Hitting the Wall

You know the feeling: you’ve been staring at your screen for hours, trying to write something (anything) and you re-read your last sentence and it sounds something like this:

“Um, well, uhhhhhh….pregnancy is, well, really cool, but also, really, uhhhhh… stressful.”

How do you get over the brick wall of writer’s block? How do you write when your mind is mushy from too many hours in front of the computer, two whiny kids and too many Backyardigan’s reruns?

Here are my best tips:

1. Stop writing. I know it’s counterintuitive to stop writing when you’re trying to get words on paper, but there are times that your brain is just too overloaded to write. On those days, I do something else like bake a huge chocolate cake or build a Lego tower with my kids or watch mindless TV and realize that it’s not productive to spend hours writing when the sentences will only end up being tossed later.

2. Call a friend. My sister is hilarious and fun and always has a good story–so when I was writing my book and needed inspiration, I’d call her. We’d just chat– about anything– and I’d always walk away with a bunch of new ideas. Little did she know I was mining our conversation for writing prompts.

3. Write something else. When I really got stuck on a certain section or chapter, I’d just skip to a new one. So, on the day that I just couldn’t stand to write another word about baby gear, I jumped to labor and delivery– a subject that I had plenty of ammo for– and then tackled baby gear later.

4. Read another book. I know, I know, copying from another book is illegal…but reading another author’s FANTASTIC work just to get your mind in the place to go back to your fantastic work is totally lawful– and helpful. Read something funny, something light, and something totally unrelated to the topic you’re writing about.

Question for you: What are your best writer’s block tips?

51 Comments

  1. Usually when I'm trying to do anything else, like dishes, sleeping, thinking about anything else, I *want* to write!!!

  2. Hmmm. How about literally hitting A wall? Will that work?

    LOL.
    Patti

  3. totally agree- writing something else or reading always works for me.
    Is this a new template? LOVE it

  4. I love reading under the guise of research or refreshing my creativity. :-) I also like Patti's idea. lol

  5. I find my best inspiration at the most inconvenient times. Isn't that how it always is?! By the time I can write down my thoughts they are usually long gone or too jumbled up with other things I have had to think about since that inspiring moment.

  6. Erin,

    Thanks for stopping by my blog! I really appreciate it :) I have queried a few of those agents, and the ones who responded sent form rejections. But that's okay. Perseverance is key, right?

    One of the ways I got past writers block was to watch a movie I loved, one with a story that was just so amazing that I couldn't help but be inspired. My movie w/ an amazing story might not be someone else's, but it really helped me get over a few stumbling blocks. I think I wrote for 3 days after watching it. So, my advice is to find a movie with a story you love, whether it be romance, inspirational, science fiction, fantasy, etc. and watch it when you're in a rut or looking at a wall. Even if it doesn't get your groove back, it'll at least get your mind thinking. And if nothing else, you just watched a great movie 😀

  7. I go into eccentric "medium"-mode, writing/purging whatever pops in my mind, good or bad. When the cleansing is done, my mind is clear.

  8. I take a walk, sometimes a long one, and carry a notebook. The endorphins that come from walking seem to stimulate thinking. Of course, it helps that I am a kinesthetic learner, so I learn by walking, too.

  9. I know for me sometimes I feel like I'm in a "writing cage" -All cooped up trying to come up with something to no avail -So, I think it's good to go out, get some fresh air -and it seems before I know it -I've got inspiration to write again :)

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