Teacher:As a huge part of your grade, we'll be starting families. I'll be drawing names out of a hat and whoever gets together gets a baby and you will be in charge of taking care of it and finding out about the hardships of being parents.
Student:*raises hand* Does this mean it'll be a possibility that there'll be same sex couples?
Teacher:Of course there will definitely be same sex couples.
Make your story take a totally unexpected and ridiculous twist. It may not work as part of your actual plot, but a sudden plot twist such as a fire or an earthquake or even an alien invasion helps your mind use more creativity, helping your writing flow out more easily.
Write a couple of one-shots about pairings or topics that interest you. Let out all your ideas onto a one-shot to free all those ideas caught up in your mind.
Eat. Go out and find something eat, preferably sweet. It may sound like this has nothing to do with beating writer’s block, but we all know food works miracles.
Lay down, close your eyes, and imagine your story. Maybe listen to some soft music, and let your mind take over from then on, from the point in which you left of.
Use an online prompt generator to help give you ideas, inspire yourself on the prompts and perhaps give each a little twist. Use this one if you like.
Mash the keyboard. No, this is not a joke. Just let your fingers go and mash your fingers on the keyboard, let them loosen up. This may not directly help out with writer’s block, but it helps relieve the stress which builds up inside you when you just don’t know what to write.
Go outside, look for other places to sit in to write than just your desk. Going outside or simply changing your surroundings gives your mind a change of perspective, easily giving it also a change of perspective when it comes to your writing.
When you feel frustrated with yourself for not being to write, pull out a sheet of paper or a blank document and make a list of your accomplishments as a writer, such as “I wrote for 20 minutes everyday last week” or “My story got positive reviews on WattPad”. Whenever you feel bad about your writing, pull out this list and take a look at it. It’ll make you feel better about your writing and help you lighten up and let out that story.
Write. Simply write. Keep writing words and words that make no sense on to the document, don’t let yourself stop for at least 1 minute. Write the first things that come to mind and then read through it. Who knows, you might get good ideas from it.
The more stressed you are, the less likely you are to write. Therefore, if you’re feeling stressed, keep around a set of activities you can work on to feel more relaxed. Try crossword puzzles, listening to music or simply doodling on a sketchpad. Let yourself relax and then get to work.
Watch a movie. Movies loosen up your imagination and may give you new sources of inspiration. It can be any movie: sad, funny, romantic, scary. Any movie at all, watch it and let your writing go free.
Take a nap. If you’ve recently suffered from lack of sleep it is likely that this is one of the factors affecting your writing. Set your alarm clock for 30 minutes or even an hour, depending on the time you have, and just rest to wake up refreshed and active.
Jog, take a walk, do some chores. Physical excercise will help you reduce your stress levels.
Take a shower or a bath, let your mind fly away while you stand under the hot water. The more relaxed you are, the more likely your mind is to relax and think away plot details and character personalities.
Play in the jungle gym, with a ball, crawl around like a toddler or just sit and read a childrens book. Let your mind wander from life’s problems and just relax and feel free like you used to.
Switch your medium. If you normally type, take out an old notebook and start handwriting your story instead. If you normally handwrite, pull out a blank word document and continue your story. A change of feel for both your hand, your body, and your mind might just help you get those ideas flowing.
Set up a writing schedule. A strict one. Tell yourself you must follow it strictly each day. 30 minutes after finishing your homework you spend only for writing. For this time, ignore the writers block, just write what you can and let your words spill out. Eventually, your body and mind will get used to this and make it easier for you to write at a certain schedule.
Don’t criticize yourself. Don’t re-read an excerpt until it is time to edit it. We tend to get writer’s block because we feel our writing is not good enough, and we end up racking our minds for ways to make it better. Don’t, it’ll just make you more stressed and harder for you to write. Turn the critic brain off and just do as you like, editing comes later after all.
Set deadlines and keep them. Sometimes, putting pressure on your mind and encouraging yourself to finish a certain project before a deadline may push it to release the ideas you’ve been holding.
Write down a list of your anxieties and problems which you think may be causing your writers block. After each, write a way in which you can make this anxiety or problem go away. This will make you feel more relaxed once you know your problems have a solution, making you less stressed and more free to write.
