In the earlier blog post that I did on ‘writer’s block,’ I explained that it doesn’t exist. And it doesn’t. Go ahead and go back to the blog post. This will be here when you are done.
In this post, I will give some was that I have gotten out of the feeling of ‘writer’s block’ or what I like to call a creative slowdown. Be warned though, these are kinda like trying to get rid of hiccups. They don’t all work when you want them to.
The first strategy that I usually do is that I keep in mind that ‘writer’s block’ is a phobia and doesn’t actually exist. It is best to keep positive, and it has been shown that positive thinking works overcoming a wide range of problems. I keep that in mind when I feel a slowdown. It helps when I feel the pressure and the stress of having deadlines and a long list of projects that may make me feel overwhelmed. It is a hard thing to do as the media and the like portraying the author as a tortured soul that wears fedora’s and suffers from a creative slowdown.
Brainstorming is the second strategy. I don’t suffer from the lack of ideas, as I have dozen’s of manuscript titles all wanting to be the next one on the list. But I usually do feel a creative slowdown when I run into a problem with the current work in progress.
My current project I have going on is the middle-grade sci-fi that I am writing with my son. I have finished the rough drafts of book two and three. At the end of book two, I felt like the ending blew. It did a read through, and an edit and the ending is limp, lackluster and just plain wrong. This killed the last few hours of my writing session. It knocked me down. Then I started to brainstorm and to think about the ending and on ways that I could fix it. I now have a plan on how. I just need to do it.
The third strategy is what I do when I am in the middle of a first draft. I am working along, and then I realize that a scene sucks. It happens. I reread a paragraph and wonder what type of narcotics that I am on. This can stop me. I will go back to fix one word, then one line, then a full page. Then I have been working and reworking the same stuff for months before I give up and say that I have ‘writer’s block.’ All cause I can’t get past that point to create new work.
The best strategy is not to. When I feel like your work isn’t up to any sort of good standards, lower them. Drop them to the floor. Get past the point and keep going. If I am worried about losing that lousy section, use the highlight tool in my your word processor and make a note about the part, then keep going. Once I get rolling again, I raise my standards back up until I have issues again. The key is to get it down on the page.
The fourth is when I sit down at my writing station, and I pull out my ‘outline,’ and then nothing happens. I can’t get going. Nothing is working. I am thinking about other things. Like the lawn needs to be mowed, or that I will just watch one youtube video. Just one.
That is a major problem. It is the easy distractions of the mind. They take as many forms as there are stars in the sky. The best way to combat this one is routine. Get a place to write. Something comfortable and my own. Preferbly away from distractions. Then set upo time to write. Gwt into the routine that I write and most times, I will.
If that doesn’t work, then I must go to the fifth strategy, get out of the house. Maybe I need a change in your environment. I go to a coffee shop or a bar. A library is good too. Get out and write elsewhere. It can pull me out of my slump.
The sixth way, is to know what I am planning on writing. It doesn’t mean that I have to have an outline. Just a couple notes on what I was going to do may help. Some writers intentionally don’t finish the scene that they were working on so that all they have to do is to read what the had of the last scene and then it’ll flow. This way doesn’t always work for me.
The seventh way that I have is that I will challenge myself to write a low number of words. Like 250. Then I find that when I get 250, either I am done for the day and I move onto the next strategy or I find that I have pumped out a thousand words and I am not stopping.
The eighth way is that after I have attempted a couple ways to stop the creative slowdown, I go and read a book. I pick it up the next day. During the rest of the day, I will think about what I have in the story and see if my brain will come up with anything. It does. usually when I am trying to sleep.
I hope that this helps.
Until next time.