Top Writing Tips to Beat Writer’s Block
Problems with Writer’s Block?
Everyone is busy, especially at this time of year. Even so, try not to let your writing fall to the wayside. I say this because I’ve noticed that if I take a hiatus from writing, it’s harder to get back into the groove. Here are a few writing tips to help with writer’s block.
5 writing tips
- Change it Up
Having problems with writer’s block? The same practice not working for you? Change your routine. Instead of using Google Docs or Microsoft Word to type your story, try writing with a pen and paper. Sit somewhere with a view. You might be surprised at the results.
- Break it Down
Write scene by scene and line by line. If you write a small section of your actual story, that is a lot less intimidating than sitting down and expecting to finish your entire piece. Especially if, like me, the time you can write is late at night and you have to work the next day. Start by writing the introduction in one sit down, followed by the first scene, and so on.
- Stop Nitpicking
Keep writing. Don’t go back to edit, just keep typing or moving that pen. (Yes, some people still use pens.) Write in a continuous motion—forward. Don’t edit until you have something finished, no matter how rough the rough draft.
- Schedule Time to Write
Unfortunately, I can’t tell you a magic solution for finding the right time to write. Everyone always has one more thing to accomplish on their To-Do list, especially this time of year. If you wait for a better time in your life to write, that time may never come. Try to work writing into your schedule. If you have 15 minutes in the morning when you drink your coffee, can you fit in five for writing? Do you have time right before bed? At lunch? After your children and significant other are asleep? Use that time to schedule 5, 10, or 15 minutes of writing as often as is practical. For instance, I know that scheduling writing time more than once a week isn’t practical.
- Use your Local Library
Don’t forget about the library. We have a lot of resources available at your fingertips including books, eBooks, databases, free Wi-Fi, laptops you can check out to use and a lot more. If you want some more ideas about how to utilize the library, check out my older post called Your Library—the Write Place.
- Read & Listen to Music
Remember to read as well as listen to songs. It’s true I already mentioned the library, but reading merits a bullet point because it can bring inspiration. Read short stories or books that fit with the theme of the piece you want to write in order to get yourself in the mood. Likewise, playing quiet music in the background that fits in with the tone or time period of your story can also be galvanizing. Additionally, you can read books about the craft of writing that might help get you started.
Books that May Inspire…
- Writing Down the Bones by Natalie Goldberg
- Writing Magic: Creating Stories that Fly by Gail Carson Levine
- Writing & Selling Short Stories & Personal Essays: the Essential Guide to Getting your Work Published by Windy Lynn Harris
- Wired for Story: the Writer’s Guide to Using Brain Science to Hook Readers from the Very First Sentence by Lisa Cron
- Complete Handbook of Novel Writing: Everything you Need to Know about Creating & Selling your Work by the Writer’s Digest Editors
Short Story Contest
Now that you’ve jump-started your writing, enter our Short Story Contest! Click for a list of rules and directions for submitting your work. We can’t wait to read what you’ve written.