It’s mental constipation. It’s not pretty. It’s not pleasant. It’s a part of every writers’ life. Writers block happens, and sadly there’s no ex-lax for creativity. However, I do have some pointers to help you get those creative juices flowing again.
1. DON’T STOP! Just because everything you’re writing at the moment sucks, doesn’t mean you should give up completely. Some of your ideas may be salvageable, but more importantly when you just give up you’re just making the situation worse. Have you ever noticed that when kids are beginning a sport and it gets hard, they always try to sit a game out? They’re afraid of failure, and coaches know that letting the kids sit it out just heightens their fear. If you quit the first time, it’ll be easier to quit the next time, so stick with it.
2. Make a soundtrack. Movies get soundtracks, why can’t books have them, too? When you’re running low on inspiration, browse through your music collection and look for background music. Let your book play out like a movie in your mind’s eye, and set music to the scenes. Once you have picked out your music, try writing the scene to the music.
3. Try writing in first-person point-of-view for a while. If you’re already writing your book in first-person this won’t help you, but for everyone else this could be the key to getting through tough spots. When writing gets hard, switch to first person so that telling the story is more personal. Once you get back in your groove, switch back to your original point-of-view. And don’t worry about the first-person scene, you can fix it during your revisions.
4. Read a book. It’s not okay to give up, but it is okay to take a break. When writing gets hard for me, I’ve found that it’s usually because I’ve spent too much time with my manuscript, and the best way to distance myself from it without losing my motivation is to read a book because reading makes me want to write.