I find that I oft need help overcoming writer’s block and, to be honest, who doesn’t? But I have found these tricks to help get the creative cogs cranking. Let me know if you have any more to add!
1. Revisiting my end goals
If I’m hitting a dead end around the halfway or three-quarters mark (which is where it usually happens for me), it helps to ask “where does (insert main character’s name here) need to end up in the end?” Usually, I know exactly how the book will wrap up as the conclusion is one of the first, if not the first, thing I sort out. Reverse-engineering the plot can be extremely useful and, to be honest, I should use it more than I do. A nod to Intisar Khanani for suggesting this one.
2. Keep a Pinterest inspiration board
I recently discovered Pinterest and it has fast become one of my favorite means of supplying the writerly fuels. Not only is it another great place to connect with readers and people who share your interests, but a veritable gold mine of ideas. I have boards for all of my stories, including the works in progress, so that I can go and browse through the images I have collated for inspiration whenever I need them or just when I feel like it.
3. Take a walk
I often break through the writer’s block barrier while running or walking my dogs. This is particularly useful when I am mulling over action and fight scenes. Getting up and moving around helps blow off the extra energy and make me focus.
4. Go back to the source
Where did the story’s original idea come from? For me, I tend to have books, movies, and songs that are clearly associated with my particular stories, no matter how random the connections might seem. Returning to my core inspiration often helps renew that “special something” when writing.
5. Have a playlist
While I don’t listen to music while writing (I have the attention span of a gerbil and am easily distracted), I do like to listen to certain songs to “get in the mood.” Again, I usually associate certain songs with certain stories and listening to songs I associate with a story before working on it can be extremely helpful. For example, I have one WIP that takes place in an Ancient World setting and was greatly inspired by the movie Gladiator. Now whenever I listen to the movie soundtrack, I immediately think of that story.
Despite all these tricks, I find that writing itself is the only true cure for writer’s block. There are plenty of days when I have to force myself to write and will probably have to end up deleting or drastically revising what I have written, but the point is I have written. So if you’re facing writer’s block, go ahead and try these tricks, but if inspiration won’t come to you, you may just have to chase it down with a club and beat it into submission.