Tips for Beating Writer’s Block, Part One

Today we’d like to begin discussing something that affects all writers, self-published or otherwise. Yeah, you know what it is already: writer’s block.

Why are there so many articles on writer’s block? Probably because writer’s block is to authors what a pulled muscle is to an athlete: one of the common denominators of the trade, something every participant can identify with. And like that pulled muscle, it’s one of the most frustrating.

Remember what writer’s block is, and isn’t.

In search of inspiration.

“Writer’s block.” It sounds so impenetrable, doesn’t it? And that’s part of the problem. But it’s not a wall or a force field or a dead-end street. It’s just a temporary inability for a writer to decide on the best direction for their story. Realize that there IS a best direction; you just haven’t figured it out yet. Relax!

Remember, you’re in good company!

Charles Dickens has had it. Ditto for Stephen King, John Grisham, J. K. Rowling, Tom Clancy, Stephanie Meyer, and James Patterson. You name the author, and it’s guaranteed that (s)he has stared at the monitor, blank sheet of paper, or piece of parchment and thought, “I have no idea what to write.”

And you know what? They went on to write classics and bestsellers. A problem doesn’t seem so insurmountable when you see other people solve it, does it? Well, every writer in the history of the craft has solved it; you will too.

Lower your standards.

Poet William Stafford perhaps said it best: “There’s no such thing as writer’s block for writers whose standards are low enough.” He wasn’t promoting substandard writing, of course. The point is, it’s common for writers to set unreasonably high standards that aren’t achievable on a consistent basis. Remember, a lot of your story is going to manifest itself in the rewrite, not the first draft. The important thing is to just keep moving forward; you can always come back and fix that “clunky” scene later!

Just skip it!

So you’ve already written “A,” “B,” and “C,” and you have “F” and “G” plotted out. But you’re stuck on “D” and “E,” and have no idea what to do with them. Sure, you can pound your head on the desk until you figure it out, or you can just skip ahead for now! Jump to the next place in your story where you’re on “sure footing,” and start writing from there. You can always figure out the gaps later–and you will!

– WBP –

WestBow Press authors who’d like to share a 350-600 word experience related to the self-publishing of their books are invited to do so by sending a message through the WestBow Press Facebook page and follow the WestBow Press Twitter account @WestBowPress. WestBow Press reserves the right to edit stories for content, grammar, punctuation, and length. 

4 Responses to “Tips for Beating Writer’s Block, Part One”

  1. Eva Schmidt says:

    This is so true! When I’m stuck at a certain place, I just work on a scene that I’m excited about. Eventually the problem scene resolves itself in my head and I go back to it. I have to be excited about what I’m writing, otherwise it’s not worth writing. That’s the beauty of computers – I wonder how they did it back in the day with pen and paper or typewriters?!

  2. Mary says:

    Great post by Balboa Press, the truth is no matter how creative you may be with the pen. there come a time that you just get hit by the writers block. i have found the tip here very useful. Thanks

  3. Anshu says:

    Great post. Writing is a craft. The more you do, the more you can improve. In other words, I can say expertise. And the point where you stuck in something is basically a stage where you can learn new things. Challenges are to take out best from you.

  4. Gail F. says:

    I’ve never tried to skip ahead when I’m writing my story. I always feel like I’m going to miss some important details. But I will definitely try working on the exciting scenes first from now on.

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