All writers have been there. Maybe you just finished one project and are trying to get started on another. Maybe you’re half-way through a draft and are struggling to write the next scene. Maybe you’re revising and can’t figure out how to make that change you know you need to make. Regardless of where you are, getting stuck is a part of being a writer. Today I’m going to share a few tricks that help me get past those sticky moments.
1. Go for a walk. I’d advise walking in silence — don’t listen to music or audiobooks, just let nature (and maybe the neighbors’ kids or cars) be your soundtrack. Getting your blood flowing and letting your subconscious work uninterrupted will help you figure out how to move forward with your writing when you get home.
2. Take a shower. Especially if you’ve been so busy writing/working your other job(s)/spending time with your family that you haven’t in a while. But seriously, a hot shower almost always helps me figure out where I need to go next with a project. It may sound weird, but it works, and I know many other writers who swear by this method.
3. Brainstorm. I use this both to come up with new project ideas and to figure out what should happen next in early drafts. Sit down with a notebook or pad of paper and pen, and just think about “what ifs.” “What if this character were a girl instead of a boy?” “What if every time someone cast a spell in this world, someone else was hurt or killed?” “What if this character’s parents didn’t die, but instead abandoned her?” A series of “what ifs” led to my current WIP, and I swear by this method when I’m drafting. This is probably as close to outlining as I get for most projects.
So that’s what works for me. Have you gotten stuck on a project recently? What helped you get unstuck?