Our blog post ‘Banish writer’s block: 14 proven methods’ looked at effective ways you can break out of a dry spell and get writing. We’ve condensed ten of our favourite methods into the infographic below. Pin, tweet, or share on Facebook with the writers you know who might appreciate a reminder of the many ways creative paralysis can be tackled and overcome.
Want to know how famous authors rediscover their creativity when ideas are slow to come? Here are five interesting quotes on overcoming block:
1. R.L. Stine, writer of the popular Goosebumps teen horror fiction, advocates outlining to avoid becoming blocked:
‘ If you do enough planning before you start to write, there’s no way you can have writer’s block. I do a complete chapter by chapter outline.’
2. Novelist Jess Walter says that he works around writer’s block by working on other miniatures:
‘My one saving grace as a writer is that, if I’m having trouble with the novel I’m writing, I write something else, a poem or a short story. I try to avoid writer’s block by always writing something.’
3. In his book, On becoming a novelist, John Gardner ascribes feeling blocked to writers not being true to their real motives for beginning a novel:
‘Writer’s block comes from the feeling that one is doing the wrong thing or doing the right thing badly. Fiction written for
the wrong reason may fail to satisfy the motive behind it and thus may block the writer, as I’ve said; but there is no wrong
motive for writing fiction.’
4. Historical fiction writer Hilary Mantel suggests walking away from your work temporarily, but in a way that doesn’t crowd other words in where your own can still take root:
‘If you get stuck, get away from your desk. Take a walk, take a bath, go to sleep, make a pie, draw, listen to music, meditate, exercise; whatever you do, don’t just stick there scowling at the problem. But don’t make telephone calls or go to a party; if you do, other people’s words will pour in where your lost words should be. Open a gap for them, create a space. Be patient.’
If you’re stuck, writing prompts are also a useful way to jog ideas. Try freewriting using a writing prompt from a sharing platform for writers such as Reddit.
What are helpful tactics you use when you are feeling stuck in your writing? Or do words, sentences and pages usually arrive without effort?