There will be times when you don’t know what to write, or just don’t feel like writing. It’s easy to find other things to do instead of writing. Other times you may feel exhausted or suffer a headache. Here are a few common causes and solutions for writer’s block.
1. Bad mood. Sometimes something happens and it makes us angry, sad, or frustrated.
*Take a step back. Go for a walk, listen to music, do something without a goal or purpose in mind. Let go. A break often helps clear your mind.
2. You’re tired.
*Go to bed early, get more rest, and make sure you write tomorrow.
3. You’re not ready to write this scene. Maybe you don’t know the characters well enough or maybe you need to plan the scene out.
*Try a brainstorming exercise. Imagine/write the different ways the scene could unfold.
*Review what you know about your characters. What they’ve said and done and the past you’ve written for them. Imagine how each character feels at the start of the scene. What do they want?
4. There’s a problem with the story. You can’t consciously define it, but subconsciously you know something’s wrong.
*Go back over what you’ve written. Some moments will feel strong, others lacking. Often times the problem is something you thought of early on, an idea you’re determined to use in this story. Writers often twist the story to hold onto an early idea, even though it no longer works.
*Sometimes the solution is to write the scene wrong and keep going. You may realize the solution later when you complete the story.
A few general exercises that can help with writer’s block include:
1. Word clusters. Start with a word or phrase as your topic, and start jotting down related words or phrases. This can help you find the right word, or a title for your story.
2. Ask questions of your story. What could happen? How would the characters react? Don’t skip bad ideas. Write them all down, then see what stands out to you.
3. Free writing. Start writing about anything. Sometimes people literally write “I have no idea what to write” in various ways. Eventually you will come up with something if only to escape the boredom.