As you may be aware of I am in the process of writing my first novel and through the process I have learned a lot about the writing process. One of the things that I have learned is how to deal with the infamous writer’s block.
Have you ever experienced times where you are sitting in front of a blank page or blank screen and absolutely nothing comes to mind?
I’ve been there as both a blogger and a novelist. I have a few tips to share with you that you can use the next time that you are struggling with the blank screen.
Beat the Blank Screen
Just start writing
This may seem like silly advice especially for the person who feels that their mind is a blank. Believe me, I know the feeling of having nothing at all to write.
As a blogger I’ve sat in front of a blank screen with no ideas of where to begin and I’ve been there many times lately with my novel. I may have an entire scene in my mind but I don’t know how to begin it. In many ways I’ve found that to be even more difficult than not being able to start a post.
One thing that I’ve learned from the “just start writing” idea is that just writing gets the creative juices flowing. Even if what I write ends up being the lamest thing ever written (and seriously, what are the chances of that?) I can always delete it and start over. But most times I don’t end up deleting to start over. Even if I do end up deleting some of it there is usually a good bit of it that is plenty usable.
I may end up writing something that goes in a completely different direction than I had planned. Sometimes that leads me to some really good ideas – and I would have never gotten those ideas if I hadn’t started writing!
If you have already started something and you get stuck (you have a partial blank screen) sometimes walking away from the screen is the best thing that you can do.
It helps to clear the mind and often times you find the answers that you were looking for as you are doing something else completely. Even though you aren’t thinking about it directly your subconscious mind is still working on it. You may just get a light bulb moment while going for a walk or sitting in the sun.
A new perspective can do wonders! A frustrated mind is very limiting.
Look over old work
In the case of my novel I go over older chapters every now and again and I become inspired with new ideas. Perhaps I find something that I left hanging and needs answers or I see something that I had forgotten about completely that gives me a whole new idea for what I’m writing at the moment.
With blogging we can look over old posts for new ideas. Often we can find that as we read something we wrote a year ago we have gained all kinds of new knowledge that we can write an update or part two. Or we can scroll through the comments for post ideas. Comments often have questions or new ideas that we hadn’t thought of.
Do you run into writer’s block? What helps you out?
To Your Success,