A writer’s biggest fear is writer’s block. Even if you’ve never experienced it, the fact that it’s out there in the universe keeps writers on edge. Will the day come when I can’t write? Will the day come when my mind draws a complete blank? The thought is terrifying.
What are some ways to make sure that awful black plague, writer’s block, never attacks you? Try these tips.
This one came from one of my favorite writers, E.L. Doctorow. He said to never stop writing when you don’t know what will happen next. In other words, you stop when you do know what will happen. That way when you sit down to the computer the next day, you are off and running.
Put your story ideas in a file on your computer. When you are looking for something to write, you’ll always have that list.
Allow your characters to guide you. When writing a series, there comes a time when you wonder what the next book will be about. Say, you’ve already written several. Your publisher wants at least two more. Ask your main series character what’s next? What might logically be next in that character’s life? Before long the character will guide you to your next project.
Writers like everyone else burn out. If you write romance and that’s all you write, eventually you will lose interest. Writer’s block is nothing more than the writer losing interest in his or her topic. One of my favorite writers, Susan Howatch began writing gothic novels. Later, she started writing historical novels. I found her as an historical novelist. When I searched for earlier works, I discovered all the graphic novels. Indeed, she tired of that genre and went on to something else. You can, too. Another great example of this is Ken Follett. His early works were spy thrillers. Then, he wrote Pillars of the Earth. What a difference!
Keep your writing fingers practiced. That way they’ll never get tired of putting those words on pages.
When you get stuck on a scene or on a project, move away from it. Write something else. An article or a short story, some flash fiction. If you sit in front of the computer screen worrying about that scene, it will never come to you. It’s best to move away and let your subconscious sort things out. I’ve had my best ideas while swimming.
These are a few of my tips for vanquishing writer’s block. What are yours?