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Five Ways to Overcome Writer's Block

Everybody gets it. I've written over forty novels and have more in my head, but there are some days when I have trouble getting into my writing. Although I'm a firm believer in taking personal and mental health days off from authoring, the only way I've managed to make a successful career from my books is through discipline. I strive to write an average of 1000 words per day. This means that if I miss a few days, I'll need to up my word count over the next day or two to catch up.

So what do I do if I'm just not in the mood? I've come up with five strategies to help.

A person walking in sneakers on a sidewalk.
  1. Walk. Many of the great geniuses walked to stimulate their minds. If I'm stumped on what should happen next in my story, a quick walk around the block almost always does the trick.

A shower head with water streaming from it.

2. Shower. If the walk doesn't work, or if the weather is too bad for walking, taking a shower is the next best thing. There's something about the water flowing over me that gets my creative juices flowing. If writer's block is a problem for you, try a long shower.

A young woman sleeps with her upper body resting across her desk.

3. Sleep. Try not to fall completely asleep. Put yourself in that twilight between being awake and being asleep. This is a very creative state for the human mind. It explains why some of our best ideas come to us just as we're falling asleep. If you're suffering from writer's block, try closing your eyes and thinking about your story. You may actually fall asleep and waste a bunch of time, but more often than not, something great will occur to you.

A young woman eating a cupcake.

4. Eat something high in carbs. This may sound crazy, but when nothing else works, I turn to sweets. That jolt of sugar rushing through my sytem really gets my mind working. It's not a great technique if you're watching your waistline, but it's almost a sure thing as far as overcoming writer's block.

A man's hands type on a laptop keyboard.

5. When all else fails, overcome writer's block by writing anything. You can write about your day or about a dream you had or about what you want to do for a family vacation. Just start writing. Once you get going, allow your mind to wander to other ideas. Be sure to tell yourself that this is only an exercise, and you don't need to worry about whether it's good writing. It's a warmup exercise. You'll be surprised by how often this will get your thoughts in motion.

Btw, if you don't already own The Bookworm Bible--my fifty-page comprehensive guide for book lovers compiled from articles I've written over the years on topics such as "How to Overcome a Reading Slump" and "How to Write Easy Peasy Book Reviews" with free resources such as a printable reading log, review templates, and an online reading journal--grab your free copy here.

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