A Few Thoughts on Writer’s Block

Many people struggle with writer’s block. Now, before I talk about the techniques I use to help with this, I must explain something–I’m not sure if I’ve ever had writer’s block, but I have had something I like to refer to as “writer’s lag.”

Writer's block for cows

It happens to the best of us--even cows.

I always try to just keep writing. If lag too much then before I know it I’ve spent 2 days “thinking” about a scene and haven’t done any writing–very bad.

So what is writer’s lag? For me, writer’s lag is when I start to falter too much over writing sentences, word choice, and when my novel starts to feel dull (and not because of the content). This also means when I am really struggling to write and each word feels like I’m pulling hair out of my head one piece at a time.  I’ve discovered things to do when I start to experience this, and I’ve found that (for me, anyways) this works. If you’re experiencing some of the same problems in your story, then maybe try this out and let me know if it works.

  1. Write out a brief outline of the next 5-10 scenes (especially good for building towards your Act II Climax or Act III Climax). Even if you don’t stick completely or at all to the outline when you do go back to writing, then at least this project will get you thinking about your characters and your story in a different, progressive way.
  2. Leave your computer and go do something! I get some of my freshest ideas while working out, walking, doing dishes, or just cleaning the apartment. And I’ve heard I’m not the only one, so try it out! I find that the mindlessness of the task I’m doing really allows for my creative thoughts to pump iron.
  3. Go read something! The newspaper or anything on Reddit doesn’t count either. Go read some fiction that isn’t in your genre or category. This should actually be my number one item on the list, because this is one I love to do and it works really well. When I start to struggle with ideas, or how the hell am I going to get my character out of this mess, I eventually have to step away from my computer. However, if I try to force myself into figuring it out then it never happens. So, I’ve found that what works for me is to go read something, and all the while in the background my mind is mad at work figuring out that conflict. Also, I won’t read anything like what I’m writing (for some reason that doesn’t seem to work–maybe it’s a mental thing). This means that if I’m writing paranormal erotica, then I’ll go pick up a historical romance, a fantasy, or a horror story. You might even be surprised how mixing those thoughts up can give you some great ideas…just wait until you hear about my new series idea. It’s going to be brilliant!
I find that after employing any of these 3 techniques, my writing feels fresh and flowing once again. The words will pop from the tips of my fingers and my characters are energized, alive, and most importantly, ready to tell me their damn story.
Writer's Block

One way to defeat writer's block

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