You never know where or when inspiration can strike, but when it doesn’t you feel as though you have lost all hope of finishing that novel you were so encouraged, excited and enthusiastically forging on to create until you hit that snag. Now you are stuck and you feel like nothing you do will inspire, encourage, influence you to continue that journey. Your characters are forever locked in limbo as you try your hardest to figure out where they are supposed to go from here. Beat Writer’s Block with suggestions below.
21 ways to beat writer’s block to forge on over the mountain!
If you are having trouble with your writing. Try looking on Pinterest! This platform has a wealth of images as well as writing prompts to keep your imagination flowing on the journey. Take a look at my boards for some inspiration or create a search of your own!
This is something I would like to do at some point. It can be done with a bulletin board or on the computer. Collect pictures, quotes, notes, etc for your story to keep the plot, characters, setting, etc in your mind as well as in your eye view. I guess I have done this on Pinterest, but not on an actual bulletin board!
Sometimes it’s good to clear your mind to create a new rush of inspiration. Walk through nature, just take a walk or go on a trip to clear your mind, or possibly find more inspiration if your story has scenes in the woods or travel to a similar local to your settings. What better way to get ideas for your setting than going out and experiencing it for yourself!
Family and Friends
This may seem like a stretch depending on whether your friends and family support your writing or… think you are crazy. Go ahead and put your idea by them and see what they are willing to give you as to ideas and thoughts. If they are total against helping you, go ahead and use them as a character in your next novel. 😉 You will have a live person to take characteristics from and you already know quite well.
Perhaps there are others that support you, friends, a teacher, mentor or even your children. See if they can give you some thoughts on where you are stuck, ideas, conflict and more. Create a party out of it and have each person give their favorite character, setting, theme, etc. You never know what will come out of all that information!
If you are like me, you will have plenty of inspiration for stories provided by the dreams you have while sleeping (or even while you are awake). I may not use all parts of my dreams, but I have and will use sections of them. Now I keep a journal next to my bed so I can write them down when I wake up. I will refer to it when I need inspiration, a character, setting, conflict or any other part of the story I’m in need of inspiration.
Read (Books in Genre/Books on Genre)
Reading as well can give you ideas, thoughts and inspiration. Read similar books in your genre or even book on your genre. Something in your reading could spark your imagination to create the perfect story!
I usually have music playing as I write. Whether it’s Christian Contemporary, Country or Disney (My kids love that station on Pandora) something could catch your attention to use in your story.
Listen to Your Characters
I have heard that your characters can dictate where and how your story plays out. I for one totally believe this to be true. In my latest book, “Raylynn” I originally started out with my main character as a secretary for a large company, but as I continued writing, it turned out she wanted to be a nurse so that’s what I stuck with.
Change of Environment/Scenery
Like with Nature/Trip above, sometimes a change of scenery or atmosphere is all it takes to renew your creativity. Go to a park and watch parents and their children as you write, a coffee shop/cafe and people watch, sit in an arboretum and listen to nature, or just go into a different room in your house. Even the slightest change can create a massive flow of inspiration!
Sit and brainstorm different ideas for the part you are stuck in. Creating a list of ideas can sometimes flesh out new ideas and creative plot twists. Keep the list around and on-going for all your projects. They may come in very handy!
Inspiring Quotes or Pics
I keep boards on Pinterest for Inspiring quotes and pictures for the genre that I write. I also have different boards for different stories that I am writing and that I plan to write so that I can refer back to them as needed. Take a look here!
Play a Game
Playing a game could create a whole new creative situation for your characters and theme of your story. Plot twist anyone?! Clue and Shadows Over Camelot are two of my favorite. I love fantasy and Sherlock Holmes. One story I am writing is a young girl. Her job as a private investigator leads her on a journey to reclaim what is hers, but she also has a secret that may ruin everything. Keep your eyes open for “Summer Storm” (Title is still in the works, I’ll update as it becomes finalized.)
Keep a Journal
As with your dreams, try keeping a journal to write down your thoughts, any thoughts. Thoughts about your day, what you are working on, how things are going, your dreams, everything. Any and all information can be useful when writing if you use it to further the journey of your characters and story.
Change Writing Materials
Every once in a while it may become useful to change your writing materials. Change from your computer/tablet to pen and paper. It may come in handy for your thoughts as well as your eyes to take a break from the electronics.
Change The Time of Day
Change the time of day that you write. I recently changed from writing in the morning to writing in the evening due to scheduling issues, but I realized that I do much better in the mornings. So I will be re-organizing my schedule to compensate and will stick with the morning hours.
Change Scene You are Writing
Don’t feel that you need to write from one scene/chapter to the next. Try moving around your story and writing what you find interesting that day. Just remember to keep some sort of organization to your writing so you know where that scene is supposed to go. Programs like Scrivener and ywriter are great for this.
Re-read Favorite Book/Story/Scene
Re-reading your favorite book, story, or scene can create imagination to flow like crazy. Try to relate the scene to your own story: How could it fit in? Could you use the idea as a plot twist? The setting? Ask yourself ‘what if’ questions to create a flow of prompts and choose the best one!
Use Reward and Create a Challenge
Think of a reward, a good one and create a challenge/goal for yourself. Nothing gets your creative juices flowing like a good challenge/goal. Once you meet the challenge/goal allow yourself to receive the reward. No cheating now! Get the challenge/goal complete and receive your reward!
Attend a Function Related to Your Work
I love fantasy and romance. One of my favorite places to go is our local Renaissance Faire. There is nothing better than seeing your imagination come to life to create ideas and the flow of creativity!
Keep Your Energy Up (Healthy, Exercise, Water, Sleep)
Just as the title recommends: keep up your energy and do it the right way. I’m not saying cut out ALL the junk. I am a dark chocolate lover after all, but try to create a routine to stay healthy, motivated and active. I started a routine of writing in my journal, exercising and working on my stories every morning and even my husband saw a change in me. Don’t forget to drink plenty of water and get plenty of rest. Grogginess does not help the creativity flow!