At a recent London Writers’ Meetup, a question came up about what to do if you’re feeling blocked, and a wide range of suggestions were shared. I thought you might find them helpful too.
What can you do if you’re feeling blocked?
Paul said – Just keep writing, even if it’s just a stream of consciousness – anything to keep the words flowing. Writing is a discipline, and sometimes saying we are blocked is an excuse to stop.
Naz said – if she’s stuck halfway through her story, rather than stop, she writes a bullet point summarising what she’s trying to say, then she moves on to the next bit. This ensures that she doesn’t stop every time she feels a bit stuck.
She also adds QQQ at the end of the bullet point to help her find this location again when she’s searching through the document.
I said – Brainstorming (also called mind mapping and spider mapping) is my answer to most things! If I’m stuck on an idea, if I’m looking for ideas or if I’m developing ideas – I try brainstorming.
When I’m stuck, I write a question in the centre of the page with a circle round it, then I scribble down all the answers I can think of. I keep asking new questions, homing in on the problem, until I find the perfect solution. It’s a technique that helps you tap into both sides of your brain! I wrote more about brainstorming here.
Gemma said – When I’m stuck I find it useful to print out a hard copy and work on it longhand. She added: deadlines also help. You can’t afford to be blocked if you have a deadline to meet.
Mike said – when I get stuck writing my novel, I stop writing prose and start writing dialogue instead. Something about the process of getting the characters talking, helps me keep the words flowing and find solutions to my story problems.
Mike also suggested reading the text out loud.
How about you?
Do you use any clever tricks to get the words flowing again when you feel blocked? I’d love to know what works for you. Get in touch here!
Is there something else in your writing that you’re struggling with? Get in touch as I might be able to offer a useful suggestion in a future post. You can also just say hi, give me some feedback, share a tip, or tell me how your writing is going – I’d love to hear from you!
Thanks for reading!
I’m Katy Segrove – animation writer, children’s author, writing coach and mum to cheeky 2-year old Otto. I help committed writers & screenwriters overcome blocks and procrastination to get them writing & selling with confidence.
To find out about my one-to-one coaching check out Pick Up Your Pen or send me a message to set up a free 30-minute ‘Power Chat’.
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