Tips and Tricks to Get Yourself Writing Again

This is sort of a follow-up post to last month’s post about not writing. Writers are notorious for NOT writing; but if we want to be writers, then we need to, you know, write.

So here are some ideas or tips/tricks to get yourself writing. I’ve used (or currently am using) several of these techniques myself.

  • Write five sentences or five paragraphs based off a story prompt. There are hundreds of places to find story prompts – from pictures to phrases to songs. Here’s my Pinterest board of story prompt pictures, as a place to start.
  • Set a time in your calendar. A schedule can help you not only have some writing time, but not waste that writing time by doing everything else but writing. Even if all you have is an hour a week, put it in your calendar or set a reminder on your phone.
  • Make your writing space more comfortable/easier to use. Even if you don’t have a dedicated writing desk or space, make your favorite spot more conducive to writing without lots of prep work. Keep your computer and notes close by, keep your favorite pillow in that spot, make sure your favorite coffee mug is clean before your writing time begins—whatever you need to do to reduce prep time.
  • Find the method that works best for you and stick with it. If you write all your first drafts longhand with a quill pen, then do it. Learning from other writers is good, but if you have a method that works and you like it, don’t mess up your flow by trying every new technique that comes along.
  • Journal or write something unrelated to your current project. For those times that writers’ block hits, you can still write.

Now, go write!

What are some of your tips and tricks to make yourself write? Please share! 

5 Reasons Why Writers Don’t Write (and What You Can Do About That)

If you’re a writer, then you probably know that one of the hardest things to do is actually write. It’s also one of the easiest things to do, which makes the whole writing thing that much more confusing (to both writers and non-writers alike). Anyway, a common theme I’ve seen on writing blogs and Twitter is writers bemoaning their struggles in writing. And I have certainly experienced my share of not writing. Like, a lot. So, why don’t writers write? Well, here are some of the most common struggles that I know about:

1. No Time to Write

There’s never a good time to write, or ever enough time to write. Even during recent quarantine times, when we were all stuck at home with nothing to do but write, many found it hard to write (myself included). Why? Because I was stuck at home, so I could work on ten thousand other little projects, instead of writing. So what can you do when there’s no time to write? Find a minute here, ten minutes there, and write two sentences, two paragraphs. Just write. Continue reading

Overcoming Writer’s Block

I don’t believe in writer’s block. Yes, I believe that writers can get stuck, frustrated with, disillusioned by, and tired of their writing projects. I believe this because I’ve experienced all of these things.

However, “writer’s block” to me sounds permanent and insurmountable. And it is most certainly neither of these. So whether you’re experiencing writer’s block, writer’s pause, frustration with your characters, or uninspired by your plot, there is a way out. Here are three tips that I use when I get stuck.

Go for a Walk

Or a run, or a swim, or vacuum your house, or work in the garden. In other words, do something besides sitting there staring at the blank page. Physical movement helps—it gets blood flowing, and distracts you. And if you haven’t cleaned in a while, well, then you’re killing two birds with one stone. Double your productivity! But seriously, I do some of my best thinking while I’m doing physical tasks that require very little conscious thought, such as vacuuming or talking a long walk. Continue reading

What to Do When you Can’t Write

Lately I’ve had trouble writing. It’s not that I’m out of ideas or have hit writer’s block. It’s also not that I don’t have time to write – I have the same amount of time I’ve always had. But sometimes life just does things, and often it feels like everything happens at once. For example, I’m getting ready to move to another state, my car has been in the shop and needs to go back to the shop again, and I’ve been struggling with some health challenges.

I’m not trying to complain or air all my dirty laundry here, but because of these factors, my brain has not been letting me write the way I want to. The expected stress of packing and dealing with car repairs, along with the distraction caused by ongoing pain, has drained away all my creative energy.

So what do you do when you can’t write? I wrote a post some time ago about ideas to help you get past writer’s block, and here are some more thoughts about what to do when you can’t write: Continue reading

What to Do when You’re Stuck

I wrote a post some time ago about overcoming writer’s block, but this post is a little different. What do you do when want to write, you’ve got plenty of ideas, you’re excited about your WIP, but you just don’t know what to do next?

This is the position I’ve found myself in a lot lately with the historical fiction that I’m writing. What’s got me stuck is figuring out what the next few scenes should be and how to get my characters to the place they need to be by the end. As I was jotting down thoughts, I realized that I have come up with several ways of getting myself past these stuck points – and so I now want to share them with you. Continue reading

Story Prompts to Get Unstuck

I am not usually one who needs story prompts. I don’t mean for this to sound arrogant or bragging – it’s just that I’m usually so inundated by ideas that what I need is more time to write, not more ideas. But even us constantly-flooded-with-ideas folks get stuck now and then, or we want to take a break from current projects and try something new.

I’ve written a couple of posts in the past about generating ideas and breaking through writer’s block. I find that writing something else besides my current project can keep my mind in a writerly mode without it getting bogged down in whatever I’m stuck on.

I also started a Pinterest board with cool pictures and ideas for story prompts.

Another great source of inspiration for me is music. Sometimes ideas come to me while I’m listening to something, other times I purposefully play certain songs or tracks while I’m brainstorming. If you want to know what kinds of music get me going, here are some of my favorites.

I hope that some of these links can help you if you need prompts or brainstorming fodder. What are some of your favorite ways to get your creative juices flowing again?