There isn’t a writer out there who can truly claim that they’ve never suffer from the dreaded writer’s block. We all have moments where the words just won’t come. The stress in our life, the deadline that’s looming, winter blues. Whatever the reason, we freeze up when we look at that blank document. Terror fills us. Suddenly, horrible thoughts start to bombard our bodies and minds. I’m a hack. I should hang up my pen. I can’t write my way out of a paper bag.
I recently suffered from this and I know I’ll suffer again sometime in the future. It’s the life of a writer. We truly are a bunch of sadomasochists, torturing ourselves over and over. The alternative is to, well, not write. I don’t’ know about you, but that’s no alternative. So, I’ve come up with some tips to drag myself out of that rut. No, these aren’t foolproof and there isn’t a guarantee on the box. But, I have found them to be effective from time to time.
1. An hour a day. If you work a full time job and the only time you have to write is at lunch or when the kids go to bed, then this is harder for you. Still, make yourself sit down and write. If the WIP isn’t working out—and it probably isn’t since we’re talking about writer’s block, lol—then switch to another project. Browse your mind and work up a new idea for a future book. Churn out some poetry. Write in your journal. Whatever, the key is to keep the creative juices flowing. 500 words or so, set a minimum for yourself. For some, that’s all it takes to break through that wall and get that WIP completed.
2. Read a good book. I do this all the time and I swear it helps keep me motivated. Whenever I’m feeling tied in knots, my mind is just a blank slate and there’s no chalk to be found, I pick up a book by one of my favorite authors and step away from the computer. I give myself over to their world for a little while. Even if it’s just for a few hours it refreshes me and I feel like I can dive into the annoying WIP again.
3. Exercise. When I’m on the treadmill or elliptical my mind tends to stray to the story I’m currently working on. There’s something about working up a sweat that helps clear my mind. It doesn’t always work, but quite often I’ll find myself mentally working on that next scene, the one that wouldn’t come before. Plus, you’ve burned off some of that damn chocolate. LOL
4. Grab a buddy. The other day I was sitting at the computer and trying to think of how I wanted the scene to go in the story I’m currently in the middle of writing. The problem? I kept waffling back and forth between two ideas. I wasn’t sure which to go with, and it was frustrating me because I NEED THIS STORY DONE YESTERDAY! Then a writer friend sent me a few chapters of the story he’s working on, seeking my opinion, and ta-da! Instant clarity! I don’t know why this works exactly. The competition maybe? Or is it simply that connection? Writers collaborating, chatting over ideas and getting the wheels turning. It’s sort of like exercising with a friend, I think. While you might slack off through the hard part if you were alone, having that friend there makes you want to ‘keep up’ as it were.
5. Take a walk down memory lane. One of the things that happens whenever I get blocked is I start to think really negative things about my own work. I start wondering why I ever got published to start with. Who do I think I am? Me, a writer? Yeah right! To keep those horrible thoughts from destroying my muse entirely, I go to my ‘good feedback’ folder. This is where I keep all the acceptance letters, good reviews, positive reader feedback, etc. I carefully sift through those various items and build my self-esteem back up, one small brick at a time. Soon, the wall is sturdy again and I can open that document and make another attempt at creating.
So, what’s your MO for murdering writer’s block? Do you have something specific that works for you? A method that helps keep you motivated? Tell the rest of us! Please!
Also, if you leave me a comment you’re entered to win a copy of my new ebook, Reckless Exposure, a m/f/m erotic romance.
Where in time is Trey? This month, the time-strider finds himself in contemporary Manhattan. His targets are fashion photographer Rand Miller and model Lucy Flemming.
Innocent, lovely, and trusting, Lucy gives herself to Rand in every way possible. She is more than his model. She is his muse.
But will Rand be more than her lover? Or will the secrets he left buried in his past keep him from loving Lucy as she deserves to be loved?
When Rand realizes Lucy must move out of not only his apartment but also his life, he decides to give her the going away party of a lifetime. The list of party goodies includes massage oil, margaritas, and their mysterious neighbor Trey.
But Trey has a mission to fulfill. This cannot be Lucy and Rand's last night together. Trey must turn this ending into a new beginning. For all of them.
Anne Rainey grew up in a small town in central Ohio the only girl with three rowdy, older brothers. When she wasn’t playing tackle football with them she could be found tucked away in her mother’s book room getting lost in mysterious worlds created by authors such as Martha Grimes and Andrew M. Greeley. She’s had a variety of odd jobs including Chiropractic Assistant, Frame Stylist, Restaurant Hostess, and Nail Technician. Anne now lives with her fabulous husband, two gorgeous teenage daughters, two ornery dogs and three snooty cats. When she’s not dressing, feeding, cleaning or spending time with them, she can be found at the computer writing stories hot enough to make your toes curl! Visit her at: www.annerainey.com