Work on several projects at a time. Some writers find it better to work on two things at a time as there is more of a chance you’ll at least be able to write for one of your projects. Also, ideas from one of your projects may help influence ideas for the other.
Look up some writing excercises. Correct sentences, write from a basic prompt, or simply practice your cursive. Just get some words on the paper, cause eventually some of it is bound to be good writing or inspiration material.
Remember why you’re writing. Thinking back to why you started writing your story/fanfiction may help you remember that you’re doing this because it’s what you love to do, or a pairing that you love to ship. This will end up giving you a positive feeling about your writing and make you look at your writing with a more positive view, rather than a view branching from stress.
Take breaks every certain amount of time. Get writing what you can, even if ‘what you can’ is merely 2 sentences every 10 minutes. These breaks will give your brain some release and an opportunity to freshen up and get ready to go back to work.
Do some yoga poses. Try the dog, the warrior, or even some inverse positions. Stretch out your body to release the stress or tension of sitting on a desk chair all day.
Rant about your friend about how you can’t write. Make a draft email detailing how annoyed you are at your mind for not cooperating and either send it or keep it as a draft. Either way, this method will help you let go of all that frustration you’ve been keeping inside.
Get away from writing for a whole weekend, give yourself a whole 2 or 3 days free from writing to let your brain flowing with new ideas. If you have a new idea, jot it down in a notebook and put it away but do not under any circumstances sit down and write. This is your break, a chance to re-encounter your writing inspiration.
Punch something (preferably not a person). Grab a pillow, a stuffed animal or a backpack and just through punches at it like there’s no tomorrow. This will help you relieve your stress.
Know what you write. Go back and investigate a bit further on your topic, whether it be Johnlock or the conflict in DRC. Investigate and learn as much as you can about the personality of characters or the events happening in the republic. This will most likely bring more inspiration.
Make an outline. If you already had an outline, pull it out and make corrections. Add, erase, overlap, plan out your whole paper. It doesn’t matter if you change it along the way, the point is that now you’ll have a clearer idea of what you’re doing.
Sudden character death. I am encouraging you to pull a Moffat and suddenly kill off a character. You don’t have to keep it this way, but writing emotionally stressing scenes may let out emotions into your writing and maybe, if you’re a bit like Mark Gatiss, bring you pleasure over thinking about the readers pain.
Do some editing. Go back to the beginning of your work and start working on your editing process, even if you’re not even halfway through the story. Correct your mistakes and fix some loose ends. Looking back on your plot may bring new ideas for the continuation.
Kill off your lovelies. If there is a particular character or event you feel proud of, the most likely scenario is that you shouldn’t have it there. Kill it off, erase it, leave it like that or re-do it.
Accept that your writing is garbage. Of course it’s not, but keeping in this mindset will probably turn off your critical eye and simply let you write. There is no such thing as perfect writing (although J.K. Rowling and Tolkien closely approached that line).
Don’t go ahead of yourself. Don’t think forward to the big fight that’s coming once you finish this one particularly boring part, simply focus on the task at hand.
On the other side, jump forward. Work on the big event you’ve been waiting to write for ages and do it, then come back and fill in the gaps. This may contradict the former tip, but hey every writer is different so I encourage you to try both.
Stop worrying about being original. Stop worrying about your work being to similar to that of other writers. Who cares? Every story is based upon another in some way, every fantasy story is said to somehow connect to Lord of the Rings, every single story in the world is supposedly influenced by one of the many topics Shakespeare covered. Stop worrying about plagiarism or being too lame, just write and stop caring about other author’s work.
Put yourself in the shoes of the reader and come up with a list of questions they may ask, and answer them in your writing. Make sure your reader is left with no major doubts other than those you intended to leave hanging in the story.
Create a complex backstory to one of your minor characters. They may not matter much in the story itself, but writing a backstory and personality for a character which you may not have had many ideas about in the beginning will let you loosen up the creativity for other character writing.
Write headlines, chapter titles, small excerpts of poems or such to head every section of your book. Make them catchy and sticky, make them memorable. Once you do this, you will feel better about your writing and will be able to go back to work with a positive mindset.
