I imagine many writers and artists of all types have dealt with at least one instance in which inspiration proved fickle. Writer’s block has been the bane of my existence for the 15+ years I’ve been writing as a hobby, and for my first blog post, I would like to share how I deal with writer’s block.
- See where your work takes you. When I was doing NaNoWriMo last year, I was supposed to be working on what will hopefully be my debut novel. However, when I sat down to write the novel, I knew exactly what I wanted to write, but it just wouldn’t come out the way I wanted it to come out, or I would draw a complete blank—either way, it was like pulling teeth. Instead, I went where inspiration took me, and I ended up writing pages and pages for a new story idea that had nothing to do with my novel. In my opinion, writing in general is still an accomplishment, because for me, inspiration is more likely to come back if I’m doing something creative instead of walking away from the computer or notebook in frustration.
- Seek inspiration from things around you. I bought The Sims 4 for NaNoWriMo inspiration, and I had some occurrences that inspired parts of other stories in my mind. There was more than one instance that inspired entire plotlines for short stories! I also watch video game walkthroughs on YouTube and read a lot if I’m dealing with a dry patch. Even if some of the scenes in your story don’t end up in the final draft (intentionally or otherwise), it’s better than having a staring contest with the computer. The computer always wins—I speak from experience.
- Organize your thoughts and think of “what ifs”. I’ve counted, and I have thirty story ideas rattling around in my head, and a lot of them take place in a universe that needs a lot of fleshing out. If I’m lacking inspiration, I try to work with world-building and how the characters would have to interact with that. Sometimes, that brings up scenarios that I can write about and fend off writer’s block. Also, there was one writing tip I saw on Pinterest that said, here I paraphrase, “Think about what can go wrong in this scene, and then write about it.” It could complicate the story a bit, but it gives you something to write, and could add to more inspiration.
- Walk away for a while. Sometimes looking at something with fresh eyes is the best thing to counter writer’s block, especially if you feel like you’ve fallen out of love with your story. Go and do something else, and maybe that will give you more ideas to write about. Keep a notepad on hand if you get ideas for your story, so you don’t forget them before you can get back to your computer.
Hopefully, this helps any fellow writers who are afflicted with writer’s block. Thank you for reading, and I hope to be back here soon!