My Methods for Avoiding Writer’s Block

A friend recently asked how I fight writer’s block, and I realized that I don’t suffer from the dreaded condition often.

Why?

I’d like to pretend that I’m just fortunate, but the truth is that I’m always doing activities that allow for great brainstorming. I’m going to share my top methods for avoiding writer’s block, so grab a pen and take some notes!

ART- You can try to sketch your own characters, but this doesn’t have to be related to your writing at all. I enjoy both acrylic painting and sketching portraits which can act as great meditation. Art can really help you relax and free your mind for a brainstorming session.

MUSIC- I like to build a playlist of music for each of my projects. I do a lot of brainstorming when I’m in the early stages of a new writing project, and I try to consider what music would set a good tone for the story. I use the selected playlist shortly before I begin a writing session, and I let that set the mood for my writing.

I really like to implement this method when I am plotting out fight scenes too. I envision the scene with music that fits the mood, and then I ask myself one question. If this scene was turned into a live-action movie trailer, what would the scene look like? I let my mind really visualize the part.

I also love combining art and instrumental music to free my mind for ultimate creativity. I enjoy writing or painting while listening to video game soundtracks. You’ll find some really beautiful instrumental pieces inside Assassin’s Creed, Skyrim, and Dragon Age games.

DREAM JOURNAL- This is a fantastic way to spark ideas! I kept a journal by my bedside that pretty much held the inspiration behind my current work in progress. I haven’t used this method in a while, but I would wake up from some crazy dream and jot down as much detail as possible. When I decided I wanted to try writing a new story, I flipped through my journal for something that spoke to me. I’m not even exaggerating when I say that over half of the crazy events in Sacrifice actually spawned from my dreams.

EXERCISE- I saved this one for last because I’m sure it will receive several groans from my readers. Get off the couch you lazy bum! I’m kidding, it’s rude to call you that! In all seriousness though, I’ve had great brainstorming sessions during and after a workout. This is not only beneficial for your body, but also for your mind as well. Exercise doesn’t have to be some strenuous full body workout either. I spend a lot of time sitting down writing or sketching, and I find that it helps to walk away for some fresh air. I’ve spawned great ideas while taking my dog for a short walk.

So those are the methods I use to keep myself inspired, and I hope the information helps another writer! Want to know more writing tips? Send me a topic suggestion on Twitter or Facebook, and your topic may inspire my next blog!

Writing Tip: Push Through the Awkward Stage

Photo credit goes to jjpacers

Photo credit goes to jjpacers

I used to think that revisions were the hardest part of writing, but honestly just finishing the first draft is the real challenge. Fight through and don’t try to edit or re-writing anything until you get to the end of the story. Editing during a first draft will only slow you down and you want to stay motivated to push through to finish the story. Once you finished the first draft then you’ve done the hard part. Relax and pat yourself on the back because you’ve already done what many never accomplish. I hear so many people say “I have this great idea for a story.” or “I want to write a book someday.” And often those people never accomplish that. So set your manuscript to the side and take a break. Read some books or take a vacation. If you want to keep writing other material, then feel free to do so. Just don’t touch your first draft for a few weeks and then come back with fresh eyes and start your revisions.

In the past I would get frustrated with my art or writing because I felt like what I was creating just wasn’t good enough. A really helpful artist (acrylic painter Brandon Schaefer) gave a great piece of advice to “push through the awkward stage” because after you get your foundation down, you can go back and make corrections and add detail with a fresh pair of eyes. The same is true with writing. You take your idea and you lay out the ground work with the first draft. The first draft is the foundation of your creation and the revisions are making the corrections and adding detail to make it better.

Think about all the great books you’ve read, you can’t assume that what you read was a first or even second draft of a novel. Lots of great books will go through a tedious revision process so don’t be so hard on yourself if things don’t seem to flow perfect in a first draft. So stay motivated and always try to push through that awkward stage.

Hope you found this tip helpful. Please feel free to comment and let me know what topics you’d like to see discussed here!