Find your best time for writing. Some write early in the morning, other late at night. Find the time of the day in which you feel you write best in. Do this by spending a few days (preferably vacation or weekend days) trying to write at different times. Record how comfortable and inspired you feel at each, and finally determine which one works best for you.
Five minute more rule. If you’re tired of writing, tell yourself you’ll write only for five minutes more. Then, after the five minutes are over, say you’ll write for just five more. Before you know it, you’ll have a whole chapter in front of you!
Imagine a teacher in some school is reading it out loud to a class, how does it sound? Does it make sense? Think about how the rest of your plot would sound like when read out loud to a class, and make edits accordingly.
Read your own work out loud. Record yourself reading your work, and then listen to it. Listening to your own story and identifying the feelings it wakens within you makes you more enthusiastic over writing more of the story.
Have a friend or family member interview you. Pretend you’re now a published author, you are at the bestselling authors and some magazine wants a feature about you. Have them ask you questions about your writing and your inspiration, and you answer as best as you can. The pure thought of getting as far as to get an interview is already enough motivation for some, but for others being able to talk about their work may help them find their inspiration once more.
Prevent interruptions. If you’re on a laptop, hide your internet browser. Hang a poster outside your door which says ‘do not disturb’, hand your TV remote to your roommate or mom and tell them to hide it from you. A distraction-free environment makes it a better environment to focus on your writing.
Break your story into smaller parts. Divide it into sections, and write one bit each day. This way the work load will be diminished and you will feel under less pressure.
Reward yourself. Every time you finish a chapter or even a paragraph, give yourself a little reward. This may vary between a small piece of chocolate to 3 minutes stretching. I don’t recommend tumblr as a reward though, we all know it’s impossible to go on tumblr for just five minutes.
Lower the lighting of your screen. Some laptops have the feature to lower the light your screen lets out. Lower it as much as you can, so you’re not able to see what you type. This way you prevent endless edits to your work.
Read some stories or fanfictions. Reading other author’s work can help inspire yourself to write and get it published.
Also reading the praise other authors receive may be an encouragement, as you think that when you finish you’ll receive the same praise.
Talk to an imaginary friend. There’s no joking here, seriously. Forget about your readers, instead make up your own imaginary friend. This friend will be there to listen to you as long as you listen to them. It will be like creating a character you truly interact with. This will unleash your creativity.
Curse like a sailor. Just let out all your frustration with cussing. Make sure you’re alone, though, it’s not highly attractive when in a large crowd.
Stop writing for your readers. Write for yourself. Don’t think about what the public will think, but rather write something you will feel good about, something you’ll be proud about and think ‘yes, I wrote that’. Don’t write to please others, write to please yourself.
Be messy. Write excerpts from chapter one of the book in one page and write excerpts from chapter 18 right after. Let yourself go messy, then piece the excerpts back together. In no time, you’ll have a full story.
Don’t worry about your grammar. To be honest, when I write I couldn’t care less about my spelling (case in point: when I referred to a medical coma as a ‘comma’ throughout a whole story). Let the words flow free like a jungle river, editing comes later.
Go through your photos, your reaction pictures, gifs or photoshoots of your favorite celebrities or shows. You never know where your inspiration will come from. Besides, looking at Tom Hiddleston’s face for a prolonged amount of time will shoo away all writers block and fill your mind with flowers and rainbows.
Goof around. Complain on your blog (Hey, careful here, don’t let 3 minutes of ranting turn into 2 hours of tumblring). Complain and complain until there isn’t anything left for you to complain about. Then, get back to work.
Create a weird challenge. Challenge yourself to include at least 6 alliterations in each chapter, or 3 Supernatural references in each chapter. Make it a fun challenge you’d like to comply with, this way you look forward to the next chance you get to complete the challenge.
Lay down and listen to music. Let your mind flow away into world inspired by the lyrics of the songs. I personally sit down and listen to Josh Groban, his voice tends to take me to emotional situations, and I use those feelings to vent out into my writing. (I mostly write angst, whoops).
