We all get it sometimes, whether we admit it to ourselves or not. Writer’s Block. Duh duh duuuuuuuh! (if you’ve seen The Croods, you’ll get this)
I still haven’t figured out a foolproof way to get over this – sometimes I take a break, sometimes I try taking the story a different direction, sometimes I just plow through with sheer stubbornness. Depends on the day.
But I thought it might be fun to take a look at the ways many of the most prolific professional authors deal with this common phenomenon.
Take a Walk
Philippa Gregory, author of The Other Boleyn Girl, packs herself a sandwich, takes the dog, and starts walking, resolved that she won’t stop walking until she sorts out the problem. Apparently she has never yet ended up out all night.
Nicholas Sparks, author of tear jerkers like The Notebook, backtracks through his work in progress and edits, realizing that the block stems from making a mistake somewhere along the line with characters or plot.
From Bad to Worse
Most of the time we try to solve writer’s block by solving a problem, but horror author Stephen King suggests that most of the time adding a problem does the trick.
Don’t Force It
Jeffery Deaver, a mystery/suspense author, says that his writer’s block often stems from “trying to shoehorn an idea into the passage or story where it has no place.”
Shuffle Multiple Projects
Diana Gabaldon, author of the Outlander series, works on multiple writing projects at once, so if she becomes stuck on one, she can work on others. As she becomes stuck on those, the first project usually loosens up.
Hang Upside Down
No, really. Apparently Da Vinci Code author Dan Brown hangs upside down from an inversion frame to stimulate creativity when he has writer’s block.
So maybe some of these things work for you. Maybe not, but at least they get the ideas flowing, and that is what it’s all about.