Monday, April 19, 2010

Writer's Block: The Cure

I have bad news. I said on Friday's post about diagnosing Writer's Block that I would post the cure on Monday.

I kinda lied. Not sure there really IS a cure. (If there is, let me know, kay?)

But... I think there are a few things we can do to lessen the effects and start the process of returning to wellness in our writing journey.
  • Take a break. I'm convinced that sometimes when we are completely fed up with our writing that what we really need is time away. Think of it as a couple who are always fighting and need a time out from each other. Separation makes the heart grow fonder, right?
  • Write anyway. Other times, a break is bad news. A break-up with your writing will cause you to be even more lazy and just lengthen your time of separation. Sometimes, we just need to sit our butts in the chair, power-up that laptop, and write regardless of how we feel. Just like love is a choice not just a feeling... so is writing. (I just got home from a date with my hubby... I'm in a relationship mood, ha!)
  • Brainstorm. I love this one. Most of the time when I have the worst writer's block, it is because there is a wall between me and my manuscript that needs to be torn down. Brainstorming, especially with others, can be a huge help with this. It gets the juices churning in our head.
  • Read a book. Nothing is more motivating to me than sitting down with a book by one of my fav authors. It renews the yearning in my heart to write riveting fiction.
  • Write something that would never happen. Okay, hear me out on this one. If you're really stuck, think of the most OUTRAGEOUS thing that could happen next in your book... then write the scene. It can be totally contradictory to what you would really write, but that's okay, you'll delete most of it anyway. BUT! It, like brainstorming, might help that great idea that is just itching to get onto paper to pop into your brain.
  • Eat Chocolate. I dunno... it helps ME anyway!
Anyone else have some suggestions??


Tabitha Bird said...

Ooh, this is a tough one. I think take a break is good. But one that really works for me is read someone else. I love to pour time into my critique partner's writing when I am stuck in mine because I can often see what someone else would do before I can see what I can do. Then I go back to my work with fresh eyes.

Jessica Nelson said...

I like the chocolate one. LOL
Good post Krista! I love the 'write outrageous' suggestion. Sometimes we're stuck because our stories are boring and we don't know it. *grin* Sometimes we need to change direction and write something exciting!

sherrinda said...

Oh yes, the smooth velvety feel of chocolate soothes me...but doesn't necessarily make me write. lol

Reading is a good one, and I have discovered that for me, taking a break is not the best thing. I become lazy and begin to have doubts that I will ever amount to anything. Nope...breaks are not my friend.

p.s. Do you have good news for me???? ;)

Krista Phillips said...

Sherrinda, how about BRIBING yourself with chocolate?

Say... Finish this chapter and I can have some!

Finish the whole BOOK and I can take a trip to the chocolate store and buy whatever I want!

See? Motivating:-)

Krista Phillips said...

Oh, and sherrinda, yes, I do:-)

Jody Hedlund said...

Love your suggestions, Krista!! I think you hit on most of them. For me, I try to think what is the next "worse" thing that could happen. Or what can escalate the tension of the story even more. That always helps me find the next scene that I enjoy writing.

lifeinapinkfibro said...

Ooh, I wish I'd read this yesterday. Blasted through The Block myself today. Glad to see you're on the mend.

Julie Jarnagin said...

These are great. I would add - change things up. Don't write at your desk. Go to the back porch, your favorite chair or a coffee shop. Use a notebook instead of your computer. This seems to help me.

Erica Vetsch said...

I'm of the just write anyway school of thought. :)

And the chocolate school of thought whether you have writer's block or not. :)

CMOM Productions said...

Research/Experience... I was stuck in an area recently and had to take a drive and experience the trip I wanted a MC to take in the story to remove my writers road block.

Jason said...

Swedish Fish. Lots of Swedish Fish.

That's the cure-all for everything.

Except perhaps obesity.

T. Anne said...

Those are great tips!!!! I write anyway and yes I've thrown odd ball things at my MC's. I gotta make something happen, right? ;)

Katie Ganshert said...

Read a book while eating chocolate. Nothing gets more inspiring than that!

Krista Phillips said...

I think Katie's on to something. What if the "cure" is to doing ALL of them?

Take a break to read a book while eating chocolate, then call a friend to brainstorm, then hang up, sit your butt in the chair and write something outragous.

Of course, as Jason noted, this is a good solution to Writer's Block... not so great for weightloss

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Hi Krista -

The chocolate is my favorite cure, but the one on writing something outrageous strikes me as more practical. I'll have to test drive it. :)


Cassandra Frear said...

Look at something beautiful. It refreshes the soul.

lynnrush said...

I really love critiquing other manuscripts. That helps.

But yeah, chocolate works well, too! LOL.

Keli Gwyn said...

I take a walk. Since I write historicals set in the heart of California's Gold Country where I live, I find walking past elegant Victorian homes and strolling down our historic Main Street lined with brick and rock buildings dating back to 1856 really helps get me in the mood. Plus, my characters seem to chatter when I walk. I often return home ready to capture the scene that's just played out in my mind.

patti said...

I just read an Oswald Chambers quote this a.m. that slapped me in the face.

"The thing that hinders control is impulse." Jumping up. Doing other things rather than THE thing.

Oh, there was one more quote that has me smarting: "Beware of saying, 'I haven't time to read the Bible (or write) or to pray'; say rather, 'I haven't disciplined myself to do these things.'"


Discipline does work for me. I just hate to admit it.