The creative writers amongst us will be more than aware of National Novel Writing Month – the 30-day period taking place every November in which budding authors around the world try to write a 50,000 word novella.
Of course, that’s all come to an end now, but many of the writers who got together and shared their thoughts on the site will have suffered the same problem – the dreaded writer’s block. No matter how much you try to struggle on, sometimes there is just no getting over the wall, whether it’s trying to transition two chapters or even write the first sentence.
This is nothing to beat yourself up over though. If you’re midway through a novel, freelance reporting assignment or anything else and find yourself hitting the ‘wall’, here are a few ways you can overcome writer’s block.
Change your environment
Sometimes writer’s block can come as a result of working with too many distractions, or writing in an uncomfortable environment. You can make many subtle changes to your writing space which can have a monumental effect on your creative flow. For example, is your seat comfortable? Consider investing in a comfortable day bed which will encourage the feel of relaxation and let the words flow. A good house plant will also purify the air and help to encourage positive energy around the room.
Walk away and come back again
Think of your workout in the gym – you wouldn’t keep pushing on if you were in a huge amount of pain, so why force something creatively that just isn’t there? Sometimes it’s best just to walk away, take a break, and come back to your project with a fresh pair of eyes. It worked wonders for Ernest Hemingway, who said: “Always stop while you are going good and don’t think about it or worry about it until you start to write the next day. That way your subconscious will work on it all the time.”
Write inane nonsense
This may sound a little unconventional, but it’s been proven to work for some of the most established writers. The recently passed Maya Angelou once advised that she would constantly write rubbish until inspiration hit her. “What I try to do is write. I may write for two weeks: ‘the cat sat on the mat, that is that, not a rat.’ And it might be just the most boring and awful stuff. But I try. When I’m writing, I write. And then it’s as if the muse is convinced that I’m serious and says: ‘Okay. Okay. I’ll come.’”