Monday, April 2, 2012

Beating Writer’s Block!

Confession: I have writers block. You know the kind where you sit down and want to write something- anything, but for the life of you, you can’t. This isn’t a regular occurrence, but boy it’s a really painful one. I wouldn’t wish writers block on my worst enemy!

Thankfully, there are ways to beat “the block.” It might not happen overnight, but “the block” can eventually be cured.

Here are my top ten tips!
1 – Listen to Something New- As many of you know I listen to music when I write. Even while writing blog posts I have my headphones in and music playing. In case you’re wondering, right now I’m listening to Hunting Fast Polka by Johann Strauss Jr. J Usually though, I listen to movie soundtracks or quiet classical music I’ve purchased on itunes. Sometimes, during writers block, I head over to itunes and scroll through the movie soundtracks and have a listen. Often I find just the right track for the particular scene.
2 – Write Somewhere Else – I do about half of my writing at my desk in the dining room and the other half sitting in my room, or in the recliner in the living room. Yet if I need somewhere new, I’ll change location. A new vista really does help!
3 – Have A Snack When I have writers block I tend to want chocolate, and lots of it!  But usually I try to go for something more healthy, such as fruit. Also, I like drinking tea, especially out of my fancy teacup, which looks like it belongs in one of my characters English manor houses. Also, getting up and doing something diverting can relieve the pressure on your mind and get your thoughts flowing again.
4 – Do Something Productive I’ve found that one of the best ways to beat writers block, is to take a break and do something productive. It can be something as simple as answering emails or cleaning out a cupboard. One of my favorites is doing a few loads of laundry. J
5 – Watch A Movie – While I’m doing the laundry, I’ll often pop in my current “inspiration movie.” Maybe it’s the BBC version of Bleak House or maybe it’s a documentary about Newport mansions in the Gilded Age. Either way, it really helps to recharge my batteries.
6 – Read or Re-read A Book – Reading some great writing by an author I love, is always a good way to beat writers block. For example, Susan May Warren’s Heiress is a favorite of mine or Jody Hedlund’s The Preacher’s Bride. Both theses authors style and techniques motivate and inspire me!
7 – Go Through Your Idea Notebook – I keep an idea notebook full of plot complications, great dialog lines, thought up while grocery shopping, etc. When I’m stuck, rereading that often gives me ideas.
8 – Talk It Out – This would probably have to be one of the ones I do most often. Thankfully, I have a very supportive family and friends who will read what I’ve written and give me honest feedback on it. They are also great sounding boards and help me brainstorm on plot twists.
9 – Exercise – I got this tip from the wonderful Julie Lessman, who says that whenever she’s stuck she runs on her treadmill and ideas start flowing. Now, I don’t have a treadmill, but I do have a bicycle, and I’m planning on trying this out soon, hopefully, with the same results!
10 – PrayAs Christian writers this should be our number one tool. Sometimes when I’ve prayed for ideas or inspiration they’ve popped into my head within the hour. We’re writing for His glory and He’s always there to give us the tools and help us along the way!
There you have it! My top ten ideas on how to cure writer’s block! Hope it helps!
Happy Writing!
Your Turn – What tools do you use to beat writers block? Are there any tips here you haven’t tried but would like to?

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