We all have what we like to call our ‘inner-critic’. This is the annoying little voice in your head constantly telling you that your writing is not good enough, not orignial enough. Well, instead of listening to your critics’ negative comments, get him/her on your side. Get them to comment positively on your work and boost your self esteem. Hey, it’s your inner critic, inside your mind, you control it after all.
Stare intensely at your work for a few minutes. I’ve done this before, I like to call it the ‘empty stare’ or the ‘Sherlock sulk’. Just sit, stare at your paper and think. Let the thoughts race into your head until you find one that works for you, and get back to writing.
Go out and buy pens. Pens are every writers’ secret pleasure, even those who write on the computer. Buy some pens, gel pens preferably, and just scribble with them a while.
Take an old notebook, close down your computer, and write. It doesn’t have to be related to your story, just any outpouring thoughts. At least some of those thoughts will have to do with your story, right?
Before you even start writing, set up with everything you need. I’m sometimes an OCD freak when it comes to my workspace. Set up thinks how you like them, organize the desk before you start, or chances are you’ll get distracted by how disorganized your space is during the writing time. Boom, more writers block. *Tip: I keep a notebook, pens, and an open fanfiction on my phone to read if I get frustrated*
Kick-start the writing. Even with writers block, give yourself a kick in the butt and get yourself in gear. Let the first few paragraphs or sentences flow it smoothly, and then feel free to take ages with each individual word.
Write about uncomfortable things. If there’s a certain topic which is uncomfortable for you to write about, such as your high school prom or sex, try writing about it. Sure, it’ll feel a bit awkward, but it’ll force your brain to work harder to get something onto the page, making it easier for you to write about the more normal things.
Try one of those daily challenges, such as the 30 day OTP challenge. If you simply can’t write for your book/multi-chapter fic at the moment work on your daily OTP minific.
Sometimes, breaking your routine can be nice. Give your mind a break, change the surroundings, time, and general environment of your writing space all at once. This sudden change may waken the brain, as it has to get used to its new surroundings.
Ask your friends or family members topics or things they generally like reading about. Interview as many age groups as you can, try to get something each group is interested in into your story, you can feel more confident about your readers this way.
Be lazy. Write when you feel like it, but don’t allow yourself too much of a wide berth. Write 1 sentence each 3 minutes, read books and listen to music in between and when you come up with an idea, you go and write it down. For some people, this is the most effective form of writing.
Ignore it. If you’re like me, and you never ever stop talking during the day, whether someone is listening or not, you should be able to at least try to ignore the writers block. Hell, if you can talk all day you should be able to do it with writing too! After all, it’s like talking but more permanent.
Remember just how short life is, how close you are to death and how little time you have to accomplish all you want in life. Despite being relatively pessimistic, this should get you right to work.
Go on YouTube and search natural noises, such as falling rain or crickets chirping. This gives you more chances to relax while working.
Remember all those writing tips your English teacher always gave you which you thought you’d probably never use? Use them. Go back to your old Middle School notebooks and look through the writing tips and the writing process. Apply them to your work.
GET SOCIAL (HaHa. Social). No, I don’t mean going out and actualy talking to people, I mean going on Twitter and asking for suggestions for writing, what people would like to read about or simply fish for compliments. Hey, it might be annoying but it really does work to make you feel better about your writing.
Bring up one of your old works, and pull it up next to your current story. Compare then to now, and feel better about how much you’ve improved in your writing.
But now that I think about it, going out and actually being a social human being might work. Talk to people, go out and arrive 15 minutes late to your writing schedule with Starbuck’s.
Threaten yourself. This honestly works. Tell yourself that if you don’t finish at least one paragraph by the end of the next 10 minutes, you will not get desert that dinner. (Make sure to keep your threats, though. Challenging given it’s yourself. Try to get someone else to help you keep to your threats if you don’t comply).
Start an inner debate, fight with yourself over the pros and cons of your work. Tell yourself ‘If this worked, then…’ and continue with a new plot idea. Even if you’re arguing with yourself, base your arguments on facts. Convince yourself that your plot is a good idea.
Start from the middle and move outwards. This sort of goes with the puzzle suggestion. Simply start from the middle of the story, or the climax, and start working downwards to the minor plot details.
