Christina Leigh Pritchard
Inspiration can hit like a Tsunami. You’re the surfer, riding the wave. The story, the characters, the plot—it’s pouring out of you! And then, without notice, it dissipates, leaving behind a half-written masterpiece. Your soul still yearns to complete it, but how? It’s as if you are standing in the center of a weather-torn area. You see the Livingroom furniture, some kitchen cabinets, a roof—but it’s all displaced and not in the best condition. How do you put it back together again? How do you get over the slump of writer’s block? Depression fills every cavity of your being. And, why?
Because, you can’t seem to write a single word down. This storm has left you bankrupt and devastated. Even though you may see your roof—it’s on the ground in pieces. The kitchen has no walls and the furniture is covered in mildew.
You can restore. Think of the hurricanes that hit Florida over the years, for example. People pulled through. You can too!
Here’s some helpful tips. You need to prepare for writer’s block just as you would for a natural disaster. To weather the storm, you’ll need the right tools and survival skills.
- Get a timer. You can use programs online or look at your clock. This is a trick, old as time. It works. Start out small. Set the clock for five minutes a day. Write and do not stop. This will activate your mind. If inspiration hits, keep going! If it doesn’t, you’re training your mind to work hard at writing. After all, what’s five minutes? It’s five minutes of written word that you did not have…
- Change locations. If you’re writing and inspiration begins to wane, get up and move to another spot. Go to a coffee shop or maybe a park.
- Take a walk and mull ideas over inside your mind. Then, write them down. Research is writing too. Sometimes, just seeing the ideas listed can help you gather yourself together. When a storm approaches, news media sends out lists of supplies and tips to those living locally. This is a writer’s way of prepping for their writing storm. You can do it! Write it down and check off each area completed. This will encourage you.
- Switch to a new chapter. Do you know the ending? Write that instead of the beginning. The key is to never stop writing.
- Need to finish the chapter, but can’t figure out a scene? No problem! Put in: [expand later] and continue with the parts of the chapter that you do know.
- Read your book out loud to your friends and family. Hearing it and seeing the responses of others will motivate you. They may even give you suggestions for your unfinished chapters!
- Switch stories for a bit. I try to work on at least two books at once. This way, if my mind is burned out on one book, I can regroup by writing for the other. See, you’re progressing, no matter what!
Slowly, practicing the above, you will build a foundation that can weather any writer’s block storm!