Friday, 14 November 2014

Fighting Writers Block

Now, I don't know about the rest of the writers out there, but there are days when the words simply won't come.

Or in my current case, weeks, possibly even months.

I couldn't tell you exactly when it started. When I suddenly began to find it hard to get the words that were in my head down on paper.

But for some reason the flow has stopped.

Instead of my typing skills barely being able to keep up with my brain, I find myself staring at a blank screen for hours on end. Looking at the little blinking cursor.

And if I do manage to write, I end up deleting most of it in a fit of frustration. Even blogs. I can't tell you how many times I wrote and deleted this post.

I'm afraid that for once, I don't have any advice. Instead I'm asking for it. What do any of you do when the writers block simply won't shift? What are your tricks and ideas for getting rid of writers block?

I'd love to hear them!

On a separate note, huge congratulations to my fellow Rock the Book Chick, Kate on the release of her second book, Evolution. If you haven't read the 'E' series yet, get yourselves on Amazon and buy a copy. E was my favourite book of the year by far, and Evolution comes in a very close second.

Have a great weekend!


  1. First off, stop deleting what you write. Save it somewhere, maybe a folder called 'failed attempts', but keep it. The first two chapters of my just-released novel were written for a different book over a year before the rest of the current book. If you have stuff running through your mind, type it out, whether it makes sense or not, whether it's coherent or not. And keep doing it. Forget the book you're working on. Write out the ideas for other books, scenes for books and characters that are half-formed. It doesn't matter. You need to re-establish the connection between your imagination and your fingers. Write your trip to the grocery store. Describe the absurd scene you witnessed at a shop or on the street. Let your imagination run free. Write a character profile for that weird woman you saw yesterday. Embellish it, be wicked. What kind of man would be her lover? Write him.

    It doesn't matter what you write, if you keep at it, something will click. The ideas in themselves may lead nowhere, but one of them might.

  2. Set yourself a small task every day. A paragraph? A sentence? A scrap of conversation overheard? The only important thing is that what you write has no obvious importance. Do this every day, expanding if you can and want to, but don't demand it of yourself. Don't judge the quality or quantity, and don't delete. You're following a regimen. Do this until the weight on your shoulders feels lighter.

  3. Firstly, thanks for the very sweet words about my book, Nicola. It's a great feeling to send another story out there for people to read. :)

    Secondly, I don't really know about tricks, but I think it is important to figure out *why* you're experiencing what you are. For me, it is usually exhaustion and/or pressure. I feel like writing is usually a kind of freedom-- I get to express myself and pour out things that I would normally keep inside. It lifts weight, rather than adds it. So, when I start feeling pressured to perform, my creativity tends to want to shut down, because the writing becomes about something else. Or maybe I'm just tired and I need a break. Or if I'm going through something in life that is taking away my emotional energy.

    For me, the solution is usually to try to renew my inner energy by taking care of myself. *Stop* stressing about the writing, number one. Do something to nurture yourself, whatever that is. Maybe it's going for a quiet walk, or maybe it's vegging out on the sofa in your jammies all day watching 80s movies, lol. Whatever. The point is to cut yourself some slack and let yourself feel better.

    I know it's really hard to watch the time ticking by without any progress. I'm feeling a little pressured to get moving right now, too, but I'm still fighting off an evil cold, and I know there is no point to stressing myself out trying to make myself work when I can't even think straight.

    I think BRKingsolver made some really good points about just writing *something*, and sometimes that works for me, too. Usually it is a shift in focus from writing as *work* to writing for *me*. I think it's about finding the joy of the writing again, and sometimes that means writing something that will never see the light of day. Poetry. Or fanfic. Or whatever.

    OK, this has gotten tremendously long and rambly, but... I just want to say, you are an awesome, amazing writer, and you need to remember that. Everyone goes through difficult writing times, so just don't make more of it than it is. If you worry about it, it will just snowball. So try to ease up and cut yourself some slack. You'll be back to it in no time!