Defeating Your #1 Enemy — Your Mind
Even the greatest of writers have writer’s block at one time or another. How can you overcome this?
“Convince yourself that you are working in clay, not marble, on paper not eternal bronze: Let that first sentence be as stupid as it wishes.”
― Jacques Barzun
Step 1: Outline Your Book.
Some people choose to outline their books and some don’t. An outline can give you a big picture of where you want your book to go. Think of 5 or 6 overall themes and big storylines and begin writing. You can also outline chapters if you’d like. Write a short paragraph or a few bullet points for what you want the chapter to be about and then let your imagination take you the rest of the way.
Step 2. Think Of Thought Joggers
A thought jogger is when you write down a list of words and then your brain automatically connects that to other related ideas. For example, if you write the name of a friend, usually you’ll automatically think of their spouse and then their kids. This is a good way to come up with ideas for your book, by writing a list of words first that relate to your story lines.
Step 3. Think Of The Craziest Ideas And Pick One
In James Patterson’s Masterclass , he suggests to write down 10 crazy things that could happen to your main character and then pick the most realistic one. This will help you with your story if you’re stuck and you don’t know where you book is going next. Many people can come up with the beginning or end of the book, but struggle in the middle.
Step 4: Go For A Walk
A lot of times when you get stuck in writing, it’s time to just get outside and walk around. Go for a walk and don’t think about what you’re writing for 10 or 15 minutes and completely remove yourself away from your novel. This will clear your mind so you can start off fresh again at a later point. You could also try meditating or yoga or some other form of exercise.
Step 5. Change Your Location
Typically I write from home sitting on my comfortable couch or at my desk, but sometimes just going to a local Starbucks or bookstore will get the creative juices flowing. or just put on your headphones and listen to music.Try switching locations and see if that helps. Being around other people can stimulate the senses.
Step 6. Read A Book From Your Favorite Author
While I’m writing, I’ll read quite a bit too. Read other books like the one you’re writing and study their prose, setting, character development, and humor and this will help you put pen to paper to continue writing your manuscript.
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