Friday, October 28, 2016

On Writer's Block

We've all heard of writer's block, that sad state where the muse packs up and heads out for an extended holiday by the sea.

There's a lot of advice out there. This is what I have to add:


  1.   Put yourself on a schedule, preferably a daily one. I have discussed this before. Think of Pavlov's dogs. If you give yourself the same stimulus, you get your mind on track to create. Nothing is 100%, but you increase your odds by creating the writing habit.
  2. If you find yourself going through Hell, keep going. When in doubt, drop back into the error-free zone. Under the best of conditions, it's hard to judge our work while we're writing it. This only gets worse when we're beating ourselves up for not making production, so go ahead and keep the hand moving. You can always change it later.
  3. Try something different. If you use your laptop, try writing longhand. If you write at home, try the local coffee house or library. Change your narrator. Shake it up. Again, the writing you produce may not end up in the final draft, but it could be the thing that gets you to a final draft.
There is, of course, more strategies to try. An excellent list can be found on Chuck Wendig's blog. Fair warning: It's NSFW, but very worthwhile.  What do you do when you get stuck? Share your best hints in the comments.
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