Friday, May 26, 2017

Quiz Yourself on Overcoming Writer's Block

Image by Patrick Tomasso.
Struggling with writer’s block? 

Try answering these yes or no questions. 

  • Should you wait until inspiration strikes you to start writing? 
  • Should you turn on the television, music, and other distractions while writing? 
  • Should you waste time trying to write a perfect first draft? 
  • Should you check your e-mail or social media while writing?     
  • Should you scroll up a few pages and reread what you’ve already written for the twentieth time?  
  • Should you wail and moan and bang your head against a wall?               

What’s that you say? No to all of those questions?

Great! Then, it sounds like you already have a pretty solid understanding of the most common problems. (Though understanding these issues and actually avoiding them are two very different things!)

When writer’s block does come a’ knocking, here are some proactive steps you can take to tackle it head on.    

  • Set a daily word-count goal. 
  • Time yourself, and regularly see if you can beat your best times.  
  • Literally turn off your Internet, so you won’t accidentally find yourself surfing the web for the umpteenth time today. 
  • Find a quiet place to write.            

To write especially challenging scenes, you can always try some of these strategies too:    

  • Quickly sketch the scene or character to see if a visual image brings anything new to mind. 
  • Write about what wouldn’t happen in a scene to see if this unlocks new ideas.       
  • Consider the five basic senses: sight, smell, taste, touch, and feel.  
  • Trying imagining a scene from a different character or object’s perspective.     
  • Think about which types of writing are most appropriate for the particular scene (e.g., description, narration, and/or dialogue.)
  • Consider basing a scene or character off of a location or person you know in real life.  
  • Interrupt the scene with something unexpected such as a new character bursting into the news with related (or unrelated) news.     
  • Describe a specific object in the scene. 
  • Give the characters something to be do while they speak (e.g., brushing their teeth, picking at a scab, or staring at a computer screen).      

So what are you waiting for? Get to writing! 

Add your ideas for conquering writer’s block in the comments below.

And be sure to share this article with a friend.

No comments:

Post a Comment