Wednesday, June 22, 2011

5 Ways to Get Past Writer's Block

I was reading Kaye's recent post about what gets you inspired when writing short stories. It immediately sparked a thousand thoughts in my tiny brain (you can imagine the pain I suffered), and then it made me think about an interview I did recently with writer, Morgen Bailey. One of the questions she asked me was have you ever had writer's block and how do you get past it? What happens when the inspiration isn't coming?

Yeah. What do you do when you've got an idea but can't get it started? Or you've started it, but now you're stuck? Of course, I've heard some people say that writer's block is a myth, or it's just a way for writers to be lazy. Sometimes I would agree with that. Other times, I truly feel stumped and don't know what the next course of action is. So what then?

Well, everyone has their little tricks. Here are a few of mine.

1. Take a walk. Ah, the old standby of fresh air. Sometimes a change in environment can bring inspiration. Or it can start a really bad allergy attack.

2. Read some Shakespeare. C'mon. The guy came up with every possible plot scenario there is. People have been "borrowing" from him for 400 years. Now it's your turn! (For Five Reasons You Should Know Shakespeare go to this fun site:

3. Pull a NaNoWriMo. National Novel Writing Month is in November, and the idea is to write a 50,000 word novel in 30 days. It's fun, but daunting at times because it's easy to get stuck. In NaNoWriMo, it's cool to put your character in some outrageous situation to keep the plot moving. Try it in your story and see what happens! You can always go back and edit it later.

4. Try a graphic organizer to help put your thoughts together. There's a million of them out there so pick one and give it a shot.

5. Work on something else for awhile. Yep. Stick the story in a drawer and just leave it be for a few days. Your brain will give you the solution when it's ready.

Any tips out there from the peanut gallery? Share please!


  1. I just have one, for when I'm stuck on a plot point, need a reason for something I want to happen, or just need advice on how to move the character to the next scene. I belong to an online group for brainstorming. Often, as I type the email to post there, the solution comes to me. I think, if I were smart enough, I would just write out exactly what my problem is, and there would be the solution. Hope this makes sense!

  2. Great tips! I just wrote a post about the positive effects of writer's block. This topic has been on my mind for a lot lately, too.

    I'm your newest follower and I can't wait to read more!

    -Miss GOP

  3. Welcome, Miss GOP! We are glad you are here and I'll be checking out The Writing Apprentice.

    Mary Ann