I’ve been having wickedly terrible writer’s block lately. There are so many projects on my list, and I keep getting stuck on stupid things that I shouldn’t be stuck on.
I have a few methods for dealing with writer’s block:
- go for a long walk
- go to the library or a cafe
- change the music / listen to music
- turn off the TV / stop watching Youtube videos (you’ve seen this one already, you don’t need to watch it again)
- write something stupid that will serve as a placeholder for the scene I’m currently working on and move on to a more interesting scene
- realize that maybe the reason I’m not writing this scene is because I’m not interested in it, and find a way to make it more interesting
- consider going to sleep, because as I’m drifting off my brain is sure to think of something I should write down, thus making me get up
However, my most effective method appears to be:
I haven’t travelled much in the past year, but so far this year I’ve gone away twice, and those two times have been quite creative for me.
A few months ago I made a trip to another province. It was mainly script-focused (I was going away to work on 2 scripts I’d written), but it involved a long bus ride, so there was plenty of time to stare out the window and let my mind wander.
During the bus ride there I came up with an idea for a short story/novella. During the bus ride back I came up with an idea for another short story/novella. Granted, this wasn’t super helpful because I have other projects to work on before I can get to those two, but it’s nice to have some ideas in the backlog (especially as something to spur you on to get those other stories finished).
Then, a few weeks ago, I flew home for a visit, and the combination of bus + plane + waiting in the airport = me writing. I wrote a new start to a project that had been plaguing me for years. Despite all the plotting, I still hadn’t figured out what age to make my protagonists or when to set the story. However, during the flight home and back I found some inspiration and was able to write an entire first chapter for the story – 10 handwritten pages. I even mapped out most of the rest of the book.
I guess there’s something to be said for being stuck in a moving vehicle with nowhere to go and nothing else to do.