If you’re busy with NaNoWriMo, or simply busy with a book, you will have times where the enthusiasm wears off and the ‘what the hell was I thinking’ kicks in. Whatever you do, don’t quit.
4 Ways To Power Your Way Through Writer’s Block
1. If you are behind
Take a deep breath. You can catch up. You need to make a plan to spend more time writing. Send the kids to Grandma. Book a golf game for your husband or better yet, take yourself somewhere quiet where you won’t be disturbed. You need a big session to catch up. Once you have written as much as you can, recalculate your daily word count for the rest of the month and adjust accordingly.
2. If you are stuck
Even if you have planned ahead, your writing you may still be stuck. If you didn’t plan, you are probably adding new characters and new settings on every page, but very little is actually happening in the story. Take a step back. Remind yourself what your story is about. Write a three-line description of your story using this formula to keep you focused:
[Character’s name] + [inciting moment] + [story goal] leads to [intriguing question]
Josie’s boyfriend commits suicide. She wants to find out why, but that means dealing with his crazy controlling mother. Should Josie let herself be lured into a life of riches by the woman who destroyed the man she loved?
After her divorce from Tom, Rachel becomes obsessed with Megan, a woman who she sees from the train every day. When Megan goes missing Rachel is determined to find her, but can she remember what happened during her blackout? In short ask yourself, who wants to do what and why? Then print it out, stick it to your wall and when in doubt go back and ask yourself if you are answering the question.
3. If you are going crazy
Yes, this can happen. Do not underestimate the task at hand. It is huge. You need to take care of yourself. Don’t neglect your diet, your exercise and your sanity. Make sure you spend enough time away from your writing. In short, once you have hit your daily word count get away from it for a while.
4. If you hate the writing
This can also happen. The shiny new idea has become dull. Remember almost every writer hates their story at one point, but don’t stop. You’ll love it again, but you have to write through it.
Try these to power your way through writer’s block:
- Rewrite a big scene from a different character’s viewpoint.
- Jump ahead to a scene you are excited about.
- Rewrite the character biographies.
- Write the ending. You can always change it again later.
Happy NaNoWriMo. You can do it.
Create a writing habit with Hooked On Writing: 31 Days To A Writing Habit
by Mia Botha
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