Are you a writer who can’t write? I sure am. The most writing I really ever get done (on a good day) is staring at a blank page, browsing through Twitter, typing a word (maybe 2), scrolling through Tumblr, writing a sentence and getting on Facebook. Then I delete the sentence I just wrote because I hate it and somehow end up on Pinterest pinning stuff to my WIP secret board, and end up not writing at all because an hour has gone by and I’ve done absolutely everything except write.
In fact as I sit here writing this, I’ve watched an episode of This is Us and The Curse of Oak Island, done my rinse and repeat of social media (and only made it this far).
Now I’m catching up on the last season of Teen Wolf because it’s finally on Amazon Prime. (Also it’s been over three weeks since I started this blog post and now I’m just finishing it. #procrastination).
The thing is – I’m one of those freaking “writers” who doesn’t write.
I want to write. But I can’t. Sometimes. (Most of the time.)
We have those days. Or weeks. Or months. It’s understandable when life gets in the way of things. It’s easy to go off and be busy elsewhere and think about how much you’d rather be writing – only to come home, sit down, open up your laptop or notebook and just sit and stare at it.
There’s not much you can do at that point. But when these bouts of writer’s block and inability to write anything creative at all hits, I’ve found 5 things work for me. It takes a little bit of motivation to follow through with them, but once I put them in place, I’m able to focus most of my energy into writing. Finally.
1. Set aside a specific time to write
We all have 24 hours in a day. That’s 24 hours to finish as much as we possibly can. We have to find time to eat, shower, workout, go to work or school, use the bathroom, eat more, and somehow squeeze in time to work on other projects and force words out of our brains onto a sheet of paper.
The thing with time, in order to better manage it, you have to set your priorities straight. Daily needs and requirements must, of course, come first. But if you want to make writing a priority, you have to set aside a specific time during the day when you will be able to sit down and write. For some, this means waking up an hour earlier in the morning to chug out 1,000 words. For others, it may mean waiting into the wee hours of the night, long after the kids have gone to bed when you have peace and quiet necessary in order to focus your energy into writing.
Find a time that works best for you and implement it into your daily routine. The more you keep at it, the sooner you’ll develop a habit and when the time comes to write, it won’t be so much of a hassle.
2. Turn off all social media (cut out all distractions)
Hi. My name is Callie and I am a social media addict. The first steps to my recovery are to have periods during the day when I don’t use it at all. That’s when Freedom comes in handy. It will block all of the internet for you or only specific sites you choose. This helps me when I need to focus at work, at school, or even better, when I need to write.
I highly recommend you try it out because it has done absolute wonders for me. There’s nothing better than being able to be free of the addiction of social media and all the annoying crap that comes along with it. So do yourself a favor and sign up!
3. Do something productive
If you’ve been sitting there staring at a blank page for a while, chances are you’re just not going to get any writing done at all. If the creative juices aren’t flowing and your imagination isn’t stirring and your muse is totally fried – go outside.
Take a walk. Go to the park. Walk your dog. Go for a run. Work out at the gym. Climb a mountain. Take a hike. Do something that you enjoy that gets yourself moving.
I prefer getting out into nature because it is a valuable source of inspiration for me and the stories I love to write. Your source of inspiration might be something other than nature. Perhaps you love cooking or sewing or drawing. Pour yourself into a side project. Fix things up in your house. Spend time with friends and family. Just do something that allows you to take your focus away from writing for a while. This will build up the energy and focus you need so when you do return to write, you’ll have the drive to actually write those pesky words muddling around in your brain.
4. Listen to music to fuel your imagination
I have this thing for making playlists. More than that, I love to make playlists for the stories I’m writing. For me, it helps to set the tone of the story and lyrics of some songs really help to fuel my imagination for different plot points and emotional scenes that I want to write.
I’ll be the first to admit, sometimes I spend more time making the playlist and searching for songs than I do actually writing. But once the playlist is set in stone – I’m golden. Spotify is great for making playlists (especially if you have premium) but Apple Music and Youtube are also good places for music sources if you need them.
Find the music that helps you write. I’m more than able to write while listening to songs with lyrics. Some people may not. If you’re needing motivational music to really set the mood for certain scenes you’re writing, I recommend listening to movie scores or trailer music. Some of my favorite artists to listen to are, Two Steps from Hell, Audiomachine, Mark Petrie, Les Friction, Really Slow Motion and Brand X Music just to name a few.
What kind of music fuels your writing imagination?
5. Just write.
Let’s face it. You’re never going to be a writer if you don’t write. So sit down and write your darn book!
What are you still doing here? You shouldn’t even be reading this blog post, you should be writing!
Do I need to get Shia Labeouf over here to tell you do it?
Don’t test me because I will!
Ok seriously. What the heck are you doing?
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