Writer’s Block Cure: How to Get Over Writer’s Block
Hello, my author friends! Learn how to get over writer’s block once and for all!
What is a Writer’s Block?
So, you are here because you desperately want to write that story.
You are feeling the calling.
The muse is chanting in your ear.
You dream about writing.
But then you sit down, you open your text creator or you get your piece of paper or your writing machine (if you are from the good old days) and… nothing. Blank.
Or maybe you keep re-reading the last paragraph you wrote days ago because you can’t get anywhere new.
If it is a new story, you might have a general idea. You might want to write about something you saw happening at the shopping mall last Tuesday or maybe your brother just screamed at his computer and you wanted to write about anger issues…
Or maybe you have NO IDEA AT ALL on what to write or how to keep going.
Anyway, you simply can’t do it. You are having a writer’s block!
A writer’s block is a time when a writer, who is supposed to WRITE, simply can’t do it.
Believe me, this has happened to EVERY writer before.
What I am NOT going to tell you about how to get over writer’s block?
‘Go for a walk’, ‘get some tea and stare out of the window’, ‘think about your reasons’.
There is nothing wrong with all these, but you are sitting staring at this terrifying blank page and all your fears are coming to your mind. Why am I not good enough to write stuff? Why am I wasting time? I am sure this shouldn’t be happening. How do I get over writer’s block? I am not good enough, then I should not be wasting time trying to be a writer…
And then you tell ME to go FOR A WALK?
I WILL NEVER RETURN!
Also, I’ve seen all kinds of advice out there to get inspiration to write and overcome writer’s block: travel, move to somewhere new, quit your job and find your passion, start a new hobby.
Man, I don’t have money to buy a cup of coffee and you are telling me to TRAVEL or to MOVE SOMEWHERE NEW? I am trying to write a best-seller here (because I love to write, but also) to see if I can get some extra bucks! This need to be done HERE WHERE I AM NOW.
Why this HORRIBLE thing is happening to me? Why can’t I get over writer’s block?
The answer probably is ANXIETY.
And anxiety only happens because of fear.
You are AFRAID of it.
Also, you are afraid of either failing or not being able to continue or something like this.
Maybe you probably aren’t even aware that is fear that you are feeling. You are just thinking things like: I just want to watch some Netflix, I deserve it, it has been a long day, I can write later, I can write tomorrow, tomorrow I will be feeling better… and then the terrible thoughts come as well: you lazy monkey, you shouldn’t leave it for tomorrow, you are such an underachiever, I am sure this never happened to Tolkien, etc, etc.
Isadora, do you know how to read minds?
No, it’s just that I do this ALL THE TIME.
And the problem is only one: perfectionism.
You are most likely afraid that you are either going to ruin it, fail, or maybe never even be able to start!
It comes with all sorts of problem like the impostor’s syndrome, thinking that you are not good enough, thinking that THERE ARE MILLIONS OF BOOKS OUT THERE, why mine will be good? Why will my book sell?
OKAY, OKAY, I GET IT! I already KNOW WHY I am here, what does it matter? JUST HELP ME, FOR GOD’S SAKE. Help me get over writer’s block!
I am going to say it because I have to, you will probably hate me for it, but I just do:
YOU ARE HAVING AN AUTHOR’S BLOCK BECAUSE YOU ARE NOT HAVING DISCIPLINE RIGHT NOW.
Writing is fun, okay, but you have to do it constantly, always, improving every day, getting better each time.
You are having this writer’s block because you PROCRASTINATE.
And how to end procrastination for good?
By outlining your novel and defining a routine that works, developing discipline.
You can read more about how to outline a novel here, it comes with a downloadable story outline sheet so it will help you.
This method down below will help you instantly now, but if you don’t outline and create a schedule, it will come back, I’m sorry…
Alright, but this takes time and I need to cure it NOW.
Okay, so let’s go.
How to Cure and Get Over Writer’s Block INSTANTLY, NOW, with a writing prompt:
1- Understand WHERE you are in your writing journey because this really matters:
Also, to get over writer’s block, it really depends on WHERE in your writing journey you are.
- Never began. I just DON’T KNOW what to write:
In this case, you might want to check out these: why I can’t finish what I write? I start, write some pages and then give the story up. Why is this happening? I will tell you in the article that it might be because you don’t love your story enough! Check it out!
This writer’s block that you are having now maybe it is because you don’t know how to start a novel. In this case, it would be great if you could read my step by step on how to write a novel, where you can learn where to get the ideas, outline, and everything else.
