NCWA blog welcomes Carly Fierro!
Writer’s block occurs when no matter what you do, you can’t seem to make the words come.
Fortunately, writer’s block doesn’t have to mean the death of your career or even the death of your project. Check out these tips the next time you find yourself struggling.
1. Push Yourself (a Little)
Sometimes if you just stay at your desk and make yourself keep typing, you can actually break through writer’s block.
2. Take a Break
Walk around the block, play with your dog or balance your checkbook. When you return to your project, you’ll be able to view it with a fresh eye.
3. Switch Projects
If you feel you can’t possibly write one more sentence in the story you’re working on, switch to something different. Try writing a non-fiction article or an essay, or start a new short story or novel. You can return to your first project once the creative juices are flowing again.
4. Do Your Worst
Writers block is often the result of perfectionism. Let go of it! In fact, for the next few pages, try to write really bad prose, the kind that makes editors whimper in their sleep. The playfulness of writing as badly as you possibly can is often enough to break the block.
Sometimes a change of scenery is just what you need for creative writing. For example, instead of working on your desktop all day, why not take your laptop and go to a coffee house, a bookstore or a library?
6. Re-read Your Manuscript
Re-reading your manuscript can help you rediscover your enthusiasm for it. It may also give you some ideas about why you’re stuck. You may decide, for example, that your hero is terminally boring and that the story would work better if told from the villain’s point of view.
7. Talk to a Friend
Any friend will do in a pinch, but it’s even better if you have friends who write and can understand the agony of feeling blocked. Whether you use the phone time to discuss plot complications or just to have a nice, relaxing chat, you’ll feel better when it’s time to tackle your project again.
8. Make Small Commitments
Commit to writing for just five minutes. You can endure anything for five minutes. Even if you only write a few words during that time, a few words are better than a blank page.
9. Eliminate Distractions
Turn off the TV, bribe the kids to go to a movie and set up mosquito traps to catch pesky flying insects. The fewer distractions you have, the more easily the words will come.
10. Know When to Say When
If none of the above suggestions work, consider setting the project aside for a while. Who knows? You may find yourself compelled to work on it again at a later date.
Carly Fierro is an aspiring writer who currently works for a company that sells mosquito traps. In her spare time she loves writing about anything and everything. She loves that blogging allows her to share her writing with people all over the world. Visit Carly’s blog at: http://pongra.com/