Overcoming Writer’s Block: The Ultimate Guide
Imagine you just published your next novel, and it’s already on its way to becoming a best seller. That all sounds like a dream, especially if you frequently get writer’s block.
Luckily, you can get over a creative hump, and you can finish your book. Then, you can live the dream as a published author.
Read on for some tips on how to get over writer’s block.
Table of Contents
Read What You've Written
If you’ve written a bit of your book, read through what you’ve written. Of course, this gives you a chance to do some proofreading and editing, which can make your book even better.
However, you may come across ideas for what to write to help get over your writer’s block. Maybe you forgot about a story one of your characters said, and you use that to inspire the next chapter.
Reading your current writing can also be good if your writer’s block comes from imposter syndrome. You can remind yourself that writing a book isn’t as hard as you think, and you’re a good writer.
Read Something Else
If you have yet to start writing a book, read something from another writer. Find a book or an article about a topic you enjoy so that you’ll want to read it.
The more you read, the better your writing will become. Reading can also be an amazing way to get ideas. Now, you don’t want to plagiarise other writers.
But reading may help you come up with your own ideas for how to develop the characters in your book. Soon enough, finishing a book may seem much easier thanks to all of the ideas you get from reading.
Take a Break
If you’ve been writing a lot lately, you may need to take a break from the craft. Even the best authors can struggle to finish a book in a short period.
You can take a few minutes to go for a walk or call a friend or relative. If writer’s block still persists, you may want to take a break from writing for the rest of the day.
Come back to your book the following day, hopefully with a clear head. Getting a good night of sleep may provide you with the energy you need to finish a chapter or your entire book.
Set a Timer
If writing a book still seems like an insurmountable task, use a timer. Set it for five minutes and just write whatever pops into your head in that time.
Writing against a timer can be a great way to motivate yourself to start writing. If you don’t like what you write, you can delete it, but you may find that some of the material is usable in your book.
While timing your writing doesn’t work for everyone, it’s worth trying at least once. Forcing yourself to write for a few minutes is an excellent way to help you focus.
You can then continue using the timer to write more. Or you can go back to writing without a timer if that works better for you.
Create a Schedule
A fantastic way to beat writer’s block over the long term is to develop a writing schedule. Set aside an hour or two at the same time each day so that you can write.
After a few days or weeks of writing at the same time, it will become like any other habit. That can make writing a book seem less daunting, and you may even get more excited for your daily writing session.
Over time, you’ll be able to write each chapter, and finishing a book will seem more within reach. To set a good schedule, consider when you’re most creative and alert so that you can be more productive with your writing time.
Participate in a Writing Challenge
Another excellent way to beat writer’s block is to participate in a writing challenge, such as National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo). The challenge happens each year in November, with the goal to write 50,000 words in a month.
But you can create your own monthly or weekly writing challenge at any time. Set a goal for the number of words, pages, or chapters you want to write in that period.
If you set a writing schedule, you can hold yourself accountable. And you can break your overall goal down into daily goals. That way, finishing a book in a month will seem easier.
Write Something New
Maybe you’re not having trouble writing, but you can’t seem to write your book. Use your writing time to focus on another writing project, such as a different book or an article.
Writing in a different style allows you to get into the zone and be creative with your writing. It can also provide a nice break from your main novel.
When you come back to writing a book, you may have ideas to help move the story along. That way, you can finish your book and move on to the publishing stage.
Use an Outline
If you suffer from writer’s block often, consider if you use an outline. Outlining your book lets you list all of the main ideas you want your book to include.
You can also write certain details that you want each chapter to include. Then, you won’t have to forget those ideas when you finally get to the chapter.
Making an outline is also a great excuse to write on paper instead of on your computer. If you’re struggling to write in front of a screen, using a pen and paper may help you jot down more ideas to start your book.
Start in the Middle
Perhaps you’ve made a fantastic outline, but you still can’t seem to write the first chapter. Consider writing another chapter before the first one.
If you already have ideas for how to make another chapter go, use this time to create a draft. You can come back to the first chapter later, and you can make sure every chapter flows well together.
After you write the middle chapters, the first may come to you more naturally. For example, you may have a better idea of how to introduce each character based on how they act later in the book.
Change the Point of View
Another one of the best tips for authors dealing with writer’s block is to use a different point of view. Whether you’re writing the book from the perspective of the main character or a narrator, switch it up.
Write the next chapter or section from a different character’s perspective. If you find the other perspective boring to write from, you can keep things interesting.
You can then either keep the chapter in the different perspective, or you can edit it. That way, the same character or narrator is telling the entire story, but you don’t have to write that way the entire time.
Write Somewhere New
You might also want to change your perspective and view when writing a book. If you use a laptop, take it with you to a cafe or out on your deck.
The different view can help you be more creative, and you may get ideas that you wouldn’t get in your usual writing location. You may not always be able to write from a different spot.
In that case, you can turn on a different genre of music. The music might help you come up with different ideas for your story, so you might find writing a book is much easier.
Get Constructive Feedback
Before publishing a book, you should have someone else look at it. You can do this by hiring a professional editor, but don’t be afraid to ask friends and family or anyone else you know who might like the book.
Have them give you their thoughts on the storyline and characters. Sometimes, a second or third opinion may give you new ideas to incorporate into the story.
Receiving feedback can also help motivate you to write. Then, you can feel like you’re not simply writing into the void. And the early feedback may help you make the book better than it would have been.
Work Against a Deadline
When publishing a book with a traditional publisher, you may face deadlines. However, self-publishing doesn’t come with the same restrictions.
On the one hand, that means you can be more flexible. But that also means you can go weeks without writing your book and not face consequences.
So set a deadline for yourself, even if you publish the book without a publisher. Then, you can keep yourself accountable, potentially motivating your to write more.
Defeating Writer's Block Is Easy
Writer’s block may seem like the biggest obstacle in your path to finishing a book. Fortunately, you don’t have to succumb to the limitations of your writing.
From creating an outline to following a writing schedule, try a few things to get over your writer’s block. Then, you’ll be able to write and publish your next novel in no time.
Do you need help publishing a book? View our self-publishing packages to learn how we can help.