Four Ways to Survive Writer’s Block

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Writer’s block. Next to whiskey, it may be the second-in-command demon of writers.

All writers hit it sometime and you will too. Every day can’t be the best day and sometimes those days turn to weeks. Hopefully not into months! To get through writer’s block you can either wait it out or you can beat it.

This article wants to help you beat it! Here are some weapons you can use:

Write Terribly

If you think you shouldn’t write because you can’t seem to write anything good—write terribly until you get to where you want to go. I fall prey to this one most often. You may be frustrated with what you’re creating because it’s not falling onto the paper as eloquently or intelligently as you want.

That’s going to happen—it’s part of the process. Not everything you create is going to be part of the Next Great Novel. But you have to fight through the bad times to get to the good. You’ll appreciate it when you get to the other side.

Plus, I always say that if you write at your worst, your worst gets better. Not sure if that’s true, but there you go.

Kickstart Your Muse

Maybe you just need a push in the right direction. Try out some writing exercises! Sit in a park and create stories about the people or things you see. Find a photograph and try to flesh out the scene it shows. Google ‘writing prompts,’ if you like that kind of thing.

You never know what might happen after trying out exercises like these. You may stumble upon the premise of your next big story!

Do It Differently

Variety is the spice of life. Take a look at the way you go about your writing and your day. Although it’s great (and possibly the best thing you can do for your writing) to have a set schedule for your craft, you may need to mix things up a bit to bring back your groove.

Take breaks in your writing if you can afford the time. Write for 10 or 15 minutes, take a 5-minute break, and repeat.

Get some exercise. I hate stretching, but maybe you should do it. Take walks. Do a lap. Your mind and body are connected and if you feed one, you feed the other.

Make it a Job

The main difference, besides income, between the amateur and professional writer is that one shows up to work every day and the other one doesn’t.

As mentioned above, one of the best things you can do for your writing is to pick a time to do it every day. If you write better in the morning—pick a time and write for X-amount of time every day. Try for at least five days a week.

The important thing is to keep this time and write through this time even when you haven writer’s block. Write something—anything. Inspiration is on its way.

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About Author

John Paul Schmidt is a former news journalist. Now he's a freelancer by day and bartender by night while he works on his novel.

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