5 tips to combat writer's block

I ran a workshop for a writing group a couple of weeks ago and their biggest problem was getting stuck with their writing - particularly with Covid and I was asked to look at ways to get their motivation back up again. Interestingly, my book was finished and published during Covid. But it was only because I was spurred into activity by others.

Here are some ideas that may help you get your writing mojo back.

Remind yourself of why you're writing.

It's important to remember what you're writing for. For me, it's about entertaining people - taking the mundane and turning it into a funny story. I love to hear that I've made people laugh.

Create your own why flower by choosing one or two reasons from the image below and build on them. Or add a reason that I've missed. Once you're happy with it print it off and put it where you can see it when you're writing to keep you motivated


Write some posts on social media


This is how my book got resurrected. I was in a mastermind group and I was challenged to write something more personal about myself instead of my rather drier business related posts. From that people said I should write my book and I was contacted by someone in the audiobook business who asked to look at some more of my work and then put me in touch with a publishing company.

Ask for help


You'd be amazed how many people like to help you out. I posted variations of book covers and asked for feedback about which they preferred. I got lots of really valuable feedback which then informed the final design of the cover. And it also raised awareness that I was writing a book. This works well for book titles too.


The other useful thing is to get some people to beta test your book before you take it to the next level. Again, people love to give feedback, they will spot missing things or anomalies and it's brilliant for proof reading!


It also gives you validation that you are on the right track which is also motivational.


Speed writing

If you're simply stuck with putting pen to paper, force yourself to do it.

An easy way is to set a timer. If you're really stuck set it for five minutes. And just write for that five minutes until the timer goes off and then you can stop and treat yourself. See if you can do this daily and then extend the length of time to 10, 20, 30 minutes. The timer is the really important bit because it signals when you can stop.


As an aside, having classical music on in the background can be really helpful. There are no words to distract you and I found some of the really rousing ones worked wonders for not only raising my energy levels, but also my typing speed as I tried to keep up with the beat! And there is some evidence to show that the rhythms of classical music are great for learning and creativity. Apparently Baroque music is the best tempo for improving concentration and learning.


Accountability


This is the biggy for me. I'm hopeless without a deadline. I was lucky to have a publisher and had editorial dates to meet, so that ensured I got writing done on time.


The American Society of Training and Development carried out research which showed that if you shared your plan and committed to doing the actions with others, your chances of success rocket to 95%.


If you're like me and you need deadlines, see if you can find a writing partner or someone else who needs to be spurred on to complete things. Have a regular meeting and commit to certain actions by the next time you meet. Fortnightly is the best schedule, but monthly is also good.



Cats can be a terrible distraction from writing!

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