Burn it with fire.
AHEM, yes, I mean, well. Well. You could burn it with fire. Who am I to judge you.
BUT if you’re looking for legit advice, and not just permission to set things ablaze, I’ll see if I can help you.
1. Stop doubting yourself.
Legit, I think one of the largest reasons for writer’s block is you start to doubt yourself. Your writing, your characters, your plot.”Is this REALLY that great of a story?” “Are these characters REALLY that interesting?” “Am I REALLY meant to be a writer?”
Who cares if your story is good or your characters are interesting or if you’re ‘meant’ to be a writer or not. Do you love writing? Does it give you joy? THEN WRITE. The quality or the content don’t matter. If you like to write, then write. That’s all that matters.
2. Burn the perfectionism.
Similar to the first one, but slightly different. For me, perfectionism is usually what causes the majority of my writer’s block. I always always freeze up when I think, “But what if I don’t write this story right?” and then ten years pass and I’m an old lady and my characters are still forlornly fluttering around in the back of my head.
And I haven’t written the book at all much less ‘right‘ and no one has ever read my story or loved it because IT’S STILL STUCK IN MY HEAD WITHERING AWAY.
Look; no one’s perfect. You might write your book 84% ‘right’. Or you might write it 19% ‘right’. No book is perfect. I guarantee you’ve read a fancy, shiny, published book that had a plot hole, or that one chapter that was full lazy plot devices, or ,goodness sake, even had a typo.
Perfection is a myth. Write your book. If it’s not perfect then you can edit it. But I PROMISE YOU the satisfaction and happiness that having a full draft will give you is so worth the ‘risk’ of writing it ‘wrong’ and hating it.
Seriously, I have some WRETCHED first drafts languishing in my documents. But you know what?
i still love them
I’m serious. I wrote Mark of the Rose in 2016 and right after I finished it, the plot completely rewrote itself. Do I regret having written that older version? No.
I wrote Dement like four or five years ago. It used to be a high fantasy Beauty and the Beast. Now it’s urban fantasy about a drug lord poisoning an entire city. Do I regret the earlier draft? No.
I’ve written Broken Wing twice already. I’m not really happy with the second draft, but it was my one and only NaNoWriMo win. That’s worth any trashy draft. It also enabled me to buy Scrivener at an incredibility reduced price because I got a 50% off coupon for winning NaNo. That terrible Broken Wing draft PAID FOR HALF OF MY SCRIVENER COST.
Man, I’ll write trashy first drafts all day LONG if that’s what you get out of it.
Burn the perfectionism. Write your story.
3. Refill your well.
You can’t draw water from a dry well. This is a very rehashed and possibly over used analogy but it’s 100% true. If you’re literally stuck, but you still have a want and a drive to write, you might not have anything for your inspiration to draw on. Go read a book. Go read a book you don’t think you’ll like. Browse the non-fiction library shelves and find something new to learn about. Go for a walk. (SERIOUSLY WALKING OR EXERCISING IS REALLY GOOD FOR YOUR WRITERLY BRAIN.) Try a new craft or form of art. Find classes at your local library and chose the soonest art related one. Go to a new store or restaurant. Write a letter to someone. Do yard work. Find a park or local farm or something. Go exploring.
Many of these things can take just a few minutes, an hour or two, or an afternoon. And the return you get is worth that time exchange. Sitting in front of your computer and wailing to your cat and banging your head on your desk and consuming too much coffee honestly won’t help.
Take a break.
It’s okay; your story will be waiting for you when you get back.
(That was three tips but as we’ve established I do what I want Thor.)
Much love from Your Pickle of Doom and Hopefully Helpfulness.