I paused from writing my novel to make this article.
6,000 words in 75 days. A quick calculation tells me that’s 80 words a day! Whoa, talk about a slump. Then again, I never considered myself prolific. Writing should be fun…right?
While taking a momentary break, I decided to share a few things to get those creative juices flowing again. Perhaps blogging about it will help me remember to do these things when I feel there’s a literal block wedged through my brain!
1. Stop writing.
We squeeze. Then we squeeze some more. Man, when it’s all dried up, it’s all dried up! A pause can put our minds back into its proper perspective. Big picture stuff. Step back. And see the general scheme of things. Sometimes, it’s good to remember exactly what inspired you to write when we decided to write about it in the first place.
But not forever. Don’t stop writing for too long! Deadlines should always serve as an inspiration. Don’t you agree?
2. Listen to music.
I always had this fear that my writing only sounds good because the mood-music I was playing in the background tricked my mind into believing I was writing a good piece. But when I go to a quiet place and read my masterpiece it’s…
Great! The music had only pushed my emotions but the text remained inspired. Worked for me. Give it a try! Unless hearing and singing a familiar tune doesn’t hinder you from your writing, I would highly recommend listening to instrumentals instead.
Since I’m also a musician, listening to other people’s music, while I’m writing music, is a big no-no. There is a big tendency to “emulate” whatever I’ve heard—chord patterns, the melody, the genre, and other musical elements.
I can’t say this applies to reading as well because I’m really up against my imagination more than the writing style of the author. When a book is really engaging, the technicalities are the last thing I notice…probably because it’s so well written that the grammar doesn’t stand in the way of telling the story.
Instead, I ask myself these questions and observations: How can I write with more clarity? Notice how short yet so direct and effective the author’s sentences are? Look at how they broke conventional rules of grammar to best illustrate a point. How did the author transition from one thought to the next?
When I can’t write, I read. And sometimes when I get so hyped up reading someone’s fantastic novel, my tendency is to put it down and start writing! Works everytime.
That headache and irritable attitude is probably caused by lack of rest and food and nothing else. Go grab a bite and your body (and brains) will thank you for it.
What are some ways you get around writer’s block? Would love to hear your thoughts.