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  • Rachael Bell-Irving

7 Tips to combat writer's block

No matter how many great ideas a writer may have, most of us struggle with mental creative blocks at some stage of the process. Sometimes this means being stuck on a specific part of the story or struggling to pick up the pen at all. It is always frustrating and can arise out of nowhere. Here are some ways that I tackle writer's block and, whether you're a writer or struggling with any kind of project, maybe some will work for you.


Physical break. Self-care matters! Taking care of your physical health is just as important as your mental health, and helps both sides work better together. Something as simple as a walk, or a quick workout video on YouTube, can do the trick.


Creative break. If my creative writing ideas are feeling stale, I like to switch to a different creative outlet to try and get the juices flowing again. My go-to is trying a new cooking recipe. It's something I love and when I focus on creating in a different sphere it gives my writing brain a break so I can start fresh again afterwards.


Focus on planning. I return to pre-planning stage and focus on the broad creative concepts. This helps me to develop budding ideas, either for the plot point that I'm stuck on or for other sections of the book and can help re-energize me to write. I love to chew on ideas for a while, letting them stew in my brain. This workshopping method often helps me discover new solutions, or reignites joy in my story as well as helps me solve plot challenges.


Switch up the process. Often times if I have an idea for a later chapter in the story that is really strong, I have to write it before focusing on anything else. Even though I prefer to write linearly overall, I will jump ahead to that future chapter and plot it out or jot down a few lines of dialogue until I feel satisfied. Creativity is fluid and if it demanding you work on a different section of the story, why fight it?


Switching projects. If I have hit a mental block with one project, I will often move onto to different project. I usually have at least two projects that I have drafts for, and a third that I'm brainstorming or researching. Right now I've been flipping between my Pirate story Salt & Chains, and my urban fantasy Wicked Conjuring series (Book 1 is already out in the world)


Work on author stuff. Being an author requires more than just writing words. It requires planning out the story and managing my platforms. If I'm struggling with the story, I will put it down to focus on writing blog posts, taking photos for Instagram, making upcoming newsletters. Anything that goes towards my writing, without actually working on writing.


Discipline. Yeeeeeeaaaaah, sometimes it just takes buckling down and getting 'er done. Discipline means doing what you need to do even when you don't feel the motivation to do it. I tackle it by breaking down the larger job into smaller tasks and doing one at a time. One paragraph, or even just one description. Then quickly take a break. If I can get over a small roadblock, it helps me ease back into more dedicated blocks of writing.


Happy writing!

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