Do you get writer's block?
As a writer, I know I do and when I do, I follow these 3 tips to bust through it as quickly as possible.
#1 Focus on what you already know about your story.
When I'm experiencing writer's block, it's usually because I'm worried about what I haven't figured out yet in the story. Basically, the unknown has a way of paralyzing me.
So what I do to snap out of it is to conscientiously focus on what I already know about my story. Whether I'm still outlining or I'm actually writing the piece, I will put 'XXX' as a placeholder for the area of the story I'm blocked about and then continue on with the next scene that I know.
I find as I continue on, I'm allowed some space and distance from the problem I'm trying to solve, which usually does the trick in helping me solve it. As I'm working on the other sections of the story, the answer will make itself known somehow - usually by popping in my head while I'm in the shower.
#2 Figure out the right question to ask.
When I'm confronted with writer's block, I will spend some time analyzing the questions I've been asking myself regarding my story up to that point and what I often find is that the questions I've been asking aren't specific enough.
It's important to ask yourself as specific a question as you can about each step in your story because your brain will have an easier time finding the answers you seek with specificity. Vague or general questions make it difficult for your brain to know what to look for and thus, won't help you break free from the writer's block.
#3 Strive for completion over perfection.
This works well for writer's block regardless of where you are in the writing process of your work.
The best way to execute this tip is to not edit while you write. The goal is to get to the end and nothing more.
So concentrate on consistently moving forward in the story by being okay with even a skeletal version of what will later be fleshed out in later drafts. I find as I write, all my story problems work themselves out with each revision anyway.
In the end, these are the 3 tips I personally use when I deal with writer's block. Please share your experience with these tips or even your own tips in the comments below.
[Note: Next week, Rosanna's Take on Tuesday will be on hiatus in observance of the 4th of July.]