Any author knows about the horrors of writer's block. You can't think straight, you can't put pen to paper, you get frustrated and, ultimately, you give up. Well, whilst this is completely natural and it happens to everyone, our five little tips just might help you get over that slump faster than you thought.
1. Step Away From The Keyboard
When writer's block strikes, there's no getting away from it. You'll end up sitting there, staring blankly at the screen until everything blurs. Rather than trying to force your way past that mental block, accept it. Turn off the computer/put down your pen, stretch your legs and leave it. Go for a walk to get the creative juices flowing, watch some TV to get your mind off things, do some housework to keep yourself busy. But do not go back to that manuscript. Give yourself a couple of hours, then try again. If that doesn't work, try the following day. Don't fight with it. You'll only end up more annoyed than you already were.
2. Set Yourself Goals
No one can pump out a best-seller in a day, not even J.K. Rowling. It takes time, effort, tears, and a lot of hard work. You need to make sure you set yourself realistic goals and expectations; this will also help to fend off the dreaded writer's block. Whether you plan to write 20 pages a day or only 100 words, try to have a set goal, which will give you a sense of achievement and still allow you to make progress on your worst days.
3. Stop Comparing Yourself To Everyone Else
Now, we're all guilty of this. You'll be working on your masterpiece and take a glance at another book, either for inspiration or to take a break. You'll start thinking about how good this book is and how yours will never amount to much and it'll never be as professional as this one. STOP. This is a sure-fire way to bring on writer's block, lose all imagination and, essentially, you'll give up your dream. Everyone writes differently and has different ideas - you can't compare your own work to a best-seller's, least of all because you have a biased opinion of your own novel. Sure, get ideas and inspiration from other people's work, but do not put yourself down in the process.
4. Break It Down
You know what's terrifying? A big, scary, unknown job where you don't know the outcome. Guess what's not scary? Lots of mini-jobs. Stop thinking about the end result and just concentrate on the task at hand. Now that you've got that manuscript down to small, managable chunks, you can work steadily, and just go one step at a time.
5. Enjoy It!
If you dread turning on that computer, or sitting down with your manuscript, you're never going to get very far; you won't benefit from doing something you hate and your work will suffer for it. So, enjoy it! Wait until you have some time, crack on some tunes, open a bottle of wine and have fun! If you love what you're doing, you're less likely to end up in a creative slump!
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