Thursday, April 30, 2015

Adventures in Revising: Writer's Block

This post is written because of my own personal writer's block that I've been experiencing for a few months now. It is an issue of changing up my whole life (new city, new job, new apartment) and then letting that get in the way of writing. So I needed to find a way to pull myself out of my writer's block. 

I went to some of my favorite writing blogs to get advice:
Brenda Drake's Making Connections
Dorothy Dreye's We Do Write
Chuck Wendig's Terribleminds Blog
Krista Van Dolzer's Mother.Write.Repeat

1. I think critiquing another's work (as a CP) could help you get your mind around the basics of your own writing. Reading often helps my writing, and reading with the thought to lend constructive criticism makes your brain work in a slightly different angle. Looking at characterization of a character you didn't write, or the plot flow of a story you didn't craft. It helps loosen up your brain, like stretching before working out.

2. In that same vein, you should READ! Just read, get out a book that you loved, or crack open a new one on your TBR list and just read. I've had this conversation with many writers and one of the best ways to get better at writing is reading. I wholeheartedly believe that. 

3. Take a break. Sometimes I think I just get in my own head too much. I don't let myself breath. And I have these deadlines for my writing that I  just need to let go of sometimes. Now, I'm not saying don't have any deadlines. You totally should, you should have something to motivate yourself to finish that WiP and get it out there (if that is your main goal of course). But I think that arbitrary goals are why I would turn in mediocre work in school.

4. Go to a Writing Conference. Writing conferences are AWESOME! They really get you motivated to work on your MS. And they give great direction for things that are tripping you up as a writer. The speakers, the authors, the editors and agents, and the other attendees are all sources of inspiration. I love my critique group who I met all at a writing conference. We are always supporting each other and bouncing ideas off of each other, and we met because we all were so motivated to learn more that we went to the same writing conference.
Bonus: Writing Conferences are also great places to go to pitch your work to agents and editors. So there's always networking you can do there that you'll never accomplish at home behind your computer.

5. Have your friends go to a writing conference. This is something I just figured out. Haha. It might not be true for everyone, but for me, having my CPs and friends go to a writing conference (even if I didn't go) helps tremendously with motivation. I see them talking about all they learned (and sharing, because sharing is caring). I see them getting so excited about their writing and talking about what they just heard the keynote speaker say, and I get jazzed! All of my writing group went to a conference this year and I wasn't able to go because of work and life. But I saw them talking about it in our Facebook group and I got so inspired that I wrote a whole new chapter in the WiP that I've been stuck on for months!

6. Talk to Others about your writing. This is kind of a lesson from #5, talking about your writing helps tremendously. And if you are lucky enough to have friends who are willing to listen to you talk their ear off about your characters, story, and writing then you are truly blessed. I am blessed a dozen times over because of my previously mentioned critique group. I also happen to have a sister who just got a book deal and a cousin who is the best writer I know. So I have some great resources to talk to about my writing.

7. Stop overthinking and just write. The other best way to get better at writing is writing! Surprise! Hahaha. Seriously, I decided to write through my writer's block. And not only did that help the WiP I originally started writing, but I came up with a bunch of other story ideas by merely writing whatever popped into my head. I have so many google docs that I'm going to run out of that free storage they give everyone. (Nooo! I can't let that happen!)

Do you have any tips for breaking out of writer's block? Please share in the comments, because I'm always up for more suggestions!


  1. Great advice. I’m going to be revising parts of my thesis in the next few weeks, and I’m dreading it. So, my tip for beating writer’s block is to stop procrastinating and force yourself to sit down and write, even if it’s hard.

    Aj @ Read All The Things!

    1. Thanks for the advice Aj! I agree completely, we just need to try to keep writing even if we hate everything we write. Then eventually something will click. Good luck with your thesis!