You know the symptoms. The blank page, the condescendingly flashing cursor bar thing, the itch to open a new tab in Chrome and just check Facebook or something “really quick”. You have… dun dun DUUUNNNNN writer’s block.
As your intrepid ML kitkatt, I know the struggles. Don’t let my word count so far fool you, I have faced (and sometimes beaten) the monster of writer’s block. It is super easy to fall into the trap of writer’s block at any time but a lot of people are even more prone to it during NaNo season.
So, why am I here, writing a terrible blog post for you? Well, here are five of my tips and tricks to beating writer’s block (at least for a little while).
Move on – Okay so this one sounds a little condescending but hear me out. If you’re stuck on a scene, it is 10000% okay to just move out. Get out basic details and then move on to another scene you’re super excited to write.
Try to get inside your characters’ heads – I’m one of those writers that can have almost full conversations with their characters (they drive me insane). So this one especially helps me. Let them guide you if you’re not sure how they would react in the circumstances you’ve put them in to. If they derail the story, let them. You can fix it later (after November) if you hate.
Talk to someone – seriously, I can’t tell you how many times I have babbled to my husband about my story and then get a brilliant idea about what to do next. Don’t have a SO you can harass? Use the forums or the FB group to talk to people! Talk to writer friends!
Prompts – “But wait, kitkatt,” you might be saying, “why prompts? Won’t they derail you even more?” And to be honest? Yes. They probably will. (Or not, depending on the prompt) But you know what? It gets you to write more and can spark more ideas in your novel. If it doesn’t end up in the “real” draft of your novel later, who cares? Editing is for December, word count is for November.
This is a draft – One of the big things that helps me is knowing that this is a draft. This is the roughest rough draft to ever rough draft it. Whatever you don’t like later, you can purge with the fires of an inner editor scorned. But that doesn’t matter right now. What matters now is translating what you see, hear, experience in your head onto the paper so maybe one day, someone else can experience it too. There is a reason why the NaNo motto is “Don’t get it right, get it written.” We all struggle with this and I know it but somehow, it really makes it easier for me.
Okay, I think that’s enough babbling from me for now. But seriously, writer’s block is just you thinking you can’t do it. And you know what? I don’t believe that. I don’t believe that for a single second. If you are attempting NaNo, you are an awesome, amazing author and need to just keep going.
I hope my tips will help.