What is Writers Block?
It’s a blimmin’ headache that’s what!
Ok, so what is it really?
It’s basically losing the ability to continue with a creative project. You just can not seem to come up with the very next word or phrase. You’ve hit a brick wall.
Sometimes it can be unable to come up with a brand new idea for something or to finish a current writing project.
Here is an official definition of writers block.
Who gets Writers block?
Not just authors.
It can be screenwriters, songwriters, copywriters also.
Basically anybody who writes can get writer’s block. That can also be a journalist, poet, speech writer etc.
Is Writer’s Block normal?
Yes. Very normal.
Most writers at some point in their lives/careers will experience a form of writers block.
I remember year ago when I was heavily into songwriting I just could not write one more single word.
I felt like all my songs were starting to sound the same. It was like I had lost all my vocab and couldn’t put one word in front of the other.
I also remember when I went to a different music studio where the pressure was on to write with another songwriter, the producer came up with an awesome beat etc. and I for the life of me couldn’t think of a word! Talk about embarrassing. So trust me, it happens to everybody at the most inconvenient of times!
Why do we get Writers block?
Sometimes I think it is our brain going stale.
I was writing songs that all sounded the same. I became bored of my own songs. The stories seemed the same and it was like I didn’t know any different words to explain a feeling.
I believe because I hadn’t done anything different with my day for a long time.
I’ve always said, whether it’s with my songwriting or writing books, the more I go travelling or do and see different things, the more creative I get.
I really noticed it when I came up with my Bucket List.
I literally became so creative, ideas were pouring out of me!
So, think about your daily and weekly routine, is it constantly the same?
Do you always go for a walk or run in the same place? Eat the same food, visit the same places? This could contribute to writers block as I feel like our brains and bodies have gone to sleep. We need shaking up!
When do we get Writers block?
Normally at the most inconvenient time in my experience!
Authors may get writers block at the start of a project, the start of a writing session or when they are needing to create things like plot twists.
A deadline can make things worse.
It seems to be at the beginning of something which can mean sometime writers never finish their books or songwriters never finish their songs.
How long does Writer’s block last?
It really can vary.
Luckily, (because of the techniques I will share) I don’t really get writers block anymore.
But it has lasted quite a while in the past. Some authors may never get over it with certain projects while some writers may train themselves in how to overcome writers block.
How to get over Writers block
So that’s what you’re here for right?
Once you put these techniques in place, you feel relieved.
- Shake up your routine – Yes. vary what time you get up, go to bed, what you eat, what you watch, read etc. Go for a walk to a different place, watch a different kind of YouTube video. This is to stimulate your brain. I promise you it works. It’s like you start to download new words, images and ideas. Remember what I said about when I went travelling, that’s where I got most of my ideas! When my co-author and I went travelling through Russia, Mongolia and China, I came up with the solution to dilemma we had been having for our Shona Jackson Series book called Meet Me At 10. It was a lightbulb moment.
2. When you finish a writing session, don’t finish the sentence- Sounds a bit weird right? But when you do start your writing session, you will start in a flow and get an easy win right away so your creative juices will get flowing immediately.
3. Brainstorm your way out of it – If you hit a block say at a plot twist. On a separate sheet of paper write down the word ‘options’ for your plot twist, then just brainstorm without editing. Start off with the absolute crazy and just keep exploring until you hit on something and you will.
4. Plan, Plan, Plan – This for me is one of the main reasons why I (we) don’t suffer that much with writers block. We are plotters which means we make sure we can see every single scene right in front of us with the dialogue as well. Since we did this technique, it just becomes about the writing rather than the thinking about writing.
I got this technique from Oscar Winning Screenwriter Dustin Lance Black who wrote Milk.
5. Start in the middle – If you’re wondering what to write at the beginning, don’t start at the beginning. Does that make sense? Probably not.
For instance, you want to set the scene in your cozy romance. How do you start?
Well, you can picture Roger the milkman saying hello to Majorie as he gets out of his milk float. But hmmm how do you start the scene? Well, right there!
“Hi ya Majorie! How are we this fine morning?’ Roger said as he climbed out of his old milkfloat.
“Morning Roger, love!” Majorie replied, waving enthusiastically.
You see? I didn’t start at the beginning of a scene. I could imaging what needed to happen and got straight into the ‘doing’ part of the scene rather than thinking ‘What’s the weather? What do the houses look like? What is Roger wearing?’
Even though this scene is completely made up, I feel like it has momentum. What will Roger do next? Is he worried? Is he happy etc.?
So, in short, don’t start at the beginning, start in the middle.
Can you prevent writer’s block?
I think you can at least give yourself a fighting chance.
We prefer the method of planning out our novels into index cards right down to the dialogue so that when it comes to writing, in a sense, the book is already ‘written’.
Here are some resources to help you with your Writer’s Block:
The Writer’s Block: 786 Ideas To Jump-start Your Imagination!
Click here to buy on Amazon.
A Notebook for Brainstormers: Brainstorming notebook for people with BIG ideas!
Click HERE to buy on Amazon
See you in the next one…
Vicky & Claire x
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