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6 Tips for Defeating Writer's Block by Louise Matchett

Photo Credit: mikkime on Flickr Hello, this is Briana! I'm on vacation in West Virginia this week, so I'm publishing some wonderful guest posts. As soon as I'm back, we will return you to your regularly scheduled programming. Until then, enjoy!

You should be writing. And yet whenever you open your manuscript and write a sentence you delete it, rewrite it and delete it again. Just like that you’re stuck, your mind goes blank and your character voices that live in your mind, who have always been there whispering to you, have fallen silent. And whilst you sit there your deadlines are creeping up on you, getting ready to pounce.

Writer’s block. Hitting a wall. Falling out of sync. These are some of the many different names we writers come up with for one common problem and that problem is when you can’t make the words pour out onto a page, whether it’s a page in a notebook or a page on a computer screen.

So what can you do to get the juices flowing once more? (Aside from making a sacrifice to the muses)

  • Sometimes all it takes is a re-read of the last paragraph or chapter you wrote to remind yourself of what might happen next. Though the urge to re-write a whole chapter can be tempting try to focus on just reading and not editing.
  • Take a break from your current project and start something new, it could be a blog post or even a competition piece. Anything that can wipe your creative palate clean.
  • Take a scheduled break from writing altogether, spend time with friends and family. But fix a deadline so that you know when that day comes you have to return to your current project.
  • Do something new. Is there a place you’ve always wanted to go, a new sport you’ve been wanting to try or maybe it’s something else. Whether it’s crossing something off of your bucket list or just following an impulse, give it a go. Take photos. Make the occasional note. If it doesn’t spark your imagination it can always make a great blog post.
  • Pick up your favourite book and read the first page, just the first page though. Done it? Now ask yourself questions; what makes me want to turn the next page? What do I learn from this page? Why is this book my favourite? This helps you identify what you find important in a story and if you apply these elements into your book it might help you get back into your writing.
  • Change your location. No I don’t mean you have to move house, what I mean is identify where you normally do most of your writing, then change location. You do most of your writing sitting in the living room? Try the kitchen. You write whilst lying on your bed? Try sitting on the stairs.

I hope these tips can help you push through your writer’s block and get the words flowing once more.

Louise Matchett is an author and photographer. You can visit her website and follow her on Instagram and Twitter. Thanks so much for writing this post, Louise!

What tips do you have for defeating writer's block?

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