Writer’s Block – NaNoWriMo Week 2 Blues

You made it through Week 1. You were out of the gate like a shot and piled up an impressive daily word count. As the week wound down, so did your enthusiasm and your word count – and now you have writer’s block.

Writer's Block

Now you’ve got the NaNoWriMo Week 2 Blues. Here are 33 ideas you can try to help you get unstuck from writer’s block and back into the flow of story creation.

  1. Do like the Passion Pit song says: Take A Walk. For many writers this is enough to get the creative energy re-started. It quiets and organizes your mind. Go through your story – play the mind movie, direct the characters or let them show you what they want to do.
  2. Refer to your outline or draft, character and visual sketches, and the initial framework are your best friends. Always refer to them again if you’re stuck.
  3. Sketch and Draw. By drawing, you’re tapping into a different part of the creative mind and expressing yourself in a different way. This often helps to picture out what you couldn’t put in words.
  4. Find your optimal hour. What time of the day are you at your most creative level? Are you a morning person? A night owl?
  5. Get your blood moving – exercise, go for a jog or a swim, or lift weights.
  6. Go for a short road trip to quiet the mind and let it reorganize.
  7. Try meditation or aromatherapy.
  8. Eat clean, healthy food. Your mind does not function well on an empty stomach or too much junk food.
  9. Play some games. Role Playing Games (RPGs) are the best choice as they have a story line you need to follow. Good games with engaging story lines can trigger new ideas and strategies on what to write.
  10. Get rid of the term “writer’s block”. You manifest what you think about most. We decide how we want to think about things. Instead think about being a prolific writer, where your ideas flow freely and frequently. Concentrate on that.
  11. Get stuff done. If you have things in the back of your mind, give them the attention they need to get rid of that sense of unresolved urgency. You’d be surprised how taking the time out to run a few errands or taking care of a problem frees up your mind and puts you in a better mood. Then your mind can get back to focusing on your writing.
  12. Work on some writing prompts or exercises – get away from your story for a moment and loosen up the mind and get you to write things you would never write otherwise. Here are a couple of good writing prompt generators: JC-Schools – Prompt Generator; Seventh Sanctum Writing Challenge Generator
  13. Unplug the internet, don’t check your emails, and don’t visit your social media accounts. Shut off the distractions.
  14. If you happen to work well with distractions, listen to music, podcasts, audio books, etc. while you’re writing.
  15. Change your surroundings. Find a location which is comfortable for you. If you like a busy place with crowd and a lot of noises, go there. If you need quite, go to your library or a small coffee house, etc.
  16. Drink coffee or tea – caffeine is a great boost and will stir your mind and help you stay alert.
  17. Get sufficient sleep. There’s no point slogging through the night when nothing is coming out.
  18. Take a nap during the day. It can really recharge you. Your brain needs the rest – take a break. Make it a short nap of 15 – 30 minutes.
  19. Have a drink. A single glass of wine, beer or a cocktail can quiet a noisy mind and let you focus better. You don’t want to overdo this – 1 to 2 normal sized drinks max.
  20.  Talk to your writer friends/close friends, get their opinions. Look for constructive suggestions and drop those who are negative.
  21. Set a personal deadline – a lot of writer’s work best under pressure. Set a realistic, but challenging deadline for yourself.
  22. Instead of writing your story from start to end, write out of sequence. Go write a scene you’ve been dying to get to like a discovery, a betrayal or a fight scene – then fit it in the story later. This can really get you back in the swing of things.
  23. Talk to yourself. Some people might think you’re crazy, but saying your story out loud is a great way of bringing clarity to it and to explore different options. Sometimes ideas travel faster from the brain to the mouth than from the brain to the hand.
  24. Handwrite your story instead of typing it in your computer. This manual action can give you a greater connectedness to your story.
  25. Don’t be afraid to experiment, people tend to learn faster and better when they make mistakes.
  26. Work on more than one project at a time. It helps to minimize fear, monotony, and boredom. It seems to prevent writer’s block for many people.
  27. Ask yourself why and where you’re getting stuck? Focus on the specific issue and research all possible scenarios on resolving it. How if, What if, etc.
  28. Stop being a perfectionist throughout your writing process. Don’t edit – forget grammar and punctuation and just get the story down. There’s always time in the rewrite to polish it later.
  29. Pretend somebody important is a fan of yours like Stephen King or J.K. Rowling. Imagine writing for someone else who is interested in your stories. The urge to impress is a great motivator.
  30. Read books about the writing craft.
  31. Go see a movie. Pay attention to the storyline and see how it can help you with what you are working on.
  32. Find questions and answers from the community: Yahoo! Answers, NaNoWriMo, Kindle Boards – Writer’s Cafe, Wiki Answers
  33. Have some chocolate and surrender to your libido. Some de-stressing should do the trick.

Don’t give up hope and throw in the towel. Grab a fresh cup of coffee and get reenergized – you have a book to write!


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One thought on “Writer’s Block – NaNoWriMo Week 2 Blues

  1. Brenda Smith says:

    What a wonderful topic of discussion because this surely is something most bloggers go through – writers block :)

    I liked the ways you shared here, and while I do follow most of them when I get blank sometimes, I really believe that if you enjoy blogging and it becomes your passion with time, you have less of these blocks. I guess those who put up daily posts or every alternate days might be facing this problem.

    The key according to me lies in the fact that you should write when you are focused in your work. I don’t think your mind would turn blank then, or you wouldn’t know what to write. But I guess it differs from person to person too.

    Speaking of myself, I guess being a professional freelance writer and blogger – my work is to write! And I write a lot, whether it’s my blog posts, project work, or even replying to the comments on my blog (which are mini posts in themselves!) – all of that is writing. I never really get into such blocks, or perhaps my mind is always floating around with creative ideas that are just waiting to be penned down. However, when these is work pressure and pending projects etc., and when there’s stress all around – I do experience writers block, though it’s rare.

    Thanks for sharing these ways with us.

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