Saturday, April 2, 2011

A to Z: (B)locks

Back today with the letter B! Today I'm bringing you some tips and tricks to cure and prevent writer's block.

First of all, I would like to point out that I am no expert. Also, everyone's mind works differently, therefore there is no one way that will help everyone.

In my opinion, the best way to keep from getting stumped is to set yourself up for success. Think of this as a job. Make sure that friends and family understand that you are serious about your writing. If they take it seriously, so should you. Set aside an alotted amount of time each week for writing. You can make it a set time of the day (or every other day) or schedule it around your other responsibilities. Don't neglect your other job for this one. Remember, even some successful authors have a day job. Try not to deviate from your writing time. If you must, try to make it up in the same week.

Your environment also has a lot to do with how well you work. I'm not saying that you must keep your writing space neat and tidy, some of us just don't do well without a little chaos. So long as it is organized chaos. My desk may have heaps of papers and various other things stacked around me, but if you ask me for a red pen, or fingernail clippers, I don't have to search for more than a couple seconds. Same goes for a blank piece of paper or my notes for whatever story I'm working on. Drinks, snacks, and light music are also good to have in your "office." You may be working long hours and having to get up for a glass of water or some crackers will only hurt you.

Don't be afraid to take breaks from the writing, but don't take too many. Also, go a little further than just avoiding the distractions. Twitter and facebook addicts may want to unplug while they're writing. Writers with kids may want to schedule their writing time while the munchkins are at school or in bed. Stay away from televisions. So on and so forth.

If all else fails, walk away from the story for the day. Take a walk, listen to music, go out with friends, play with the kids, do something else you consider fun. Get the writing completely out of your mind. It can be difficult, but make it happen. When you come back to it, you'll find everything comes easier.

Well, that's all I got! Yesterday, I didn't invite you to leave a comment. It was completely inadvertant, and I'm sorry about that. Today, I would love some thoughts from all of you. What do you do to break the block?


  1. Good topic

    It depends for me. Since my writing area involves a tv tray and my laptop, sometimes I'll move to a different room or chair. Other times I will switch to writing with pen and a notebook if I'm stuck or haven't written in a novel for a long time. Doing it that way seems to help. Also, I occasionally just have to sit down and tell myself to write something, anything because I'm often in first drafts so it's okay that they suck. If I force a little then it starts to flow soon after that.

    I should be a little more disciplined. Might work on that in the near future.

  2. Great advice here Haley! I get some of my best writing done when I take my son outside to the backyard and let him just run around freely. (A 6 foot tall fence provides me the ability to not watch him like a hawk!) So, I can get lost in my world for a little bit, with just an ear (and not both eyes too) trained on the litte man. Plus, being outside helps relax me and lets the imagination flow!

  3. Oh by the way, love the new design you have!

  4. Wonderful tops for avoiding the dreaded writer's block.

    Great blog here!


  5. @Dawn- It took me a long time to find a little bit of discipline with writing, and I still slip up a lot. I know what you mean about moving around to find the right spot for writing, though.

    @Anastasia- I miss having the fence around my yard, and thanks! I'm glad you like it.

    @KarenG- Thank you.

  6. Fantastic post. I've got to remember the breaks thing... I either don't take any breaks or I take too many. Great tips.

  7. I just ignore it and blog instead :0)

  8. Movies and TV help me break through and keep writing so I usually take a break and watch a movie or episode of a show I like.

  9. I'm not a writer but I feel this advice could be applied to many areas of our lives. Great post! I’m now following you on GFC and I hope you have a chance to check out my blog!

  10. A fresh external stimulus--usually something tactile, pushes me out of the writing doldrums. A walk in the woods or run around town shakes ideas loose--and sometimes it actually feeds a story.

    Case in point--I found a small skull by an abandoned building near my home. Two days later, it turned into the perfect piece of dressing for a story I'm writing.

    Nice job with your A & B. Good luck with your A to Z!

    Dead Reckoning

  11. @Cheree- I still have that tendency, also. I get so wrapped up that I forget the rest of the world is still going on around me.

    @Hannah- I love watching tv because it makes the characters quiet for a while.

    @Monica- I'd love to check out your blog!

    @Joe- I often do the same thing. When I'm driving to work, I'll see a lot of things that will find their way into my writing in some form or another.

    Thanks everyone! See you tomorrow with C!


Please leave a comment! I love getting them.