A few days ago, I had an idea for the next scene in my WIP. In fact, the scene was fully formed and clear as day in my mind, but for some reason I couldn’t seem to put the words down the way I wanted to.
I think everyone’s been through this. It’s just the way it is, and it can be frustrating. But when it happens, don’t give up!
I found 5 steps that helped me get unstuck and I want to tell you about them:
🏃🏼♀️STEP 1. Get away from the computer. When was the last time you got up and stretched your legs? Throw on a pair of shoes and go for a walk, a run, or a hike. Grab a cup of coffee or run an errand. Sometimes stepping away from the screen is all it takes to find a little clarity and get the words flowing again.
🖋 STEP 2. Free write. This is one of my favorite ways to get unstuck. Grab a piece of paper and pen (yes, pen and paper!). Set a timer for 2 minutes and write anything that comes to mind in relation to the scene or topic you’re writing about. You may be surprised at what you uncover. Don’t worry about punctuation, spelling, grammar…just write what comes to mind. It can simply be words in list form, partial sentences…it doesn’t matter. Just write — uncensored.
🛏 STEP 3. Sleep on it. Our brains are pretty amazing at problem solving, even when we’re not aware of it. Visualize your scene as you’re falling asleep and let your brain get to work without any distraction or pressure.
🎶 STEP 4. Do you work better with music on or without it? If you have music playing, try turning it off. If you’re working in silence, try playing soft music in the background. Some writers work better with music and some without. Personally, if I don’t have music on in the background, my writing tends to sound like an instruction manual and the words don’t come as easily. So, if I’m stuck, sometimes all it takes is turning on a little music. Determine if you work best with or without music, and keep in mind this may change from project to project.
🌳 STEP 5. Accept the block; embrace the silence. Sometimes we can’t find the words because we simply have too much noise in our heads. Try getting your hands dirty in the garden, sprawl out on the soft grass beneath a shade tree, or sit on a swing and listen to the birds. You know how you’ll fight and fight to find a specific word and then when you finally give up and stop trying to find it, it suddenly pops into your head? It’s kinda like that. Then, once you’re feeling refreshed, grab your pen and approach the page with a fresh mind.
What are some ways you get unstuck? Share below!
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