Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Surefire Methods to Beat Writer's Block

Every Wednesday, YA Highway asks their readership a simple question to answer on your blog. Once you answer, you link your blog in the comments for other readers to hop on board. This is Road Trip Wednesday.

Today's Topic: How do you beat writer's block?

Sometimes I think the ladies at YA Highway read my mind. I'm beginning to burn out from my frantic writing pace for Camp NaNoWriMo* and the other night I started five separate scenes before I found one that I could actually write. I can feel the writer's block creeping upon me.

Here are three things I do to trick writer's block into retreating.

Free Write. I open up Write or Die and set the timer for at least fifteen minutes. During the free write I examine why I'm blocked, what directions the story can potential go to, and use the word "cheese" or "blah."** Fifteen minutes is usually long enough to clear out whatever is trapped.

Exercise. If the free writing doesn't work, and I'm not in some crazy writer attire, I'll step away and go for a walk. Usually to Dunkin Donuts because what's better for writing than moar caffeine? To be honest, even when I'm not in writer's block, I think about story and plot when I'm exercising***.

Do Something Else. When I talked about writer burnout previously, I said that one important thing to do is to give your brain a break. For me this involves a lot of bad TV and crochet projects.

Your turn, Lurkdom. Do you have any awesome tips to beat writer's block?

* Yeah, that completely laid back attitude I had here? Non-existent. I want to win dammit.
** "Cheese" and "blah" get used a lot.
*** This is only when I'm not about to pass out from exertion. An athlete I am not.

___ hit of the day: Nowhere by Murderdolls


  1. Alicia--I crochet too!! I think you are my twin.

  2. I love brainstorming with a friend who knows the story, that almost always works for me. When it doesn't I try one of the methods listed above or take a shower. Something about the shower always sparks ideas. Odd, I know. ;)

  3. Bad TV FTW. PS: I had never heard of Write or Die and it looks awesome! Thanks!

  4. I'm totally jealous that you get to go to Dunkin Donuts on your walks.
    I love bad TV. I think it is fun to watch TV from a writer's perspective.

  5. Ummm...I think you are me and Pam's long lost triplet. Our answers are pretty much identical :D

  6. I like your idea of starting different scenes until you find one that flows for you. I sometimes write out of order and it sometimes works as a jumpstart for the scenes I skipped.

  7. I'm sure this is the lazy answer, nothing. I go watch tv, play a game, pick up a new book. Eventually the not writing will bug the heck out of my imagination and then scenes will just start screaming in my ear. Writer's block happens for me if I'm pressuring myself or forcing it so it's just as well to take the break.

  8. I'm definitely on-board with your DO SOMETHING ELSE idea. I usually get the best ideas when I'm doing things that aren't at all writing-related. Like, brushing my teeth, for instance. :)

  9. AGREED! I know I focused my post on exercise, but it does help for me to do something else too. I need to try Write or Die. Must, must, must!

  10. Write or die and taking a break are what I typically use. If the first doesn't work, the second will :)

  11. It works for me to have a few different WIP going on at the same time, so when I get stuck I put away the writing pad for that WIP and get out a different one. And if that doesn't work, then I bring out my 'blogging pad' and write some ideas for a new blog post.


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