Sometimes, more than just once and a little while, we all get writer’s block. It sucks, but it happens. One day you’re on fire, and the next day, it’s a dud. It happens, but if it’s happening a little more than you’d like. I might be able to help you out.
I’ll organize this in the order of most helpful to go walk it off. For your viewing pleasure.
When in doubt, plan it out. Humans are creatures of habit and organization. We work best with a routine so be sure to pack your agendas and have multi-colored highlighters on deck because it might be time to get yourself scheduled.
You know yourself. When do you work best? Are you a morning writer, a late owl (A.K.A. me), or you do that weird thing where you just write at any possible moment of free time you have? Use your knowledge of yourself to your advantage and make time in your day for writing when you write your best.
For you morning birds, that may mean waking up earlier to reach that 8 a.m. slot that you planned out for yourself to write every day. And I mean, every day. If you want to write professionally then be professional and don’t take off days. We have the best job in the world, don’t take writing to be a chore, if it is, it may not be the thing for you.
A little like tip 1, but cut me some slack, this is my first post. Plan out where you are going to write. If you find yourself falling asleep on your laptop working late at night. Maybe it’s time you stop writing in your bed. Some people like to write on their desktop, on a nice leather chair, with cool jams played at 10% volume. But you know, that’s just some people.
If you like to write in coffee shops, then write in coffee shops. If you like to write outdoors then go buy a hammock and a laptop with really nice battery life. I’ve driven out to a beach to go write in my car because that’s my day at the beach.
If you like to get stoned off your ass writing comedies, then so be it. You have to cater to yourself first if you want to get the results you want.
Organize your story. It doesn’t matter if we’re talking about a screenplay, TV Show, book, or college paper, you can run into writer’s block at any time so you must prepare yourself. Your teachers will tell you that procrastinating is a bad thing. Well, I say fuck that, you deserve a break. There’s no point in beating the horse because you’ll just wind up in the same spot or be left with a product you are not proud of.
The key is to distract yourself with something that is related to what you are doing. If I was making a dialogue strip and got super stuck halfway through a conversation sometimes I’ll call it quits and pick up a notebook instead. From there I’ll recap on what’s going on at that point of the story, and then write about what happens next.
For some reason, I come up with the best ideas only while I’m writing. I’m not one of those guys that gets inspiration while jogging down the street and have to pull out an old tape recorder to jot down ideas. No, we all get on these hot streaks while writing when one thing’s working out and an idea pops in your head of what to do next so you just keep on going.
Sometimes if you aren’t catching fire you have to find a way to make sparks on your own and writing out my storyboard works best for me. You can get into it with vivid details of the next scene, or be broad and make a general scheme of the next few chapters of your story, just do something to get your creative juices flowing because staring at that screen won’t help.
Other positive distractions work too. For so long I assumed that because I wanted to make TV shows I could get away with watching a TV show that’s similar to what I was writing about and hope for inspiration to come to me. A little hint, it doesn’t work. I procrastinated in the worst ways, but here are some better ideas.
- If you’re a scriptwriter, read a script. Most starting scriptwriters don’t read enough scripts. I know I don’t, but when I do I like to hit Simply Scripts, imsdb, or if you’re looking for something new, try Blacklist
- You novelists, go read a book.
- Look for news about trending movies and see what producers and directors are up to. I like Comicbook.com
- As my professor would say, work on your platform on blogs and social media. Oh, how they know how to take the fun out of everything.
- I guess you could go search for agents relating to your subject and editors, or a publisher/ network. But who am I kidding you’re probably stuck now after I said social media. Everything is fine in moderation so just remember to procrastinate responsibility.