Grace A. Johnson
Guest Post: How to Defeat Writer's Block by Kayleigh Idea
The dreaded writer’s block.
If you’re a writer, you probably know what I’m talking about.
There are a few different kinds of writer’s block. There’s the writer’s block where you don’t know what to write next, and the writer’s block where you’re feeling uninspired to name a few.
But how is one to defeat writer’s block?
Today I’ll be sharing five strategies that have helped me deal with writer’s block, and I hope some of them will be able to help you too.
#1: Remember why you love your book
We love our book babies, but sometimes we can get so bogged down in the difficulties that come with writing a book, we forget why we’re writing it in the first place!
Remembering why I love my book has helped me to be more motivated about writing and to continue persevering even when it gets hard.
Take a second and think about what makes you excited about your book. Maybe it’s your main character, maybe it’s your world’s setting, maybe it’s the theme you explore throughout the book, maybe it’s all three, or maybe it’s something else! Hopefully, you’ll be able to think of at least one.
After you’ve thought about it, write all the reasons down. It can be in a journal, a Google Doc you’ve made, or even just the notes app on your phone. Fill it with every aspect that comes to your mind, even if it’s super specific—like a piece of dialogue.
Whenever you’re feeling unmotivated to write, come back to this list and you just might find yourself reinvigorated to keep on writing!
#2: Create a Pinterest board
Pinterest boards are one of my favorite ways to remain inspired. You can find tons of images that relate to your novel: characters, setting, aesthetic, and compile them all in one place! This can be especially helpful if you love visuals.
Although this can be a great source of inspiration, be careful not to get sucked into the Pinterest rabbit hole or start procrastinating on the app instead of actually writing!
Whenever you feel unmotivated about your writing, come back to your Pinterest board and you’ll feel inspired again!
#3: Create a music playlist
This point is similar to point #2, but is just as exciting because creating a music playlist can help you imagine your book as if it’s a movie with its own soundtrack! And who doesn’t want to imagine their book as a movie?
But how do you actually find songs for your playlist that will go with your book?
First, try to think of some movies that are similar to your book or are in the same genre. If you can’t think of any off the top of your head, do a Google search.
For example, my book is a fantasy novel. If I can’t think of any fantasy movies, I’ll Google ‘fantasy movies’.
After you have a list of a few movies, the next step is to look up the soundtrack to each movie and see if they fit the vibe of your book. If you like a song, add it to your playlist and your playlist will grow!
The best part is that you get to choose what’s on your playlist. Find music with lyrics distracting? Then only include instrumental music!
The sky’s the limit!
#4: Create an outline
The last few points have been mostly geared towards defeating the type of writer’s block where you’re unmotivated to write. But what about the kind where you literally do not know what to write next?
My advice is to create an outline, even if you’re halfway through your first draft, or even if you’re a pantser!
If you use any specific story structure method (the Hero’s Journey, the Three Act Structure, the Save the Cat Method), use that as a guide and write down the biggest plot points that happen over the course of your novel.
Don’t worry. Your outline doesn’t have to be super detailed—it can be bare bones and less than a page if you want it to be.
And when you don’t know what to write next, refer to your outline!
While you’re writing, it’s okay if you go off track a little because at least you have a road map and a plan for where you’re headed.
#5: Write a letter to yourself
Something wrong with your book but you can’t tell what it is? A helpful tool that I first heard from author Jessica Brody is to write a letter to yourself (after all, you are a writer!).
Write out all your thoughts about what’s giving you trouble, whether it be about the direction of your plot or an uncooperative character.
Oftentimes when we gather our thoughts in a (hopefully) cohesive manner, the answer comes to us!
Don’t believe me? Try it out yourself!
That’s it! Those are my 5 tips for defeating writer’s block! Do you agree with them? Do you have any tips that I didn’t mention?
Kayleigh Idea is a young writer from the Chicagoland area. When she isn’t dreaming up new story ideas or posting writing tips on her blog, you can find her curled up on her couch reading a good book or singing her heart out to Taylor Swift. She’s never had magical abilities before but loves to write about characters who do.
Check out her website!
I do hope y'all have enjoyed this fantastic post by my friend Kayleigh Idea! She has a TON of great advice, don't you think? I know I've suffered from writer's block before, and I've done many of these same things! I actually opened up a doc and "journaled" on some of my worst (or best) days back when I was writing Prisoner at Heart--I now can look back and see how my perspective changed over the months! It was a great way for me to keep track of the changes I made to help me move my stagnant story along!
Let us know how you've defeated writer's block in the comments below!