I’ve been writing for a very long time now, and still haven’t published anything longer than short stories. Mostly because occasionally I would have given in to writer’s block and by the time I came back to the story, I didn’t like what I had written before. So it gathered dust as I took a lot of advice on how to push through.
Here’s the Writer’s Block cycle:
- Great idea for book, start writing excitedly.
- Hit a problem working on a character. Walk away for a day and come back once their personality is formed.
- Write for a few days consistently.
- Find a problem with a character’s motivation. Lose own motivation for a week.
- Overcome issues with motivation and write again for a week.
- Hit a block. Know the beginning and ending of a story but have trouble connecting the two. Stop writing for a month.
- Come back to book. Read it. Feel overwhelmed with insecurity. Dislike it. Vow to start over and do it right this time.
This is a constant cycle and until it’s actively broken, it can leave many good stories permanently hidden in an author’s imagination. The best way to continue your story when some parts aren’t coming as naturally is to feel it as a part of your life.
Take A Step Away From Electronics
Handwriting activates parts of your brain left nearly dormant when you write on a typewriter or computer. Grab a journal or notebook and start writing somewhere. Write notes about your world: what makes it work (or not work), and your characters: their passions, their motivations, their appearance, their family. If you enjoy visuals, draw small pictures while you write or start a sketchbook of ideas.
Expand Your Visuals
Take a camera out and take pictures of things in the real world that inspire you. While you’re out, notice what details around you help define your surroundings and which wouldn’t be noticeable unless you were specifically looking for them. Try to think about how much detail you would like to read in a book, and think about if that matches up with how much you write.
Write Something Else
Write another story in your head, write on a blog, or some other form of writing. Keep your brain engaged and creating while you’re taking the time away from writing the story itself.
Get An Accountability Partner
Find someone else who’s working on getting their book done. This gives you someone to bounce ideas off of, discuss the book with, and help give you an extra push when you need it to keep going.
And If you need more motivation to get past your writer’s block and finish that story:
If you write, what helps you past your writer’s block?