- I’ve written some pages or some chapters, but now I am definitely stuck. I don’t know how to continue:
In this case, you can try the method down below for curing your writer’s block NOW. If it still doesn’t work, you will have to read to this post here, my friend: Why can’t I finish what I write?. Like I just suggested for the people that haven’t even started yet, it might not be the right story for you as well. You can write any story that you want, but the secret is that you have to WANT to write it.
But if you think that THIS is the story, just keep on going.
- This is the story of my life. My best-seller. I love this more than I love my dog (okay, okay, we don’t need to exaggerate. But, really, WHY AM I STUCK AND HOW TO GET OVER WRITER’S BLOCK?
In this case, you are probably suffering from the anxiety and perfectionism that I mentioned earlier. So, let’s get into the writing prompt then:
1- My method: Writer’s Block Cure (INSTANTLY)
A) Open your file NOW (or get your page or you know the drill). I mean it,
not after you’ve read this post or after you clean the dishes because it is obviously what you have to do, right?
You have to KILL THE PROCRASTINATION.
You already know that, but you DO NEED TO DO IT RIGHT NOW.
So, did you get it? Yes, ‘sir’. Okay, good.
B) Write down this prompt. I mean exactly like this. Copy and paste it:
‘ – I ate out of a trash can yesterday – said.
– What?! Why?! And how are you feeling now? ‘
Why would I do that? My character would never eat out of a trash can! I am writing an essay on Margaret Thatcher. She would never do that, would she? This is just a stupid and absurd prompt.
It is stupid, it is absurd and it will probably make no sense to your story.
It will help you overcome the perfectionism.
Also, It is very creative. I came up with this when I thought ‘everything I write is rubbish. It’s like I am vomiting rubbish’. But at least I was writing.
ALLOW YOU TO WRITE ANYTHING, EVEN IF YOU THINK IT MIGHT NOT BE GOOD.
You might be tired or your week might have sucked or maybe the whole year. It will not be like this forever. You have to keep writing and eventually this feeling will pass, I promise you.
Because there’s only one way to get better at this and publish a book: if you keep improving. And to improve, YOU MUST WRITE.
So, tell me, WHY on Earth your character (Margaret Thatcher is that you?) ate out of trash can yesterday? WHAT did she eat? Write it down, write the most absurd things you can think of.
This will help your imagination and creativity come across.
You can get rid of this whole scene later, modify it to fit your story, or maybe even start a story based on it. Don’t forget to tell me!
This didn’t help as well:
You need to get distance from your story then.
And maybe never come back, because it might not be the story for you!
What do you mean?
You can write about anything, really. But you have to LOVE what you are writing.
Maybe you are stuck because this isn’t it and you can read more about why you probably can’t finish your story here.
But maybe this is the story that you love the most. In this case, don’t be afraid to leave it for some time. Leave it and forget about it. Don’t think about it at all. When you came back, read it again and maybe you will be ready to try to continue it.
We need some time off to get inspiration.
The prompt thing helped, but here I am, once again blocked:
This happened because in order to END WRITER’S BLOCK ONCE AND FOR ALL, YOU NEED TO OUTLINE YOUR STORY.
You REALLY need to do it. When you outline it, you already know what it’s going to happen from the beginning to the end.
You might not want to write that scene specifically, but if you have it outlined, skip it and write the next scene, since you already have everything planned out.
Read more about how to outline in this article here.
Literally, the secret to finish a story and get over writer’s block is:
A topic that you love (gets you to begin and stay with the story) + outlining (get you the structure and you know what to do in every scene, so you don’t feel lost) + discipline (overcome procrastination, create a schedule and really write it).
I promise that if you have these 3 things, you are going to finish that novel.
- Everyone gets blocked once in a while. Sometimes you really are too tired to write. Don’t beat yourself up. Just leave it, get some rest, cool your mind and come back tomorrow. If you feel too guilty by doing that, try to get inspiration from everywhere you go. Observe things and people, so when you are going out with your friends instead of writing, you really are getting ideas;
- Try to ALWAYS stop writing in the middle of the paragraph. So you can come back tomorrow and AT LEAST finish that paragraph. This will get the ball rolling.
- Try to write somewhere else in your house. I work in one table and then I write in another table. This helps you change the scenery.
- Write now, edit later. I do this with these posts! I write in one day and come back to it in the other day. This allows my mind to breath.
I find some other helpful tips here when I was researching to write this article. Thought I would share it with you.