I am a member of a forum for writers on Facebook and one question that keeps coming up is how to overcome writer’s block?
Here are three ideas that I use that you may find useful.
I have found that when I’m struggling to find something to write about. If I write about something else as a starting point this will often open up my mind to other things. So I look out my window. Then pick an object, a tree, bush, flower, gatepost anything really. Then write about it in as much detail as you can. Don’t do any editing just allow a stream of consciousness to flow. For me this can often be enough to spark an idea or thought for another piece of writing.
Magazines At Your Supermarket
Another way I’ve used is to go to my local supermarket and find the magazines. The ones with the ‘stranger than fiction’ stories in them. Buy a few of them and then over a hot drink either in a coffee shop nearby or back at home. Take notes on a few stories that grab you. Then genderbend the characters to make them different and more interesting. Then rewrite the story with the characters you’ve created using the situation of one of the stories. Write in 20 min bursts. Again do not edit or rewrite. Just let the story come out of you onto the page. Take a break and have a wander around or do some stretches and deep breaths. Then write in another 20 min burst. After an hour read through what you’ve written. It may just surprise you.
This one takes a little preparation. It is also a good way of getting help from close friends and family. Pitching it as a way for them to help you become a better writer. They can make a contribution to one of three boxes.
Box 1 Names of characters.
Box 2 Situations
Box 3 Dramatic tension
Cut or tear some paper into strips large enough to write a few words on. Then write down the name of a character, situation or dramatic tension and drop into your box. Once you’ve collected around a dozen it is ready to use.
When you find yourself stuck for something to write about. Simply take a paper slip from Box 1 then Box 2 and finally Box 3. So you have Mrs Peacock in the supermarket having an argument.
Take a few moments to let you mind think about these random things. Then as before write in 20 min burst taking a break to stretch and breath before writing another 20 min burst.
I have found that by employing one or more of the techniques mentioned above I soon overcome any writer’s block. My mind is captured by an idea and another WIP is born.