Getting rid of writer’s block
Everybody, at one time or another has suffered from writers’ block. Maybe it was back in your ninth grade English class, or perhaps when you were working on you collage term paper. I didn’t have any problems with writers’ block at all… I thought I was the exception, until I started working on my ninth book. One evening I was typing away, and all at once it hit me… I was like a deer staring into headlights.
Every writer will, at times, have trouble thinking of what to write next. There are many things that can cause writers block… pressure, fear, or even lack of inspiration. My problem was I just lost interest in what I was writing, and I needed a fresh start. Since that time, I have discovered several things that keeps my mind fresh and keeps me on that creative path. Let me share them with you.
1) Keep your original manuscripts.
Whenever I stumble across an old rough draft of mine, I just want to change everything about it. I have learned over the years that the best way to get your mind rolling in the right direction again is to exercise it. When I read over these old, otherwise worthless manuscripts, it restarts my thinking process, and refreshes my mind.
2) Make use of your personal library.
One of my passions is writing short mystery novels. When I get to a point where I seem to be stuck in thought, I found that if I read a chapter or so from some other writers’ mystery novel, it gets my mind moving again.
3) Go for a walk.
Every morning, rain or shine (with the exception of the Lord’s day), I go for a nice long walk. This is a wonderful way for you to get your head in the right place. I strongly recommend you stop and smell the roses along the way. Try NOT to think about writing. If you think about writing, you are just carrying your burden along with you. Try to think of anything by writing. You will be surprised at how well it works!
4) Eliminate all of your distractions.
This was a huge problem for me. I had retired from the Navy after twenty-two years, and now I was a stay-at-home dad. My biggest distraction was my two four your old sons, who needed me every second of the day. As I am sure many of you know, small children just need you. They want to play with you, or go outside with you. Any decent parent would try to spend as much time as they could with the kids, and try to write around them. The best way I found to deal with this problem was to write in the evening, when the kids were in bed. A glass of wine and a scented candle can help you to relax, and put you in the mood to write.
5) Get your blood flowing.
We all know that we need to exercise each day to keep ourselves fit anyway, so why not schedule an exercise break during your writing time? This will keep you from getting bored and staring out the window for long periods. It doesn’t have to be a big ordeal, either. You can just run a couple quick laps around the park, or swim a few laps at the pool. I do recommend that you do something away from where you are writing. If you try an aerobics video or a home workout routine, you will miss the benefit of a change in atmosphere.
6) Coffee and music to set the mood.
Sitting there staring at a computer screen for hours at a time can be brutal. The is nothing like a nice cup of coffee and a bit of Mozart to get you back into the creative way of things. But once again, try to give your mind a break and think about something else for a while.
7) Call or visit with a friend.
Here is nothing that can take your mind off of writing like a visit with an old friend. By the time you have discussed all the kids and the past summer vacations, you will be ready to put your nose back to that writing grindstone.
The possibilities of things to get your mind going is endless. Usually all you have to do is create momentum and change places for a bit, and soon you will be back on track and writing again!