Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Writer's Block: 5 Tips That Work!!! by Hilary Wagner

Writer's Block...uck...the invisible wall of zero inspiration! Don't let writer's block win, or even worse, stop you from finishing your story!

Over the years, Project Mayhem writers have written some great articles on writer's block and how to get over it. In that spirit, I'm at the end of a manuscript that has been riddled (and I mean riddled) with writer's block. I've found these five methods effective ways to get over writer block and actually make your book better. If you have any tips or tricks you'd like to add, please let us know! 

Writer's Block Quick Fixes:
1. Think it through! Mentally run yourself through the scene. Figure out what's stopping you by taking a mental walk-through--do not read your manuscript--use only your memory. Sometimes this trick can ferret out holes you were glazing over by reading and not thinking about the manuscript. It can also spark a new idea you weren't seeing before. 

2. Edit! Start at whatever point in your book you prefer and start editing. Sometimes editing gets you back into your book. Let's face it, we all forget things. Little bits and pieces you wrote, but not might remember reveal themselves and can lead to that piece you were missing. When I was pathetically "stuck" in the manuscript I'm currently writing, I went back and started editing and a small paragraph I forgot about inspired a completely new idea and changed the scene I was having issues with altogether. 

3. Step back! I'm sure you've heard this one before. As though a policeman is talking to you, "Put down the laptop and walk away!" Easier said than done, but even taking five days off can totally change your perspective. A quick mental vacation will bring you back refreshed and able to handle the tough stuff. 

4. Keep going! Opposite of the above, but many times I'll save a scene or chapter I'm stuck in and move on. Yes, it leaves a nagging hole in my book, but it also allows me to keep writing where I'm going to be useful and the new scenes many times trigger a thought or idea that helps me finish the "problem child" parts. 

5. Get the adrenaline going! I don't care if it’s a good kick boxing session or beating your treadmill to a pulp, a really good workout sends endorphins to your brain! In a recent article, researchers noted that regular exercise seems to be associated with improved divergent and convergent thinking, which are considered the two components of creative thinking; the former involves thinking of multiple solutions for one problem, while the latter involves thinking of one solution for a problem. A win-win, you burn some calories and get through your block! Science at work! This method got me out of one of the biggest blocks in my book. My mind truly did open up! 

I hope one of these helps you get through your own blocks and please let us know what works for you!


  1. A nice list of anti writers block ideas. Kudos.

  2. Great tips Hilary! Sometimes I need to do ALL of them at once :). Also sometimes a walk or bike ride helps to unclear the stuck - and a bit of chocolate to buzz the brain!


Thanks for adding to the mayhem!