One of the things that the SHERO Publishing Book Coaches work with authors on is overcoming Writer’s Block. Often, in the writing process, you will come to a point when it becomes difficult to continue writing or your mind just goes blank. Writer’s Block can be paralyzing, delaying the finalizing of a manuscript for months or even years. SHERO Book Coaches help to support authors to quickly overcome these writing hurdles to finish their books in 60 days! Here are 6 tips to mastering Writer’s Block:
1. Create your characters beforehand.
When you start getting into your story, you don’t want to get stuck figuring out your characters’ appearances or who they are. Start out with a complete list of your characters, what they look like, and what their basic personalities are to make a cheat sheet for yourself. This makes the process of writing easier, which can keep you from getting hung up on details that could derail your writing process and lead to frustration.
Planning ahead is important for writers who want to avoid writer’s block. When you write without a plan, you raise the risk of writing yourself into a corner and not knowing where to go next. Creating an outline gives you a roadmap to keep track of your storylines and general direction. The outline has the beginning, the middle, and the end—you know where you’re going to go—so if you have an outline, it’s hard to have writer’s block.
3. Set writing goals.
Set a daily writing goal and stick to it. Whether it’s meeting a word count or giving yourself a writing time limit, adhering to a writing schedule or writing routine will help you get into the habit of forcing yourself to always meet your goals. Once you’ve completed what you set out to do, stop—even if you’re in the middle of a chapter. This makes it that much easier to get right back into it the next day. You can’t have writer’s block if you’re already in the middle of a scene.
4. Use writing exercises.
Writing prompts can offer a little nudge to the creative process if you’re feeling stuck. Giving yourself a particular setup to follow, or stepping outside your comfort zone (like writing in a different genre or point of view) can inspire new story ideas of your own by expanding the range of your imagination and abilities.
5. Write on.
Once you start writing, keep at it. Even if it’s bad, you can always go back and fix it. Keeping yourself writing is how you stay writing, regardless of whether you have the right words yet. If you find yourself having trouble with one chapter, go on to the next chapter and write that one, then go back (which is easier to do if you have an outline). You don’t have to write in a linear sequence. Some writers prefer to write all the pieces out of order and arrange them later. Others like to start with the end and work their way backward. Whatever your style, as long as you keep moving forward, it’ll be harder for you to get stuck.
6. Find your groove.
Some writers prefer to write in a quiet office, without any noise or external distractions—but every writer is different. If you get more done while listening to music, do that. If you’re more productive at a coffee shop surrounded by people, then write there. Every writer has their own preferred atmosphere where they feel the most efficient, so write where you’re comfortable and your ideas can flow the most freely.