It’s actually amazing where inspiration can come from, isn’t it? This week has been a good one for me, and I’ve been working some new ideas into my next chapter of BLB2K, which I’ll post here next week.
Many people are hammering their keyboards extra hard this month, thanks to NaNoWriMo, and I’m sure they’re also keeping their eyes open for anything that might feed into the creative stream of thought as they craft their stories. It’s exciting stuff, and it really feels good whenever a vague concept takes shape and manifests itself on the computer screen. It’s not always easy to do, however. In fact, the much-dreaded “writer’s block” can strike at any time, and when it does, it seems to bring the whole writing process to a grinding halt. It certainly happens to me sometimes, but I’ve become pretty good at managing this problem.
Here’s three tips on how I defeat writer’s block:
- Be highly observational. Stop (not)writing, and start watching people! Observe interactions from a distance, and be mindful of any physical attributes that add color to the scene. Gestures are especially awesome tidbits for flavoring your writing, because they bring an authentic sense of physicality to your characters. Sometimes I’ll even pretend I don’t speak the language or know the local customs, which helps me extract as much as possible from watching strangers engage with each other.
- Exercise. You don’t need to become a yoga master or a powerlifter… but when you’re sitting in your chair and staring at a blank computer screen, the worst thing you can do is let your body follow along by slouching, sinking into the seat, and basically just becoming a physical extension of your mental misery. Don’t do that. Get up and do something that raises your heart rate. Better yet, make it a routine, and then try to write against a self-imposed exercise schedule as a daily goal. I lift weights (dumbbells only) at home, four days a week.
- Play games. It can be anything. For me these days, it’s Borderlands 3 on my PS4. This game is absolutely the most fun I’ve had with gaming in years, and it not only makes me feel like my brain is constantly re-wiring itself as I loot and shoot, but I come back from every session feeling extremely amped-up and ready to unleash my inner Vault Hunter and get to work with words!
I haven’t described anything outrageous here, have I? Hopefully this will give you something to chew on, as you continue pounding the keyboard and putting your creation into thousands of words.
By the way, if you have any favorite ways to smash through writer’s block, be sure to share it here by leaving a comment below!