Writer’s Block: How to Keep Writing When You’ve Lost Inspiration

20.12.2022

Sooner or later, every fiction and non-fiction author faces writer’s block. This phenomenon prevents finishing your book and makes you nervous because it gives you self-doubt.

However, writer’s block is not a death sentence. Today we have prepared for you the top 7 best tips to keep writing no matter what.

Where does writer’s block come from?

There are several reasons for writer’s block. Let’s consider the most common of them.

  • Fear. Authors, especially aspiring ones, are often afraid that their new book will receive a ton of negative reviews, they won’t find their audience, or they won’t be able to finish what they started. Such a mood does not inspire writing.
  • Striving for perfection. You should understand that the first draft is not 100% how your book will look at the end. You will likely rewrite most of the chapters or even the entire manuscript. Therefore, you should not strive to write everything perfectly at once, searching for the right words for weeks, and as a result, never sit down to work.
  • Exhaustion by other things. Unfortunately, not all authors can afford the luxury of writing whenever and however much they want. Writing is often an occupation parallel to the main full-time job. Since we are not robots, sometimes it is challenging to find both physical and moral energy to take the manuscript in hand, especially if it is preceded by a hard day at the office and household chores.

Of course, the causes of writer’s block will never completely disappear from the author’s life. But their acceptance and awareness are already the first steps to finally sitting down at the manuscript. Keep reading to find out the next steps.

1. Organize a writer’s workspace

Do you have a particular place where you usually write your book? It can be a secluded corner in your house or apartment, equipped for the writer’s comfort.

If you don’t have that kind of workspace, or you write wherever you have to, it’s time to change that. Arrange your creative place. It can be a desk with a mood board on the wall or a comfortable beanbag chair on the balcony, where you can comfortably sit with your laptop. Don’t save your time and resources to do it if you consider writing your life’s work.

2. Establish your writing routine or ritual

Some do not believe in the existence of writer’s block at all, claiming it is simply a lack of discipline. That is why successful and famous writers have certain habits and routines that set them up for work, regardless of whether the muse visited them today.

For example, Stephen King drinks a glass of water or tea, starts writing at 8 in the morning, and turns on special music. When Natalie Goldberg writes, she has a cigarette in her mouth, albeit an unlit one. A cigarette is simply an attribute of writers that sets the desired mood.

You can also come up with a writing ritual. It can be like making a special tea or wearing a unique hat — be creative.

3. Try the Pomodoro technique

When it is impossible to write as much as planned, or the right words do not come to mind, you have to try to write at least something. It might be 100 words, but it gets you closer to finishing your manuscript.

You don’t have to sit at a manuscript all day. Instead, try to concentrate for at least 25 minutes and write something. That’s how long the Pomodoro technique takes. You should also not focus on the quality of the writing. Let it be only a draft, which will become the basis for an improved text in the future. But now, its central role is to help move on.

4. Change the writing format

Sometimes a new look at your manuscript can unexpectedly inspire you. That is why it is helpful to change the writing format from time to time. If you’re writing on a laptop, try writing in a notebook with a pen. Don’t want to waste time reprinting sections later? Take your phone or tablet.

You can try an easier way. Sometimes it is enough to change the font and size in a document on a laptop to look at the manuscript with new eyes.

5. Imagine what your book cover will look like

This is a rather unexpected insight, but the design of the future book cover can inspire writing. What’s more, you can find solutions to storylines you’re stuck on.

Therefore, the main question is: how to come up with a design for the future book cover? Analyze competitors’ books on Amazon, visit Pinterest, and check out premade covers. You will not even notice how you will receive a massive dose of inspiration.

6. Write different parts of your story

Even with a detailed plan for the future book, you only know some of the details of each chapter, and it takes time to understand what events should happen between two essential plot points. The author can get stuck on this for a long time. That is why sometimes you should step back from sequential writing and allow yourself to write about what you know for sure in your story.

If necessary, write chaotically. You can first write the beginning and the ending while your brain already thinks about what will be in between on a subconscious level. But this way, you will definitely stay caught up.

7. Use writing prompts

Prompts for writers are like warm-ups for athletes. Usually, they set a topic or direction for writing. Such tasks have defined deadlines for completion, for example, 15-20 minutes. However, this is enough to write a small sketch and awaken your creative muse.

You can find various prompts online, in writing groups, or blogs. It is a way to relax before the main work and a good exercise for improving writing skills. 

Summing up

Writer’s block is a normal phenomenon among authors and can be efficiently dealt with if you know what to do. We hope our tips will help you do this more effectively, so try the following:

  • Arrange a comfortable and atmospheric workplace
  • Create your rituals and habits
  • Try the Pomodoro technique or writing prompts
  • Change the writing format and write in a chaotic order
  • Imagine what your future book cover will look like.

And how do you deal with a writer’s blog? Share your experience in the comments.


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