Flashback to one month ago: I was pestering my boyfriend to sign up for National Novel Writing Month with me, I was scheduling how much writing I was going to do daily, and I was actually excited about maybe writing 50,000 words in month.
Fast-forward to today: We are thirteen days into NANOWRIMO and I have managed to write not the 26,000 words that I planned for at this stage, but ZERO. ZERO WORDS. How did this happen?
I’ve haven’t been feeling very creative lately. I know it has a lot to do with how stagnant I feel in my life. Not that I’m complaining, but I’ve kind of fell into a routine and I’m the kind of person who needs change constantly to grow as a writer! Luckily, I’ve been able to pull myself from the unforgiving grip of writer’s block before and in the end it always works out.
Dealing with writer’s block is hard. It sucks. You feel helpless and inadequate. You start cursing the day you were born and begin to convince yourself that you shouldn’t be writing at all. But, the most important thing to remember when you’re writing is not to take yourself too seriously. Not everything you write has to be reminiscent of Faulkner and Hemingway. In fact, it doesn’t even have to make sense. There were countless times when I would just ramble on a sheet of paper and from the nonsense something believable and real was created! Here are a few tips to help you get over writer’s block:
- Get out and do something new. When I settle into a routine, I feel less creative. Get out and do something that’s completely new to you or something you haven’t done in a while. Inspiration can literally be found anywhere.
- Talk to people. When I’m feeling a little un-inspired I talk to people. Not about writing, just about anything. My grandma used to tell me the craziest stories, one of which actually inspired a story I’m working on now.
- Work on something else for a while. I’m the type of person that can work on multiple stories at once, so if I’m having trouble with one I can easily step away and try to work on another. Not everyone likes doing this. So, you can always work on something entirely different! Paint a picture or do some crafting, you’re only going to stress yourself out more if you force yourself to write.
- Read your favorites. Most writers have authors that inspire their writing. My advice would be to read as many books as you can by those authors and become familiar with their writing. When I get stuck, I’ll go back and read some of my favorites and it gives me the courage and the inspiration to continue.
- Don’t stop writing. It’s easy to step away for a few weeks and completely forget about your project. I’ve done that before too. Don’t do this. Keep it up! Take a break but don’t quit!