We already addressed three specific ways to get past writer’s block:
Sucking it up
Sucking it up while eating yummy food.
Now let’s address our Writing Rule #10 so we can list off four more helpful tips to accomplish the exact same goal…
There are ways to get around writer’s block.
If this sounds exactly like Thursday’s Writing Challenge, that’s because it is. There are still so many paths past writer’s block – and toward success – left to mention. So if writing what you’re writing really means something to you, don’t give up. There’s plenty of hope to be had.
Writer’s block itself isn’t fun to go through. Obviously. But some of the methods of getting around it can be quite delicious. Take a bite and see for yourself.
And don’t worry. We’re done with the tough love for now. That was yesterday’s solution. If none of them worked – even the chocolate – then it’s time to take a more scrumptious measure still.
When chocolate – or Twizzlers, or praline pecan ice cream, or pizza – and writing don't mesh the way you wanted it to, skip the writing and keep the food.
Sometimes the answer to writer’s block is to stop writing. Your brain might need a break.
Consider your creativity like a car: It’s an awesome asset to own, but it does have its limitations. It’s going to need stops for gasoline for one thing, and it will break down eventually if it isn’t taken care of… to say nothing of potential flat tires through no fault of your own.
None of that means you’re a bad driver. It’s just the nature of the beast.
The same thing applies to writer’s block and writing. You’re not a lazy bum if you genuinely need a break. You’re simply working with what you’ve got.
So go to the kitchen, sit down away from your computer, and eat something already. Consider this one literal food for thought.
It’s not always a matter of stimulating your mind either. Sometimes, you need to jog your memory.
Once again, this is in the literal sense, as in moving around and breathing fresh air.
Your body craves that kind of activity. It works best when it’s given regular stimulation. Ask any doctor, nutritionist, health specialist or scientist.
There’s a 99.9999999999999999999% chance or greater that they’re going to give you the same answer as I did above.
Unlike them though, I’m not trying to push you into a regular exercise regiment. My goal is far less healthy than that, since I want to get you back to your desk or the couch or your special comfy chair so you can sit still for hours on end and write some more.
It’s just that every now and then, the best way to do that is to go for a walk.
Fifteen minutes. Half an hour. An hour. It’s writer’s choice. If it’s too cold or too dark to go walking outside, go stroll around your entire local mall a few times.
Then, when you return home, try sitting back down and trying to write again. The writer’s block may very well be gone.
To quote Lumiere from Disney’s animated Beauty and the Beast, “Then again, maybe not.”
Can’t you just hear his voice in your head? It’s a bit comforting, isn’t it, since your manuscript certainly isn’t talking to you anymore.
It’s like it broke up with you.
Rest assured, it probably didn’t. You two crazy kids can likely still work out.
It needs a break is all, and not to go cheat on you or anything, but because it recognizes that you need a break: some downtime all to yourself.
Or with your friends. Or with Netflix. Possibly with more chocolate involved.
What I’m trying to say here is that you might need to set your story aside for a full day or maybe even the six weeks that I did a few years ago, painful though that was.
Feel free to hang out with another manuscript in the meantime. It doesn’t mean you’ve forgotten all about your original book-writing relationship.
It should come back to you by and by.
If all else fails – or any time before that point – you could always ask someone else for help.
Ask a writing buddy. Bounce your writer’s block off your dad or best friend or the colleague you just found out is an author-in-the-making too.
They don’t need to be intimately familiar with your narrative in order to help. All you’ve got to do is present your problem to them and listen as they rattle off potential solutions.
Now, don’t expect any of those potential solutions to be good ones. Again, chances are very high that they haven’t read your manuscript. So they don’t know what they’re talking about.
One last time… literally.
However, explaining how “that” idea wouldn’t work because of “this” backstory – or why attempt #2 just doesn’t jive with the conclusion you already see so clearly in your head – has a way of annoying you into figuring it out on your own.
At some point, your brain is going to get so frustrated explaining everything that it’s going to tell writer’s block to scram, if only to make the conversation end already. After it has, you can get back to what you really want to be doing…
Which is taking one step closer to publishing your very own book.