I recently read an article talking about writers’ block and how to get out of every author’s curse…writer’s block. And after the article, I felt inspired to write about my experience with this dreadful curse and hopefully help one of you who is also suffering from this curse find some relief. Now I know what you thinking, how is this going to help me with my novel about an extremely paranoid person who can’t go outside? Or a short story on little red riding hood but she’s from the “hood”?
Well, every writing project no matter how big or small begins with an idea, but it’s how you nurture that idea that’ll determine how strong your idea will become. Now you may be sitting there wondering what I mean by that, and I promise you it’s simple. Take for example my novel Years Gone I first came up with the idea after beating the video game The Last of Us on my PlayStation 3 and thinking to myself about different ways I would’ve ended the game and what I would’ve done differently. And from there I began brainstorming and writing down different character ideas and plot points and after what seemed like ages, I had a good idea of the story and began working on the rough draft.
One of the key things that kept me motivated to write when I was writing the novel was to almost always be thinking about what was happening next. I would write a chapter or two a day depending on how much writing time I had that day. Then spend the remaining time in the day planning the next chapter or event in the novel in the back of my head while at work or running errands. On days where I couldn’t come up with any new ideas or just didn’t have the motivation which happened more often than I like to admit. I would watch movies and tv shows that shared a similar topic to the plot point I was working on and 9/10 times usually someone on the show/movie would say or do something that would spark a new idea and sustain the writer’s block I was going through.
But on the rare occasion where I would get through the movie/tv show and nothing would inspire me id pick up an old-fashioned book and read that. whether it was about marketing or my personal favorite Stephen King's memoir on writing. I think being able to hold an actual book in my hands and realize that someone somewhere out there went through the same troubles but was able to push through it and succeed, and if they can do it I can too.
Keeping notes on your latest ideas whether you write them out on a piece of paper or you type them out on your phone it’s a good idea to get them out of your head so you don’t forget about the side details. I keep my notes and everything sorted out on this app called Trello (https://www.trello.com/en-US) its good at letting me sort a to-do list and keep notes and a timeline on different projects together. But before I used Trello, I kept everything written out in a black spiral notebook.
But if I could go back in time and give my younger self some advice when I was struggling with writers' block it would be to just hang in there and suffer through it. Because in the end when you’re sitting there holding the finished printed copy in your hands, you’ll get the most satisfying feeling of completion you’ll only ever feel again when you finish another novel.Writing is one of those things I come to learn that if you’re not constantly thinking about it in the back of your head you're going to forget what it is that your writing about and eventually sooner than later abandon the idea all together. So, it’s crucial that all you guys out there procrastinating around right now to get back to work before its too late.