Number one enemy to all writers? Writer’s block. Trying to work through a creative dry spell can put a strain on you as well as the work you produce. There’s nothing as frustrating as wanting to create and not being able to. Here’s a few of my favorite tips to get you back into your productive flow.
Create a writing routine for yourself.
We are all guilty of using one of the worst excuses of all time: “I haven’t had time to write.” There’s never going to be free time for us to finally want to create. We have to make time. The best way to get yourself into a productive mindset is to create a routine for yourself. Pick a cozy spot, make yourself some tea, and sit down for some work. If you make writing a part of your daily routine, you’ll find that you do have time to write. You just have to do it.
Just get your ideas down. Perfection is a myth.
Writers are among the most critical beings I’ve ever encountered. We are always looking for a better word, a different way to phrase things, a more interesting plot twist. Here’s the thing: if you keep chasing perfection, you will never finish your project. Especially a rough draft.
Of course, your project can always be improved upon. That’s what editing is for. Get all the nitty-gritty down on paper: the grammar issues, the misspellings and the boring words. You can fix it all later.
Give yourself a road map.
Thinking about writing a book (or even a few pieces of work) is the monumental idea of “The Task.” How will I complete “The Task”? Will I ever finish it? Where do I even start? The easiest way I’ve found to break down a story outline is by using the Three-Act, Eight-Sequence structure.
Used in screenwriting, this outline helps you to mentally split your task into more manageable sections. You can find an entire blog post from The Every Day Novelist about the Three-Act, Eight-Sequence story structure here.
Find a calm environment where you can focus.
This goes along with the writing routine we want to establish. I don’t know about you, but I can’t focus on anything, much less writing, if I’ve got kids screaming, dogs barking, and laundry loads staring me in the face in their full unfolded glory. It will be enough to make you gouge your eyes out while simultaneously remembering every other thing on your to-do list.
Do yourself a favor and find a comfortable place to work. Maybe a desk in a quiet room or your favorite comfy chair. Some people like to work outdoors or in coffee shops. Your place may always fluctuate depending on your mood. Just find what works best for you at that given moment.
Set the mood for your piece with visuals and music.
One of my favorite ways to combat a lack of inspiration is to find it elsewhere. Part of what makes writing so hard is the fact that it truly is all in the writer’s head. We have to capture abstract ideas and make them a reality on the page.
I find inspiration through music and pictures. By making playlists that fit my story or creating mood boards of elements within the story, I can visualize what I want and find things to write about more easily. I always feel more excited about writing with a killer soundtrack in the background.
Do you have tips you use for breaking that writer's block? Let us know in the comments below or on social media!