Thursday, October 14, 2010

Battling Writer's Block

My first official blog entry isn't going to be about writing—more of the opposite of writing. Writer's block. It happens. What do you do? First I laugh and then I cry—or I try some of these.
1. Look at the story.
Wait what? I've stared at these words for hours. Clearly looking at them won't help, but that's not what I mean. I think about it—reread it. A lot of times, writer's block strikes when I've boxed myself or taken my characters in the wrong direction. Not all of the meandering of plot lines are plausible or necessary.
2. Do homework.
Or housework. The point is, whether subconscious or not, if there is something else I need to do my writing will not flow. Perhaps my muse is more studious than I am. Besides, who wants uncompleted tasks hanging over their novel? Enjoyed chapter seven? Yeah, I failed chemistry to write it. Not classy.
3. Critique for someone else.
Nothing feels better than doing good and one of the greatest joys of writing is helping fellow writers. Even if my story continues to stagnate, critiquing is a benefit. Teaching and helping are the best ways to learn. Plus, guarantee you get to be one of the first to read some awesome stuff. (If you can't beat the writer's block—distract it with awesomeness.)
4. Take a walk.
(This is my dog's favorite option.) Stories don't do so well smothered. Writer's block happens when I need a break. Walking is great because it invokes the Law of Inspiration by Disassociation of Paper. It never fails, inspiration comes when there is no paper or pen around. Don't believe me? Why else do ideas strike in the shower or the middle of the night? Law of Inspiration by Disassociation of Paper.
5. Read books.
Ahh, nothing like curling up with a good book. I write because I love books. I love that tingle from my head to my toes when I read something spectacular. The heart pounding, page turning moments when I cannot get enough. I want to create that feeling in my reader. But a burnt out candle cannot light another. A well written book can burst through my writer's block by the flame of excitement it creates in me.
6. Doodle.
Figure eights and circles and smiles on the edge of my page seem to get the creative juices flowing. I can’t explain it—it just works. Important note: If the doodling gets out of hand i.e. Picasso-style sketches on your left arm, perhaps you should consider another one of the writer’s block bashing options (or consider taking up a second hobby of illustrating).
7. Changing settings.
I don't mean the story setting--though that can be helpful too. (See point one above.) Sitting at the same desk staring at the same window is detrimental to my creativity. I have to change it up. Even if its just outside on the porch or at a restaurant like Chick-fil-a. Another important note: if you find you've stared at that squirrel circling a tree or that man in a funny hat with three kids ordering the chicken nuggets for more than ten minutes, find a less distracting new place.
8. Start a blog.
I'll see how this one goes. :)
Until next time, happy writing!


  1. YAY!! Welcome to blogland. This looks great. I love the frog. You need a picture of YOU on here though. I want to see what you look like.

  2. Terrific! Congrats, Jessica! I love the frog, too!!!

  3. Very cute blog. And I love your ideas for writer's block. Good luck with everything. :o)

  4. Hi! Welcome to the world of blogs. Great suggestions on writers block.

  5. I love the colors and your ideas for writers block. Good luck with the blog. I'm still figuring mine out.

  6. Fun blog! Thanks for the great tips!

  7. The colors are cheery, though definately feminine. I'm fairly new to this, too. Good first post. Good luck on your blog.

  8. Wonderful suggestions. Great frog. Keep up the good work, Jessica!