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Overcoming Writer’s Block

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Writer's block is a common issue among writers — whether you're a rookie or a seasoned editor. Thankfully, writer's block is completely normal and it's important not to beat yourself up when you feel yourself hit a wall. However, there isn't exactly a science behind writing, and overcoming writer's block isn't a one-size-fits-all solution. Of course, you can choose to wait it out until inspiration comes to you — but we all know this isn't the most ideal decision, especially if you've got strict deadlines to follow. To help you out, we've prepared a few tips to try out the next time you fall into a creative rut.

Make Use of Writing Prompts For writers, few things are more intimidating than staring down at a blank page. Indeed, starting is one of the hardest parts of the writing process, but you can get inspired by enlisting the help of writing prompts. As noted in Illumination's article on writing prompts, these mini briefs can help jumpstart your creativity and push your mind to explore new ideas. When it comes to writing prompts, it's best to take a casual approach and simply allow yourself to have fun. You might be surprised what you come up with.

Take A Break Sometimes, your writer's block may not stem from a lack of new ideas. According to the Writing Cooperative, exhaustion and fatigue are common causes. Instead of forcing yourself to write, you might benefit more from taking a break. You don't have to take it to extremes and book a spiritual retreat at a remote farm. Pain Free Working recommends trying out breathing exercises, which can be done anytime and anywhere. Aside from relieving tension and calming your nerves, such exercises can help clear your head. Try doing this when you're feeling overwhelmed while writing. You can also just go out for a walk and fresh air, make a mindful cup of coffee, or even allow yourself a few moments to gaze at the sky.

Read More Lastly, one of the best ways to get over writer's block is by reading other works. In general, reading is a great way to fire up your imagination. Read books you like. Read books you normally wouldn't be interested in. Read your favorite novel that you've gone over dozens of times. Remember that inspiration can be found everywhere. You might also find that reading books about the writing process as a whole can be helpful and instructive too. For starters, The Guardian's list of ten books about creative writing suggests Zadie Smith's Feel Free and Toni Morrison's Mouth Full of Blood. By reading about how successful writers approach writing, you're sure to pick up a learning or two to apply to your own process.

You could also consider:

  1. Making the conversation flow more smoothly and naturally.

  2. Avoid(ing) writing long sentences. Keep a sentence 20 words or shorter, never longer than that if possible.

  3. Avoid(ing) adding unnecessary details in the story. You don’t need to give background information to every character that is introduced. You don’t have to explain every little detail. Anything that is not related to the story, delete it. You need to make sure that everything you write adds to the experience of the reader.

  4. Make sure that the tense is consistent throughout your writing. It is a very common mistake.

  5. Do not use the abbreviation “yrs” when writing a novel. It is a cause of confusion.

  6. You need to remember the genre you’re writing. This book is supposed to be a mystery/thriller, yet there are very few elements of the genre itself. It has more about work politics than the murders and anything connected to them. Explaining the victim’s lives and their character’s is not required either. You need to talk about the murders themselves, the way they’d been conducted, the ongoing investigation surrounding it, all that stuff.

  7. Proper research should go into the area that will be the focus in the book. Here, the procedures of a proper investigation should have been researched. Otherwise, it just sounds amateurish and unreal.

Are you still in need of more writing tips? Check out our article on The Dos and Don'ts of Writing!

Article contribute by Sammie Anders

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