Working through the middle part of my WIP has been like slogging through a constant state of writer’s block. I’m still on my tight deadlines, though, and don’t have time to cast my hand over my brow and bemoan my muse (which is honestly the funnest part of catching a cause of The Block).
As a result, I’ve been resorting to some strategies to keep my story moving forward, despite my muse’s best efforts to pull it to a grinding halt.
When the inspiration stalls and enthusiasm lags, I find it helpful to…
Dance It Out
You think I am joking. I am not. Put some tunes on (preferably something from your writing playlist) and get dancing. You might want to do a bit of cha-cha, you might want to freestyle it. However you choose to groove, it will get the blood flowing and the ideas churning.
Take a Shower
Step back from the computer and into your shower. Let your mind roll over whatever scenes you’re working on, and you’ll be surprised what solutions pop up. As soon as you’re out and dry (and clothed, I guess), sit at your computer/journal and write it out—otherwise you might forget it or lose the motivation.
BONUS: Enhance Shower Power by changing the water temperature in the last 30 seconds. If it’s a hot shower, make it as cold as you can stand, and vice versa. The change helps wake you up just a little extra and can be quite refreshing for both body and brain. (Read that again in a stereotypical calm woman-commercial-narrator voice. Then you will believe me.)
Give Yourself a Time Limit
Set a timer for 30 minutes and keep yourself typing that entire time. I do this almost on a daily basis, because otherwise my inward editor and plot worrier stops me every other line. Knowing that I only have to go for a set time (and the pressure of having to write in that time) is often enough to push me past my block.
For those of you who need extreme intervention, I’d like to introduce you to my good friend Write or Die. It will definitely keep your fingers on the keys. Trust me.
Some scenes need to be handwritten. I’m saying this, and I really hate writing anything lengthy by hand. But sometimes a scene that won’t work on the computer just needs to be written out. I find this is especially true with argument scenes.
Go On a Walk
Similar to the dancing suggestion, this is a great way to get you moving. Put your playlist on your iPod and get outside. Bring a small journal along, just in case you strike gold on your way. And if there just happens to be a coffee shop or pub at the end of your walk, well… you earned it.
What do you think when you have a case of writer’s block?