Writing Tips

Writer’s Block: Hitting the Wall

Every writer experiences the dreaded writer’s block once in a while. I happen to experience it quite often. In my case, writer’s block doesn’t involve not having any ideas, but instead having too many. Another aspect of my block is that my brain tries to jump ahead too far in a story. I just want to get to the good part.

This isn’t productive. Setting up a deadline helps, but also it can cause me to panic as the deadline draws near.

Right now I’m experiencing such a block and I need to get past it as soon as possible. What’s interesting about this block is I’m experiencing it despite the fact that the rough draft is complete. As usual my brain wants to jump ahead. Although I’m editing I’m also retooling the original novel into a trilogy, which has required adding material even as I take unnecessary pieces away.

It would seem logical to allow myself to write the part of the story that my brain is interested in. I’ve tried this in the past and it actually makes things worse. At that point it is easy to move forward from where I jumped to, but it becomes even more difficult to go back to the spot where I was stuck.

Instead I’m going to try some other tactics.

One: Music.

Music is a fabulous tool for writers. I prefer epic instrumental pieces that fit the tone of the story over anything with lyrics. This prevents me from singing along instead of focusing.

I use music often to help me concentrate. Writing in a noisy environment, (which is a result of my home life,) can make it difficult to hold the thread of a story. Music helps me keep everything together in my mind.

Two: Amazing Images

I’m a visual learner. Searching for images that fit my story subject can bring new ideas or shake free the ideas that are just starting to bloom. Even if the images aren’t exactly in line with my ideas they can help me remember what I’m trying to accomplish.

Three: Going Back to the Original Inspiration

This is a strategy I’ve tried before with varied results. Sometimes your muse returns and sometimes it doesn’t. Despite that, it’s worth a try.

Four: Feedback

Receiving feedback from others can be very motivating, regardless of whether it is positive or negative. Either it will drive me to keep going or to step back and improve what is already done. I’ve already lined up some people to help me with this phase.

Unfortunately, this block is going to delay my release date. Right now I’m hoping to have Book One ready by September 15th. I’ve added a writing timeline page to update with changes to the blog. You can find the link at the top of the page labeled Writing Timeline.

Thanks for reading and feel free to share any ideas or experiences with writer’s block in the comments!