Question Of The Week: Writer’s Block

27 Nov

Happy (day after) Thanksgiving, everyone! We hope your holiday was happy and full of delicious food! This QotW comes from N. L. Mars, who asked us:

“How do you combat writers block? What would you recommend for those who feel a bit stuck in their story, or unsure of what to do next?”

Thanks so much, N. L.! Keep the questions coming, guys!

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Regarding the question, just see my article from this past Monday: https://letthewordsflow.wordpress.com/2009/11/23/sudden-novel-death-syndrome-why-it-didnt-work-out/

The Writer Who Is Also on Submissions

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I don’t believe in “writer’s block.” I think people get frustrated and tired and lazy, and use this so-called “writer’s block” as an excuse not to write. If you’re stuck, listen to some awesome music, and keep writing. Even if what you write totally sucks. Even if you have no ideas. Have your characters sit down for a cup of tea, and see what comes out of them. Or throw them off a bridge into a freezing river and see how they react. But just WRITE. No excuses.

The Writer (Im)Patiently Waiting While Her First Novel is On Submissions

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The advice I often receive to this question is to force yourself to write. I find, however, that this does not help me combat writers block. I need inspiration in order to write. And so, rather than wait for inspiration to strike me, I go looking for it during this period. I listen to soundtracks and classical music, trying to envision the scene I’m trying to write. Or I, instead of writing, record my thoughts

The Writer Who Just Started Querying

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I think the number one thing I do is to outline before I start a story.  I know that sounds kind of anal.  I definitely do not do the whole Roman Numeral, capital letter, numeral, small-case letter outlining system they showed me back in school.  Basically, I just jot down bullet points as they come to me of what happens when in the story.  That way, when I come to a spot that’s dull and drags, I can still see what’s coming after it, and that motivates me to plod through and keep going.  It doesn’t work for everybody, but it works for me.

The Writer Who’s Writing Queries

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I combat writer’s block by stepping away from my work. In fact, I do this normally because I tend to write and forget about my REAL life–you know, college. And friends. I usually take two days in between writing and if I am stressed out or feeling the writer’s block creeping up, I tend to take four days. I know this seems like a long time, but it works for me. It also allows me to do things I am sometimes neglectful of (homework and my friends), and get my mind to refocus itself and look at the project as a whole.

I recommend stepping away. It really allows your mind to focus on other things, whether it be homework, friends, family or even reality television, so that you are not a terrible, nervous wreck who instant messages her friends or writing buddies, crying “THIS SOUND SO STUPID! I AM DELETING THIS ENTIRE STORY! IT IS POINTLESS!” …Not like I have ever done that or anything. Best of luck conquering your writer’s block!

The Writer Writing Her First Novel

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Have a fantastic weekend, everyone!

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One Response to “Question Of The Week: Writer’s Block”

  1. Rowenna November 30, 2009 at 7:04 AM #

    Good advice, ladies! I also tend to “save” scenes I’m really excited about writing for when I’m feeling uninspired, to kind of stave off writer’s block before it strikes.

    Thanks for the insightful post!

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