Welcome back to another installment of suggestions for beating writer’s block! Every self-published author has experienced it, or will someday. How crippling it becomes to your writing, though, depends on how you view it—and how you handle it.
Of course, what works for one writer won’t necessarily work for another, so these tips are like a buffet: try a bunch of things, and then come back for seconds on the things you liked!
In our first post, we discussed keeping things in perspective, having reasonable standards, and skipping the troublesome parts of your story for the sake of progressing forward. Let’s continue with today’s new set of tips!
We’ve said this a hundred times so this will make it one hundred and one: write every day! No other piece of writing advice is so universal, so common to successful writers everywhere. You’ve worked other jobs before, right? And did you ever experience “waiter’s block?” “Carpenter’s block?” “Accountant’s block?”
To some extent, you have to treat your writing like any other job that you’re expected to do. Some days you’ll be more “in the zone” than others, but you should always show up, ready to do the work. One of the best things about writing is the ability to rewrite! If you wait for the muse to pull you by the ear to your desk, you could find yourself waiting a long time.
Set a schedule for yourself.
This is tied closely to the last tip above. Again, at that other job you had, you probably had a schedule, right? Well, have one for your writing too! One of the benefits of a writing career is the ability to set your own schedule, not necessarily to not have a schedule at all. Treat your writing time as a sacred block of time, and protect it.
Singer/songwriter Billy Joel once commented on all the songs that he never would have written if he hadn’t shown up at the piano with nothing particular in mind, but ready to do the work. Treat your writing the same way: show up, ready to do the work.
When you’re not writing, make sure you set aside time for reading! Read your chosen genre and outside it, fiction and nonfiction, prose and poetry. Not only will it make you a better writer, it can also plant the seed for your next story.
And don’t forget newspapers and magazines either, online print. Newspapers and magazines present situations and events; create characters, place them in those events, and ta-da! You have a story!
– WBP –
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