How to overcome ‘writer’s block’

In a previous post, I talked about why I don’t believe in writer’s block, at least not it the way it’s generally portrayed and understood.

To me, writer’s block is simply a state of feeling stuck in our writing, feeling unsure about what to write or how to proceed with a particular project if you’ve hit a wall.

In this post, I want to tackle the first point – running out of ideas and feeling stuck on what to write about. This happens to me when I finish working on a story and have no more works-in-progress to fall back on. When I try to think of what to write next, I often come up empty.

But this isn’t a block; I simply need to figure out where I get my story ideas from, and go back to mine those sources. These can be either childhood memories, or using life experiences as a springboard into fiction.

Another approach, one I prefer and use all the time, is to let story ideas come to you. How? Use writing prompts.

Set a timer for 10 or 20 minutes and respond to a prompt without any expectations of generating a story from it. Treat it like play. Eventually, you’ll land up on a piece of writing that sparks your interest enough to keep going.

If you’re feeling stuck in your writing or want to switch things up and take a break from your current WIP, here are a few prompts to try:

  1. Set your timer to 5 minutes and make a list of: Things that are orange. Pick 3 things from your list and write a scene including those 3 words.
  2. Write a scene in which two siblings are having an argument. Use the words abolish, excite, and blueberry in your scene.
  3. Start with the line: There were four of us but only Aliya wandered out.
  4. Write a scene that takes place in a field of sunflowers.
  5. Write about something confusing in your childhood. Use the words blue and entertain in your scene.

If you try any of the prompts, drop me a line in the comments and let me know how it went!

Photo (top) by Bonnie Kittle on Unsplash

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