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Writer's block


The past few days i've been having some serious writers block :(
Its like my brain just ran out of creativity juice or something. I've gotten down the main points for a new chapter but for some reason I can't find the right words to describe the scenes in detail and color it in. I've tried listening to music that inspired me before, reading some of my favorite stories to get my brain excited, and even watching the most intense moments in my favorite movies and tv shows to get some good emotions out. But nothing seems to work right now, any other ways to get inspired again that works for you guys?

A. E. Lowan

Forum Mom
Sometimes the creative brain just gets tired and needs a rest, and in the middle of a pandemic we are all stressed and worn down. Keep working to refill that creative well and let your brain rest and percolate your ideas for a bit more. You don't have writer's block (and personally, I don't think it exists), but you may be tired and a bit depressed. Rest and refresh. Color. Play. Have fun, and soon the words will come back.


Everyone has different ways to get out of that funk. What I find usually works is to
  1. Back up and try again. If I started a new chapter and words aren't coming anymore or nothing feels right, then I throw out that chapter and start again with a different entry point/line of dialogue/emotional hook/whatever.
  2. Lower my expectations. I write down the barest mechanical words to get us from point A to point B ("He told them why he should have the job and they agreed, so he got the job.") and then leave myself a comment saying that it sucks and to fix it later.
  3. Jump ahead. I write the next scene, the next chapter, jump forward in time to a part that I do feel like I can do good.
  4. Walk away. I might literally do that, go on a walk and go to the store or get some coffee, or go to the park (usually while playing Pokemon Go, too, or listening to a podcast). I have ADHD so I need a minimum level of stimulation in order to work (I literally cannot do anything if I'm in a quiet room and faced with a blank piece of paper, my brain can't do it), so shifting those to be different things and giving my brain room to think of problems in a different way. I worked for the census last year as the guy who makes sure you did the survey so there was a lot of walking around, going to new neighborhoods, taking transit, meeting new kinds of people, and thinking on my feet so the change in (physical and mental) scenery from my day job and writing at home gave me lots of ideas/solutions to problems.
You can also just put the piece down for a week or so and not touch it or think about it. Sometimes you get so railroad'd you're focusing on the wrong things or can't see the forest from the trees. This helps me a lot with my plastic models, I tend to only work on them on the weekends, so things that felt like Huge Problems one weekend I completely forget about the next, so they're no longer impeding my progress. Yes, it's a good idea to write/work on writing every day, but you don't have to. We all need breaks! Don't be afraid to be nice to yourself and give yourself some time off.


Article Team
Personally, I don't like the term writer's block. There's an implication that there's nothing you can actively do about it, which I don't believe is true. Usually, it just means you're stuck because there's a certain part of the story that you haven't figured out yet. And that's holding you up. Sometimes, a hot shower and good night's sleep can give you the fresh perspective you need to find the solution. Other times, it's about just getting the wheel rolling.

If you just keep writing, you'll discover a bunch of stuff that you know won't work, so you'll be that much closer to finding what will work, because you've cleared a bunch of the clutter obscuring the possible good solutions. For me, sometimes, I write the prose. Sometimes, I just play things out in point form to feel it out.
Like the others, I don't believe in Writer's Block in the same way that I don't believe in accountant's block. There may be reasons writing is hard, but there's no magic which has suddenly made all words disappear from your mind.

There's usually a specific reason why writing is hard, "all" you need to do is figure out what that reason is and fix that. Some common ones:
- refill your creative well. Always a good idea. Read something good or something really bad, watch a movie, visit a museum or watch a documentary on a subject related to your WiP
- You're just tired (mentally or physically). In this case, get a good night's sleep, take a few days off and try again at a later point
- You don't know what is going to happen. Try plotting the scene in detail or skip ahead to a scene where you do know what's happening. Either fill in the hard scene later or drop it from your story and just summarize what's happening in two scentences.
- Something else might be wrong with your story. My current WiP became hard to write at one point. And it wasn't until I figured out that my motivations for my main character to act were completely silly that I could continue. If your story feels off, figure out why this is and fix that.
- Sometimes writing just gets hard. A lot of writers hit a spot in their manuscript (usually either somewhere in the middle or towards the end), where it feels like it's terrible and they should just give up writing and do something else and all the words suck. And you just have to work through that and believe it will turn out fine. And if something is bad, you can always fix it when you're editing.


Personally, I read trashy YA novels from the early 2010s to motivate me during my slumps (50 Shades of Grey is working great for me right now) and go on the occasional social media dive to steal one-liners from the internet arguments.

Mad Swede

I generally put the piece of text to one side and listen to some music. Quite often I find myself writing some other piece of text. If you can write something, even if its not related to what you're writing now, then it isn't writers block. This is why I think that writers should write something every day, even if it has no bearing on the work in progress, because its important to write, period. For me, the key seems to be to relax and not get stressed by the pause. Sometimes I think you just have to give it a break and come back to it later. I usually find myself coming back to the text a few days later and then it isn't a problem. It doesn't really matter if you don't get it quite right either, because even after several rewrites you can be sure your editor will have some suggestions for changes...