amazed at how easily and naturally you begin to laugh, to the point where it becomes uncontrollable. I find a good laugh always helps me to get centered again in my writing.
9. Have a Facebook page?
Ask your friends & fans what they think you should write about. You never know, you may just get a response or two.
10. Put on your Barbara Walters hat.
And interview an expert in your field, and then share it with your readers. So if you’re writing a medical romance contact your local hospital or clinic and ask if you can interview one of the doctors or nurses on staff. Then, share the interview with your readers and see if any of their feedback spurs inspiration.
11. Check your Smart phone for old “notes” I’m so guilty of this.
I write down thoughts and ideas in my Notes app on my I-phone all the time … then I forget about them. Maybe make it a weekly thing to do: check smart phone notes and see if you find anything good there you might have forgotten about