Life in Writing
Every writer has that moment when they just hit the wall. Your plot doesn’t make sense, your characters feel fake, nothing you do works. You have the dreaded writer’s block. Fortunately, there are lots of ways to get through it. A quick internet search will tell you what many different authors do to cope, and not all of them will work for you, but here are four activities that always help me to get the creative juices flowing.
You can write a quick story about this video. Why is this Lego guy dancing? Why that song? Is he really a toy, or a robot? Maybe he's a person transformed into a Lego man? Come up with anything and write a single page about it. Don’t worry about making the writing good, just write. The plot line can be that he's the king of a race of ninja aliens who takes breaks by transforming into a Lego guy and dancing. It really doesn't matter if it's a good story. It’ll help to clear your head and get you back on track for the story you want to write. And who knows, maybe a dancing Lego man is exactly what your current story needs! (That’s doubtful, but you never know)!
3. Listen to new music
If you’re anything like me, you’ve got your favorite genres of music and you mostly stick to them. This is fine for most things in life, but it can stifle creativity. Find a new song in a new genre that makes you feel something. If you love listening to upbeat music, try something sad. If you love something slow and romantic, try something fast and angry. It’s not that you have to completely change your tastes in music, just try listening to something new and feeling something new. This will help jump your mind out the rut you’re stuck in, and may also give you insight into how your characters may be feeling.
4. Just write a bad first draft
Sometimes it’s okay to just write a really terrible first draft and get past it. That’s exactly what editing and revision are for. Just get something on the page and move on to the next part, then fix it later. Most of the times that I’ve done this, I’ve felt like my writing was absolutely terrible as I put it down, but then a week later I came back and read it just to find that my writing was fine, and the problems with it were all in my head. Sometimes when you’re stuck, just pushing through it can be the best thing.
I hope these tips are helpful as you endeavor to get your story out of your head and onto the page. Best of luck to you!
Daniel M. Quilter is the author of A Soul Divided. On this blog he'll interview other authors, review books, share nerd wisdom from popular sci-fi and fantasy, and occasionally share his insights on writing. See a list of his works or see what he's working on.
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