Updated: Oct 11, 2019
There's no worse universal truth for all writers than experiencing writer's block. It's an inevitable event of any creative process—somehow, the creative juices seem to stop flowing altogether, and the world stands still. It happens to the best of us, but it's still a frustrating path to be on, especially when you're met with writing deadlines or pure impatience. So, how do we combat this inescapable phenomenon without beating ourselves up and cursing the writing gods? Well, it all starts with one thing: patience.
Read a book.
It's well known that reading increases creativity, sparking new ideas and expanding vocabularies. Reading serves as a great way to relax your mind. Not only are you taking the pressure off yourself to create new worlds, characters, and plots, but you're giving yourself the chance to dive into someone else's world and experience everything that makes a book great. Read a book in the genre that you're currently writing in, and you will have new ideas coming to you in no time. For example, if you're writing a fantasy book, reading another fantasy novel may give you a plan on how you can make your world more dynamic and intriguing. It may spark new conflicts between characters or give you ways to effectively resolve a subplot—anything is possible!
Use writing prompts to generate ideas.
If you're stuck in your own writing, try writing something else. Look up some writing prompts online or buy a book of writing prompts from your local bookstore. Interesting and unique prompts serve as a way to get your creative juices flowing again and may give you insight into those troublesome areas of your own story. Even if it doesn't, you will have at least gotten some writing done, which is truly a magnificent feat when under the spell of writer's block.
Do something else creative.
Creative outlets lend ideas to one another. Most creative practices are generated in the same area of the brain, so by doing one, you may very well spark another. If writing is giving you a headache, try doing something else creative, like knitting, painting, dancing, or making music. It's up to you what you do, but keeping yourself in a creative mindset is key to getting out of a writing funk. Writer's block seems even more impossible to defeat when your brain is nowhere near thinking creatively.
Create a writing routine.
The best writers in the world all created a writing routine that fit perfectly into their schedule. Whether it's an hour-long writing sprint or a stolen fifteen minutes on your train ride home, creating a writing routine for yourself will get your mind used to spewing new ideas every day. Sporadic behavior makes it harder to stay consistent in the long run, and with any long project, consistency is key.
Just do it.
When all else fails, the best way to combat writer's block is to simply write. Even if what you're writing is pure garbage, some words are better than no words—you can always edit later. Besides, the only person seeing your writing is you! There's no shame in a sloppy first, second, or even fifth draft; it's all a work in progress until it hits the printing press. So, stick with it, and don't give up on yourself!
Let me know in the comments how you combat writer's block, and as always, subscribe for more tips, tricks, and advice!