Updated: Jan 16
Today, I’m veering off from the coffee. I think we all need a break from it, at least a little. That’s why today, I’m going to be talking about something I’ve experienced, many times.
For all you authors out there, you know what I’m talking about. It’s that part of the story where you’ve managed to climb that first hill of inspiration, but find yourself unable to get down, because the trail just isn’t there.
If you don’t, you probably have friends who are writers, or at least know somebody who does. Basically, when they start talking about things, other than the literary project they’re working on, and if you asked them, they’ll try to avoid the subject, or they tell you outright that they have writer’s block.
In those instances, there are ways to overcome it. It may be a slow process, but once you get over it, it’ll be smooth sailing for your writing.
First Identify What Is Causing The Block
I know how hard this is. Most of the time it’s just the lack of will to carry on with a project, because you’ve worked on it for so long. You’re getting tired, and just want it to be over already. If the block is there because of that, maybe it’s best if you step away from it, and do something else instead.
Don’t delete it or destroy it, just let it wait for you to regain the inspiration to get back to it, and even if you don’t want to come back to it, don’t destroy it. It can serve as inspiration for other things you’re doing, and basically be an indication of your progress.
In some cases, something happened in your life that forced you to stop writing, and because of that, going back to your project, you either forgot how to continue, or can’t see any way to progress from what you’ve written.
I know that I’ve had this before. After a really bad day at work, or when something really upsetting happened to me, I couldn’t even open my laptop to start working. I’d just play games on my phone and ignored every chance I had to work on my projects.
In other cases, it could be because you have so many ideas you want to put down, but every time you do, it convolutes the story even more, or it makes your explanations very confusing. If you’re writing about something factual, you’d start off with a really great idea, only to find out that the article is too short to even be classified as an article.
Again, this has happened to me quite a few times, especially when I started writing my novel, and at times when I’m trying to think up a new topic for an article, here on this blog. I’d be set on one path that the story should take, and when I went back to edit, I’d completely change an entire scene, because my brain thought “Oh! This way is so much better!”. In terms of my articles, I’d think up a good topic, and imagine how long the article would be, only to find I only had enough inspiration to write about four paragraphs worth of information.
It’s challenging to find out what is causing your writer’s block, because half the time it’s a combination of a lot of different things but identifying it might just help you overcome it.
Next, you need to try and find a way to get that inspiration back. Sometimes the best thing to do is just keep writing, just write whatever comes in the moment, until you have something that resembles a chapter, or an article. This will help, because it’ll give you a better picture of what you wanted to write in the first place.
Not to mention, when you do go back to edit it, there’s no doubt that when you read over what you’ve written, you’ll think it’s absolute gibberish, and eventually that gibberish will spark that inspiration to write again.
I’ve done this before. Actually, I’ve done this recently, because I was stuck on a certain situation in my novel, because I didn’t know how I’d proceed. So, I just wrote what came to mind. I didn’t look at what led to situations, I didn’t pay attention to the accuracy of the situation, until I read over it, and had to re-edit the chapters, to actually make the story flow, and it worked.
Other times it’s to leave the project where it is and come back to it, like I said before. Move on to other things, because that project isn’t going anywhere, and it’s going to stay where it is, until you find the inspiration to get back to it. Sometimes it takes hours, days, weeks and if it’s really bad, it’ll take years.
I should know, because I have gone through countless redrafts of my novel, for the last 4 years. For some authors it’s easier to write their novel, only because they are stubborn enough to finish it. I, on the other hand, want my novel to be as accurate as I can make it, especially because it is part of a universe that doesn’t even exist.
Find Inspirational Things To Do
There can be no doubt that physical activity can help the juices flow. So, going for a walk, travelling to other places and being one with nature can help (although now may not be the right time to do that) but if you live near a forest, park or even have a garden, go out into those spaces, because you can draw the most inspiration from nature. Don’t forget, the great outdoors is your greatest mentor. So, don’t be afraid to ask it for help.
If you can’t go outside, or you don’t have the luxury, do something else creative. I don’t just mean write other short stories or snippets (that will come later), I’m talking about painting, drawing, pottery, knitting, anything that can get you to use your creative talents. Writing is just another talent you have, but you can also do so much more. It may not be as beautiful, or aesthetically pleasing as other people might create, but it’s something, and when you’ve made it and you’re looking at it, you might even get that spark of inspiration again.
Now, if you do write other short stories or snippets, or if you’re stubborn enough to try to keep working on your project, then listen to some good soundtrack. I don’t mean the A-list popstars. I mean film soundtracks that you wouldn’t normally listen to. There are some great soundtrack artists, who write short scores that are mostly for trailers or for those who can’t actually afford an original composer. By listening to these soundtracks, you can get an idea for a scene, and even if it may not comply with what you’re writing, you could use that inspired scene somewhere else!
Don't Give Up!
There have been so many times where I’ve wanted to give up my projects, because I just don’t find my inspiration anymore. Most of the time I almost give in, but I know that I eventually get the itch to finish what I started, and I do get back to it. In many cases it’s literally a rewrite, because the grammar was terrible, or a scene didn’t make sense at all, but I eventually finish what I begin, because I’m that stubborn. So, you shouldn’t either.
If you’re stuck in your writer’s block, don’t give up! You can finish this, and with a little love and encouragement from your friends and family, you’ll be done before you know it.
Well, that’s it from me today guys! The next time I write one of these posts, you can bet it’s going to be another coffee rant! See you guys then!