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Writer's block

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When you sit down to write and words refuse to descend from your brain to your hand, that's writer's block. You can't picture the scene: it sits frozen on the screen inside your forehead or, worse, fades to static. You can't figure what would happen next. You can type "badger, badger, badger" for pages and your muse remains asleep.

Causes of writer's block include sheer exhaustion, dehydration, but normally are a function of the inner editor waking up and throwing itself between you and your Muse. You worry what you write isn't good, doesn't serve your purposes, isn't all it could be.

Of course, this being NaNoWriMo, you may simply be out of ideas. You have painted yourself into a corner and the plot or characters have sagged lifelessly. They don't seem to have any purpose any more.

Curing Writer's Block

Here are some ways to cure writer's block.

  • Step away from your writing for a bit. Take a walk, fix a meal, clean your desk, take a shower, whatever it takes. Half an hour may be all it takes.
  • Explain your story to a friend and bounce some ideas off them.
  • Work on another story.
  • Write through a different medium. Have you been typing? Try handwriting. Were you handwriting? Try typing.
  • Work somewhere else. Sometimes a change of scenery works wonders.
  • Attend a write-in during NaNoWriMo.
  • Visit the Plot Doctoring forum or pick up a prompt from the Word Wars, Prompts & Sprints forum.
  • Use Plot Ninjas. These don't have to be ninjas--they can be pirates, zombies, or even Busty Lesbian Cabbage Pirate Ninjas.
  • Visit the Dare thread on the NaNoWriMo forums and include one. Or two. Or ten.

External Links