Only a little more than a week left in the Nanowrimo challenge. If you are participating, you are almost there! You got this! I am not participating myself. I started my first job a few weeks ago and I haven't been able to balance this full time job with my writing projects yet. I am doing some editing work and writing on different projects, but not on one big project like the other Nanowrimo participants. But no matter if you are participating in Nanowrimo, or if your current wip is on hold, as writers we probably have the following in common...
As a writer, it's completely normal to experience a writer's block once in a while. Our brain can't be awesome and creative all the time. I have suffered a writer's block more than once. Sometimes I even feel more blocked than inspired. That's part of the writing life. However, in these 10 years I have been writing (as a hobby), I have found some ways to conquer this block. These tips don't work every time, but they are worth trying!
When you are experiencing a writer's block, often it's best to step away from your work. Make some room for other thoughts. These other thoughts can get you back to your writing in unexpected ways. What can you do to get your inspiration back but to leave your work in progress (wip) alone in the mean time?
Sometimes it's time to write, sometimes it's time to learn. And how to you learn? By reading! You are studying other writers' work while reading. You can learn a lot from reading books in the same genre as your current wip. Also reading books about writing, or actually reading almost anything can help you shape your own style and find new inspiration.
2. Write something else.
Write something else. Work on another idea of yours. Or look for a writing challenge, but don't challenge yourself to hard. You can't risk to lose your motivation.
Here are some fun challenges you can check out!
- The 30-day Writing Challenge: An Alternative To Nanowrimo For Writers Who Fear Commitment
- 9 Writing Challenges to Boost Your Creativity
3. Follow authors that inspire you on social media.
Adrienne Young is one of my favorite writers and I have been following her on Instagram for a couple of years now. She shares her writing experiences in her stories, and also tells about what inspires her or when she feels blocked to write. Her honesty and her achievements inspire me so much. They encourage me to follow my own dreams.
Take a look at Adrienne Young's instagram @adrienneyoungbooks HERE.
Other (aspiring) writers I love following are (click on their names to go to their instagram account):
- Ellie Ann Burke (@ellieburkebooks)
- Kristin Dwyer (@kristindwyer)
- Shea Ernshaw (@sheaernshaw)
4. Go on a long walk on your own.
Preferable in a quiet environment. Put some music in your ears (or a playlist you made for you current wip, but we'll get to that) in your ears and let your thoughts wander. I almost always find inspiration during lonely walks.
Sometimes you really don't want to step away from your work. There are a few things that don't demand active writing, but still makes you feel productive.
5. Create a playlist
I created a playlist for my current wip. I put it on when I am writing or when I am looking for inspiration.
Find a quiet space. Or go for a walk. Surrender to the music. Do not decide in advance which scene you want to write. Listen to the music and try to connect with your characters. Let the music lead you to a moment in your story. You don't have to write a scene sentence by sentence. You can also try to experience the emotional arc of your character. Or to empathize emotionally with a situation faced by a character.
These are a few songs in my playlist. 'HLvdK' is an abbreviation of my title.
6. Create Pinterest boards
Looking for pictures to match the images in your head, can really help you visualizing and describing your scenes.
I have a new story in my head. It is just the very beginning of an idea. But I already started making a Pinterest board and it has given me so much inspiration. Instead of looking for pictures that matched the world in my head, the pictures determined how my world would look like. It's an unusual way of working, but it works so well and that's all that counts!
Tip: if you could find a picture of a person that really matches one of your characters, it really helps to keep the description of your character's appearance consistent throughout the story.
7. Look for a writing buddy / critique partner.
Talking about your work can give you fresh ideas or discover problems or inconsistencies in your plot you didn't see before.
You don't know anyone in your near surroundings who writes? Find the hashtag #findmywritingcommunity, created by Adrienne Young and Kristin Dwyer. With this hashtag (aspiring) writers share who they are, what they are working on and whether they are looking for a critique partner/bèta readers/...
When you want to feel productive on your story, but don't have any inspiration to write you can also do following things:
8. Brainstorm about a title
Coming up with a title can be so hard! It's always one of the hardest tasks in my opinion. You need to summarize your whole story in just a few words. But it has to be done. Finally finding a good (working) title makes you feel so satisfied! You will feel like you accomplished a huge task with only writing a few words!
9. Draw a map
(even when you don't want one in your book.) Drawing a map can give you insights about the world your characters are living in, about the journey they undertake...
10. write a synopsis.
It doesn"t have to be a good one. Figuring out all the details and sub plots can be a daunting task and it often distracts you from the big, important lines of your story. But summarizing your story for yourself can make you focus on the big picture of your story again.
I hope these tips help you getting rid of your writer's block (and of course I hope you don't need these tips at all)!
All the love,