We’re getting to the end of NaNoWriMo and if it hasn’t reared its ugly head at you yet, beware: writer’s block may be coming for you.
But don’t worry, that’s why we’re here today! I’m sharing my best tips and tricks for how to deal when writer’s block hits. Because it can be paralyzing and scary and no fun at all. And when you’re on a time crunch, like our dear friend NaNoWriMo, it can be overwhelming.
So what’s a writer to do?
- Close your document.
Really. Staring at the blank white isn’t going to do you any favors. For most of us, all it does it stress us out, put undue pressure on our overworked minds, and make us feel unproductive and like failures. Close your document, get off your computer, and let your eyes and your mind look at something else.
- Do something that has nothing to do with writing.
It is possible to be too involved in writing. We can easily obsess over our stories, our characters, our plots, our world creation. Stop the thinking and go do something different: go on a hike, play in the snow, cook, bake, do yoga, knit, watch a movie or a tv show, get in an intellectual discussion with your partner, do a crossword. Get your mind doing something it doesn’t do normally.
- Get moving
Whether that’s doing a quick ab workout in front of your routine, going to a yoga or spin class, taking a hike, or going on a three-day backpacking trip, just get out there. The fresh air and fresh perspective will do you wonders.
- Look inward.
I would hazard a guess that 75% of the time, the reason we are encountering writer’s block has to do with our own personal blocks about success, creativity, or worth. So make a cup of tea and sit down with your journal and free write a bit about your writer’s block. Start with how it makes you feel, then delve into why it makes you feel that way. You might even come up with a good story idea.
- Treat yourself.
If I’ve said this once, I’ve said it a million times: the starving artist is a myth. You’ll write best when you take care of yourself. So light a candle, bake your favorite treat, take a bath, go to the spa, get out in nature, whatever you need to do to feel more like yourself.
- Try writing something different.
If you’re attempting to write your current WIP but nothing is coming out, try flipping the switch and writing something entirely different. Whether that’s writing non-fiction when you normally write fiction, trying your hand at poetry or song lyrics, or something totally new, open a new doc and write something new.
- Reread what you’ve already written
Be proud of how far you’ve come. Daydream about how far you’ll go.
We’re in the home stretch for NaNo this year friends. I wish all the luck in the world.