Writer's Block affects us all, and it can be one of the most difficult things to overcome when writing. Whether you're stuck on a pivotal plot point, are losing interest in your story, or just feel a lack of inspiration, it often comes down to writer's block. The Last Empath of Doctsland took me nearly two years to write, and I was bogged down several times by long bouts of writer's block. Because I was so determined to finish the story, I came up with a few ways to overcome this common struggle. Here are my top five ways to overcome writer's block!
5. Make your characters in The Sims.
I've done this for a few works in progress, and found it to be a great exercise to both get to know my characters better and to help re-inspire me. You can see my Sim version of Lisalya- one of the main characters in The Last Empath of Doctsland above!
4. Change up your environment.
If you're writing at the same desk or table in your house day after day, you might be getting stuck in a rut because your environment is static. Sometimes a simple change of scenery can shake up your creativity and help things start flowing again. I usually write in my loft where I have a desk set up, but when I start to feel stuck I will head to a Starbucks or a nearby local cafe. Now during this pandemic the external options are limited, so I'll just move to a different area of the house. I particularly love this little Christmas nook in the living room.
3. Take a break from the story.
Just like a relationship, sometimes absence makes the heart grow fonder. A break for a couple days or a week to allow yourself to breath and either think about the story as a whole, or not think about it at all (if that helps), can help put things into perspective and help you come back to it with fresh eyes. But be careful, it can be difficult to go back to a story if you spend too much time away.
2. (If you're a plotter) Reference your outline.
It's easy to get lost in the details when you're in the thick of a story. Taking a step back to see the progression and where you're going can help remind you where you need to go. I always write a chapter by chapter outline before I begin writing, so I will reference that outline to to this. If you don't outline, try to think back to what you had planned when you started writing, and where you were hoping to go.
1 Talk it through with a trusted source.
Whether this is a friend, a peer, a fellow writer, or all of the above, I think this is the most important of my five tips. I have several friends that are willing to talk through a block, or read something and give me feedback where I need it, and I truly believe that to be my most valuable resource when it comes to my writing journey. I often get stuck in my head, and getting another perspective or viewpoint can help open the floodgates and get me rolling again.
Keep in mind, this is what works best for me, but everyone is different and it's important to try new things and find what works best for you!
What am I reading now? The Poppy War by R.F. Kuang.
I'm only about halfway through this book, but I already know that it's on a fast track to become one of my favorites. By now you'll know that I'm a big fan of fantasy. Almost (if not all) of the fantasy I've read has been European-based, as in the culture and world in the book is based on heavily European influences. The Poppy War is influenced by Asian culture and it's such a breath of fresh air. I couldn't put this book down all weekend, and I can't wait to finish it and move on to the next in this incredible series!