Although you’re technically taking a break from writing, waiting on writer’s block to lift can be some seriously hard work. Problem is, most block fixes in the writersphere involve at least some form of psychoanalysis, which is also hard work.
Instead, here are four quick fixes for the writer’s block blues. No soul-searching required.
The easiest kind of writer’s block to cure is the kind that’s a side effect of fatigue and pressure. And since “sleeping on it” isn’t always a time-saving solution, you need to jolt your brain into motion a little quicker. For a lot of people, sugar is the fastest way to temporarily wake up a tired mind. (Starburst are my go-to.)
Don’t like sugar? Try this:
2. Lower your resistance.
By masking the effects of fatigue, caffeine increases focus and problem-solving speed. It can also help elevate your mood, negating some of the frustration writer’s block can produce. Coffee’s handy; green tea is also good. For a great (not healthy, but helpful) combination of points #1 and #2, try soda.
Personally, I hate this idea. I’m a writer who relies intensely on sequence and past events to inform future character development and plot points, but a block is a block. Skipping over a section that just won’t reveal itself is supremely annoying, but it can often be the best way to fix a block—all you need to do to connect Point A to Point C is write in Point B. Easy.
4. Write down what you don’t want to say.
One irritating form of writer’s block is the kind that keeps the wrong thing rolling around in your head when you’re searching for something else to fill the thought gap. Let’s say one of your supporting character needs to serendipitously end up in the main character’s location, and you can’t figure out a plausible way to get her there. All you can think is, “Unicorns. She rode a unicorn to the coffee shop. I don’t know. Stop asking me, book.”
Unfortunately, you’ve got to at least write the bit about the imaginary unicorn down somewhere. Once you’ve written it, you can throw it out. But the unicorn has to come first.
What other cheap and easy ways do you use to beat writer’s block? Share your secrets in the comments.