We have a special guest post today from one of our Indie Ninjas, Wren Deloro. She’s participating in NaNoWriMo this year (as is Shannon!). If you’re taking the 50,000 word, 30 day challenge let us know on Facebook!
Whether you are in the midst of a project or planning to take on NaNoWriMo, writer’s block is a dreaded possibility for any author.
Don’t let normal snags and stops hold back the completion of your project.
Try a few of the following techniques, and get back on track.
1. Take a Break
This break could be a treat for all your hard work, or some good ol’ mundane activity. Think about it: how many ah ha moments have come to you while driving, washing the dishes, or in the shower?
Earn bonus points by completing household chores you have to do anyway. Make frozen food for your next intense write in.
Then, when you are done, sit your butt back in the chair!
2. Use other tools
Rather than a pen, use a paintbrush, crayon, finger paint, colored pencils, markers, highlighters, colored paper, or spray paint.
Create an artifact that relates to your current work. Whether you hang your artwork in your office, or throw it out, the process will produce new ideas.
As you create, ruminate on your stuck spot. Express those feelings in a different style.
What should your WIP look and feel like in the end?
Did you notice finger paints listed above? Yes, because your inner child aka your creative genius, likes to play. LET IT!
For example, remember those stickers in elementary school? You rock! 100% Awesome! I have always been nuts about stickers.
Every time I complete my daily writing or editing goal, I earn a sticker. I add the sticker to my goal accountability sheet. After I am rewarded, I often go on to double my daily goal.
Reflect on the things you loved as a child. The stars, Bambi, buttons, birds, butterflies, stamps, trucks? How can you encorporate these things into your work environment or creative process?
Consider an outing to the circus, video arcade or other places to amuse your inner kid.
4. Let yourself break the rules
If things are not working and you have been sticking to a rigid process, it is time to try other things.
Write in new locations, buy a special coffee, do it at different times of day, and just generally break the rules.
It may be time to bounce on the bed again.
5. Write around the topic
Try writing about your story in a letter, either addressed to yourself or to a friend.
You could even imagine you are writing from a post-publication date or many published books from now. Visualize what that future looks like–your book sure looks good on your shelf, doesn’t it?
Make lists, charts, diagrams and mind maps.
Compile information for your characters and settings.
Form a list of questions that stand unanswered.
Sit down and invite a character to join you in an imaginary interview. You can write it, or record yourself acting out the discussion.
Just don’t forget that untrustworthy characters may spin the truth in their favor…
7. Work with muses
If you had to give a face to the engine of your creative process, what would it be? Maybe an animal, a person, a robot. Use your imagination!
My definition of a muse is a character that represents a person’s creativity and essence. Once you have an idea for a muse collect related images from magazine or on Pinterest. My muses all give me a tingly feeling in my stomach.
Use some of the previous techniques such as creating visual art, calling an interview, or writing a letter to touch base with your muse for answers.
If anyone knows how to break your block, your muse does!
8. Put it on the fridge
Find a memento of praise, accomplishment, or inspiration and put it on your fridge.
Maybe it’s one page from your WIP that you absolutely love or a good review.
Really, you could pepper your entire house with your great writing, goals, affirmations, or pictures. Each glance will inspire you further.
Don’t forget to stick something in your teeth brushing area!
9. Talk to someone inspirational
It’s time to pull out your phone. Who is the wisest, most inspiring, supportive person you have contact with?
Start a real conversation about everything going on in your life—your goals, where you are at, whats troubling you. In the modern age, you may even be able to reach a favorite author. If you are really stuck, consider hiring a consultant.
What’s your cure-all for writer’s block?
In a lot of ways, writer’s block is like the hiccups — we all get it from time to time and we all have our little home remedies for curing them. How do you break writer’s block? What have your experiences with writer’s block been?
Wren Doloro blogs from her edge on books, writing, and life. She hosts book reviews and guest posts. In addition to writing NaNoWriMo this November, Wren is also revising a manuscript entitled Line of Isis. ‘Line’ follows magical mermaids, determined scientists, and a man forced to choose a side. Follow her on Twitter, Pinterest or Facebook!
Wren is offering free Beta subscriptions to Muse Cauldron, her Creative Consultancy program. Readers can click here for more information.