Writer’s block is a beginning novelist’s biggest nightmare. Below are smart strategies to avoid the fearful block and finish your book:
1. Be Obsessed– For me, this was easy. Writing was a full-time job, so I spent all day thinking about my book. For others, there are many distractions that push your novel to the back of your mind. Being obsessed with your own book is similar to obsessing over others. You think about the characters like they are your friends. You place yourself in the situations during daydreams. You consider what the hero would do in your real life situation. Be an addict of your own plot, your prose, and words. Don’t let it fade away when you leave the computer. Obsess!
2. Plan/ Don’t Plan– This is writer’s choice. Depending on the kind of person you are, planning may help you see the layout of your novel or it may bog up the story. Not planning may cause you to draw a blank or propel you towards creativity. Discover what works for you and stick with it.
3. Inspiration Position– One o’clock in the morning with a glass of wine, a cigarette between chapters, and complete silence. This was the only way I could find inspiration for my novel. Your inspiration will look wildly different. To find your inspiration position you must try new and crazy things. Write outside, write in bed, write in the morning or at night, write with coffee or tea, write surrounded by people or in isolation. Just write in a million different ways until your inspiration position is discovered.
4. Act It Out– Don’t let your book just be words on a page. Live out the story. This may seem odd, and it might feel embarrassing at first. However, closing the door and playing out the scene can give you a new perspective on how things work. Does it feel too rushed? Slow it down. Too uncomfortable? Change it. Say the dialogue out loud and if the words don’t roll off the tongue start rewriting. This not only corrects scenes, but gives you the excitement to continue and act out the rest. Don’t be shy, try!
5. End With Excitement– Ernest Hemingway suggested all writers to only stop writing when you know what will happen next. Leaving the computer on a cliffhanger or at a place where you are excited to continue will keep you coming back to write again and again. This is the ultimate tip to avoid writer’s block and I guarantee it’s success.
Apply these strategies to your writing process and never face the evil writer’s block again!