Hitting the Wall

The following is a guest post from Tiffany (Angelkirb).  Tiffany lives in Calgary. Hewr hobbies include reading, writing, drawing, knitting, and watching a variety of TV shows (which goes better with some of her hobbies than others).
The dreaded writer’s block. The ten foot tall brick wall that pops out of nowhere just as your writing is flowing so well. It seems impassible, impossible to get over. Everyone experiences writer’s block at some time or another, but what do you do when you feel as though your muse has gone on vacation?
The first thing to consider is the root of writer’s block. As much as it feels like a solid brick wall, it’s really not. There are a variety of causes that bring about writer’s block, but most of the time what it really comes down to is that the creative juices just aren’t flowing anymore. It may be something big or small, but either way, you need to get past it so you can get more words on the paper.In order to find the door in the wall there are many different strategies you can try. You may want to do something different with your writing. If one scene has you stumped, jump forward to the scene that’s been keeping you up at night or find a writing prompt and put it into your novel. Or change your PoV character for the scene. It might be messy, it might come out odd, but it may give you some new insights on the part that has you stuck.All you need is some movement. This can be anything from getting outside for a walk and a change of setting, hitting the gym for a quick workout, or something as simple as taking a dance break to that song that describes the theme of your novel just right. A few minutes of movement, especially after hours stuck in front of your computer, can do wonders.

If the words just aren’t coming no matter what you try writing, switch activities for a bit. Do something you love, whether it’s drawing, knitting, gaming or Facebook. Take a bath/shower or read a book by your favorite author or in the genre that you are writing and see if you can find inspiration. When all else fails, turn on an episode of your favorite show. The one thing to remember when seeking out another activity is to set a time limit and get back to your writing after that. It’s easy enough to get away to refresh your mind and get sucked into distractions instead that eat up your writing time.

If it’s a particular situation that has you stumped, reach out to other writers or someone from your support team. Post in the Facebook thread, on the NaNo forum, in chat, attend a write in, or when there isn’t one, set up your own. The community is a very strong resource, both for help with story issues and for general support.

Some of these strategies may work better than others, while some might not work at all for you and that’s okay. Experiment and see what works best for you and your writing. Whatever you do, make sure that you get back to your writing after you get a bit of distance and hopefully find that door you were looking for. All the strategies in the world won’t help you if you don’t sit back down and give the words a chance to flow once more.

The last thing to remember is not to stress over a blip in your creative process. The more you stress it, the hard it will be to get over. And after all, almost all of us are on this writing journey because we have a passion for it and a story that is demanding to be written. Even the best authors struggle with writer’s block at some point and they have gotten over it and so, too, will you. Have fun and enjoy the ride.