Battling Writer's Block

Last semester, I went to speak to a class of high school and junior high students. One of them asked me, "Do you ever get writer's block?"

Well, I hesitated and then said, "No, not really."

Now that it's been awhile later, I need to amend my answer to "Yes and no." Yes, every writer experiences some kind of writer's block. Yes, I have had mental blocks while writing my stories.

However, no, because I have trained myself to move around writer's block. I'm not claiming to be the world's best expert on getting over it, but I have managed to defeat it when it counts.

Here are a few things I have done to circumvent writer's block:
1. Move ahead and write a scene that you are anxious to write about. Like, something you have outlined before you began writing the story (usually, these outlined scenes are important to you and you look forward to writing them). Personally, I like writing scenes where the two main characters interact. Whatever direction it goes toward (romantic or otherwise), I think these scenes are fun and energetic. Later, go back and fill in the story blanks up to that scene. (This tip really works! I employ it a lot during National Novel Writing Month, when you don't have too much time to let your novel sit for endless days.)
2. Go back, re-read, and edit. It never hurts to edit.
3. If you're stuck with moving forward on plot (like I was a couple of months ago), think through your storyline again. Write out possible plot twists, even the outrageous ones. This will get your brain thinking creatively again. Maybe your brainstorms will help you out of your rut and might move your story in a fresh, new direction.
4. Share your story with someone you trust. Maybe he/she can help you work through your mental block. You can bounce possible ideas off of him/her, as well.

Whatever the case, writer's block is common. Just don't let it sit there and take over your lack of writing. Move around, take action, and you'll soon be on your way to novel success!

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