The Cure for Writer's Block

Recently, a writer friend of mine emailed me with a question. He had writer's block, he said, and wondered if I had a way of dealing with it. By sheer coincidence, I had just thrown off a case of writer's block myself, and I had made an exciting discovery. It was the discovery that I, and indeed writers in general, have been looking for since the beginning of time.


Before I begin explaining my cure, I must stress that this is the cure that works for ME. There is no guarantee that it will work for you, or anyone else. However, I think that this process will certainly help anyone struggling with figuring out where their story should go next, even if it doesn't cure their writer's block completely.

Here is the process. Feel free to adapt it any way you want. It's all about feeling comfortable and allowing your creative juices to flow.

  1. Put down your pen/keyboard and step away from your writing space. If you've been sitting down a long time, now's the time to do some stretching to get those kinks out of your muscles.
  2. Find a bed, or a comfortable recliner chair, and lie down. Close your eyes. Put some music on, if you like. Just make sure that there are no annoying background noises that might distract you from thinking.
  3. Now, here's the block-busting part! Think about that place where you got stuck. Put yourself in your characters' place; what will they do next? REMEMBER: don't think about what YOU would do next, or what you WANT your characters to do next. Think about what THEY would do next. That way, you're allowing your characters to decide where the story goes, which a) makes for a more realistic story, and b) takes the pressure off of you.
  4. Once you know what your characters will do next, get back to your desk and start writing. That's it!
If you've thought and thought, and no matter how much you try you just can't figure out what your characters will do next, go take a break. Read a book, drink some water to hydrate your brain, do some yoga. Then lie down and start thinking again.

If you're absolutely positive that you've thought all you can, and there is just nowhere to go from here, then it's just possible that your story took a wrong turn somewhere. This happened to me while writing my fifth book; I made my characters do something completely illogical, and then, twenty pages later, I hit a dead end. Eventually, I figured out what was wrong, deleted those twenty pages, and started again. Then, the story flowed without a hitch.

Whatever you do, don't give up. Writer's block really stinks, and makes it a massive struggle to finish a story, but if you give up, you won't finish at all. Struggle, and win!

Have you had a struggle with writer's block? What helps you to conquer it? Share your experience in the comments!

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