Think positive. “I can finish this before Thursday”“This is a fantastic plot!”“This couldn’t go wrong!”. Make yourself feel good before going on to writing. Working with a low perspective on your work is never good.
Consider your setting. Change it, play with it. Move the setting from a High School AU to a USS Enterprise Ship in space. After all, why not? It is your story after all.
Write short stories to keep to yourself. Don’t show them to anyone, just keep them stored away to take a look at when you feel like you can’t accomplish anything.
Keep a document with easy writing ideas. Some people, like me, have simple kickstarters which always manage to get our brains working immediately with ideas. Keep a document full of these, or just words that may invite your brain to develop backstories.
This one requires a bit more of time. Make a paper with 3 columns, in column 1 write a list of 20 random names. Column 2 is a list of 20 random actions (eats, plays, throws…). Column 3 is a list of random things (mangoes, lamp, dog…). Remember to number each one in every column from 1-20. Using a random number generator or a dice, select one of each list. In the end, you should have sometimes like “Susan eats mangoes”. Why does Susan eat mangoes? What lead her to have the mango in her hand? Make a backstory, include Susan in your story.
Write the general topic of your story in the center of a sheet of paper, and fold it in half right across where it says the topic. Turn it over so you can only see one half, and there write points for one alternate way for your story to go. On the other half, write another path your story could go through without looking at the other side. In the end, look at your brainstorms for each path and choose one. This gives you more chances to choose.
Treat it as a job. You work for The New York Times, you have a deadline in 1 hour, you have to write a whole article on the relationship between Katniss Everdeen and Peeta Mellark. Do it, or you’ll lose your job.
Doodle on a sheet of paper, draw things related to your story. Even if you’re a terrible artist (Case in point: me) just doodle some faces or stick figures. This generally helps me loosen up about my ideas.
Don’t let your outside problems affect your writing. Block everything, your academic, social, family and general problems with your existence. This is your writing time, not a time for you to worry,
Go outside and jog with your pet, or simply spend some time with them. From personal experience, I can say that holding a cat in your lap while writing is honestly relaxing.
Take a risk. No story is fun without a sudden risk, such as killing off one of the favorite characters and seeing the reaction of the public. Go ahead, kill them, then bring them back, then kill them! It actually works really well with audiences (Ahem Doctor Who)
Make your descriptions better, give the reader the feeling of ‘show not tell’. Instead of writing ‘it was a red room’ describe the colour, the feeling of the room. “It had walls as red as blood, the angry paint strokes of a lovers’ passion wiped all across the ceilings, the shelves, windows. It was a sea of red, of despair, of lost love”.
Turn it into a fairytale. Make a frog prince pop out of nowhere, a fairy godmother out of a corner, Rumplestiltskin out of somewhere in the shadows. It’s your story, you can’t be tamed.
Create a character which you can relate to. Make them a writer, write about their feeling while writing. Making yourself feel identified in a deeper level with your writing truly helps.
Go into writing programs. Some programs such as NaNoWriMo offer programs and interviews with bestselling authors who tell you the way to keep active in your writing and how to beat writer’s block. I guarantee their tips will be better than mine.
Make a family tree, or a relationship tree. Build it up nice and neat on a sheet of paper and start connecting every character to each other. Try to keep it simple, don’t make one mans companion be the mother of his wife who is actually daughter of time. (River Song, ease up with your complicated plot line).
Keep a character locked up somewhere. Make them go away for a while, specially those frustrating characters. If Supernatural could get away with leaving Adam in the cage, so can you!
Simply remember: writer’s block doesn’t last forever. It’s temporary, and it’s something every single writer has had to go through at least once in their life. The trick is to keep calm, take deep breaths, and look ahead to the time in which you will be free of this horrible burden.
(+1) Don’t. Just don’t write for a few hours and let yourself procrastinate. Don’t do it too often, though, there’s only a certain number of times in which this will actually work.
I honestly hope this helped you get over your writer’s block, and just help you write in general. I’m not the most expert of experts when it comes to beating writers block, but in the end I’m a writer too so I know how it feels. Thanks for reading, and spread the word so other writers can see!