It seems no matter if your a bestselling author or an aspiring one, writer's block gets us all. So I've decided to put forward my best cures in hopes that I might save a few of my fellow writers from the dreaded 'BLOCK'.
So here they are:
- Number One: Hit the Books!
Now I don't know if this happens to anyone else but as a writer I find it hard to read novels, not because I don't have time, but because I can't read another book without getting excited about my own and ditiching it to write. So why don't you try it out? Have a go.
And for those writing Non-fiction and historical novels, why not do some research? If your passionate about your writing research won't be a chore but an inspirational tool. So your books based in a country or you've never experienced. Look it up and find out what its like. Build your story through historical and cultural character.
- Number Two: 'The hills are alive, with the sound of MUSIC...'
Get some tunes pumping and surround yourself with inspiration. The novels I write are set in Ireland and there's nothing like getting into an Irish-frame-of-mind than listening to Traditional Irish music. So give it a try. If your historical, trysome classics. Or even just music that inspires you. It doesn't have to be themed, it just has to move you.
- Number Three: Can't travel to that far away destination? Google it!
If there's one thing that gets me going (particularly when it comes to description) its Google Earth. From the privacy of my writing space, I can explore Dublin, walk the steets of Killarney and stare over the Cliffs of Moher. Its like a virtual holiday. And it works a treat!
-Number Four: Get out there and find your 'Jack'.
The best way to build genuine characters is to find them in real life. And the best way to rid yourself of The Block when it comes to characters is to study them. Go out and find them. They might be your friends or your family, or like My 'Jack', they might be an irishman. On a number of occassions I've run into a few Irishmen. And I thank them all for curing me of The Block.
- Number Five: Re-read and Edit
It works a little like retracing your steps when you lose your car keys. Go back a chapter and read it the way you wrote it to be read. Not only will it hopefully rejog your creative flow, but you'll find the mistakes you made along the way. It's a good idea to re-read your work and check for flaws as it is. Why not utilize it when you need inspiration most.
- Number Six: Perhaps its time for a break?
A few months back I was unable to write due to some new commitements. And so I used it. I was constantly brainstorming, planning it all out. Soon my notebook was full and I was starting my next. And when that month was up, I was bursting with inspiration. I had so much to write about and just a simple glance at my notebook rejogged my memory. So try it! Take some time off to think about it. Get your head in the right space. And then go for it when you know your ready.
Think of it like a short sprint runner. They can only run so far at the peak of their performance and then they slow down. So, they take a break, re-engerise and do it again.
We writers work hard. We deserve a break too.
- Number Seven: Get Talking.
We're always being told how important it is for us as professional writers to have a good social platform. So why not get your inspiration and mind flowing and talk about your book. Promote it!Talk to people! If your as passionate as I am about your writing you'll be able to talk for hours about it. And by the end, you'll be bursting with the need to continue your story.
- Number Eight: Join a writing group and find a writing buddy.
It works the same as number seven. Find someone in your genre or who in some way has a shared element with you. And make the effort to exchange ideas and work frequently. There's nothing like someone else support to lift your spirits and some helpful suggestions that you can build upon. Not only will you make a new friend, but you'll be helping each other to keep yourself motivated.
- Number Nine: Put the romance back into your life.
I think we'd all be lying if we ever said our lives outside of writing had no influence over what we write. Our life is who we are and every novel we write holds a part of our soul. Whether your main protagonist is an extreme of one of you personal characteristics or the setting your novel resembles Home, life beyond the words creeps in.
So why not look to your significant other half for some help? Take some time off, look back on the old days and many be, if your feeling adventurous relive a few. And I'm sure your other half will thank me.
Everyone wants a little love in their lives and that why we write romance. We create fairytale, dreams and we mirror reality. We create that warm and fuzzy feeling.
I hope these tips have helped you and if they haven't I can only say, don't ever give up.