Dealing with Writer’s Block #RRBC

As a member of the Rave Reviews Book Club, I get the opportunity to host some wonderful authors on tours. I particularly enjoy the posts where they teach us something about the craft of writing. Today, welcome A.M. Manay who is here to discuss Writer's Block.

Bashing Writer's Block by A.M. Manay

I don't know about you, but sometimes I just get stuck. I do some outlining before I begin writing a new book, but I really only have bare bones when I get started. Sometimes characters have their own ideas of where things should go, and it takes some thinking to work it out. Sometimes I can't quite pick out the right path to the next peak in the narrative. I suspect most of us have at least some experience with writer's block. I'd like to share with you some of the strategies that have worked for me in the past.

1) Take a Break

There is value in allowing yourself to take a few days or weeks off to allow your mind to recharge and your energy to return. I hit a mental wall about 3/4 of the way through writing She Lights Up the Dark (November Snow Book 2). I gave myself a few weeks over the Christmas holidays to rest and let my mind wander. Somehow, my tangled thoughts worked themselves out, and in January, I was ready to bang out the last 4 or 5 chapters with no problem. There is value in rest.

2) Write something else

Do you have an idea for a short story, poem, blog post, or new series? Take a few hours to explore it and get the juices flowing. Sometimes that is enough to shake things loose on the original project.

3) Write out of order

You have an idea for a cool scene, but your narrative isn't quite there yet, or you don't know quite where to put it? Write it anyway. It will help you clarify your thoughts and help keep the process fun rather than tedious.

4) Try fan fiction

Do you have a favorite book, movie, or television show? Write a story set in that universe. Maybe you won't be able to use it for anything, but you never know what images, personalities, phrases, or arcs you might come up with that you can incorporate into your “real work” later.

5) Talk it out

Sometimes describing your dilemma to a spouse, friend, or fellow writer can make the solution just appear before your eyes. Writing can be such a solitary pursuit. There is value in community, especially the kind of community we have here at the Rave Reviews Book Club.

The next time you're staring blankly at the screen, I hope this list will give you a little push in the right direction. Do you have any tricks of your own for combating this scourge? Share them in the comments!

In addition to her work as an indie author of paranormal fantasy, A.M. Manay is a former inner-city chemistry teacher, a singer, a yoga enthusiast, a Clerk of Session in the Presbyterian Church (USA), and a mother through domestic open adoption. She has a passion for increasing diversity in popular culture and for strong heroines who stand up for themselves, make their own decisions, and don't depend on romance as their reason for being.

Author Links for A.M. Manay

Website: www.ammanay.net

Blog: http://ammanaywrites.blogspot.com/

email: author@ammanay.net

Facebook: facebook.com/ammanaywrites

Twitter: @ammanay

Instagram: instagram.com/a.m.manay

Fan email list November's News: http://eepurl.com/bzCa9r

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62 Comments

Filed under Writing

62 responses to “Dealing with Writer’s Block #RRBC

  1. So that’s how it’s done! Wishing you both every success in the future. I love stories with heroes from the past (whether fiction or non-fiction) but women need to be depicted as heroines too. Not that we’re not seeing more and more strong women on our screens (big and small) these days, but this deserves to also be true in the books we write and read. Love to you both with hope for a peaceful world around the corner xoxo

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I usually just take a break to do something mindless. Zoning out on TV, listening to music, or just staring at the ceiling. It’s more of a physical break than a mental one because I let my mind wander around the problem. Figure the answers are in there somewhere, so I need to wait until they pop up.

    Never could pull off writing out of order. Think part of it is because what I do in previous chapters will affect the later ones. So I can easily make a mess of what I already wrote if I have to go back.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Excellent advice, A.M. I use short stories to get rid of the cobwebs. Nice hosting job, Craig.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. I love these suggestions for dealing with writer’s block. I’ve never tried fan fiction as a way to get past it but that sounds like loads of fun.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. That’s the way to do it! πŸ˜€ If you’re in a log jam with the main project, write about something else, failing which, go DO something else, altogether. You never know, it might be something that you CAN write about later on, or even use for some other work.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Wonderful to see A.M. here on your blog and with such a great post! I’m rarely troubled by writer’s block but lately it’s been rearing it’s ugly head. I’ve found the best thing I can do is just bulldoze through. I sit down and start spilling out words, even if they’re crap. I figure I can always edit and expand. And at least it’s working. I’ve been averaging between 4K and 5K a day. The problem is, I only have a few days a week that I can devote that kind of time to writing.
    P.S….I love the November Snow books. Can’t wait for the next one!

    Liked by 2 people

  7. Some good advice. I sometimes have to binge watch TV and then the answer I’m looking for just pops out.

    Liked by 2 people

  8. I go for a walk. Mother Nature always helps me work things through. Don’t stick your ipod on though… use all your senses to absorb what’s around you, take in a few deep breaths of that fresh air to calm yourself down, and walk. In a forest, beside water, or somewhere high always works for me. Thanks for the other tips… I’ll keep them on hand for when it’s raining! 😁

    Liked by 2 people

  9. Thanks for hosting A,M Manay on this the first step of her blog tour! As for me, I sit down and write anything that pops into my head. At times that leads to an entirely fresh look at a genre I may have never considered writing. I also look at old photograph albums (The hard copy variety) and this also tends to set of a chain of writing. If all else fails, and that block stays stubbornly insistent, I turn off the laptop, and sit outside in the garden. My brain stubbornly refuses to remain unfocused for long.
    Great post, both of you!

    Liked by 2 people

  10. annemargaretmanay

    Craig, thank you so very much for hosting! What a lovely blog. And thanks to all who read and commented. I really needed a pick me up today, and you all gave it to me. Such great support we have at the Rave Reviews Book Club.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. I completely missed the new spotlight yesterday… but I’m here now. Thanks for your great tips. After I’ve written or revised a scene, I have to play mindless computer games or take a nap to clear my head before I can move on to the next piece that needs my attention.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Great tips, A. M.! I’m so delighted to see you in the “Spotlight.” Wishing you a wonderful week! πŸ™‚
    Thanks for the warm welcome, Craig!

    Liked by 1 person

  13. I thoroughly enjoyed reading your tips for overcoming writer’s block, Anne Margaret! Thanks for sharing and have a wonderful week on tour!

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Great post with excellent advice, Anne Margaret! Craig, thanks so much for hosting her during her time in the Spotlight!

    Liked by 1 person

  15. harmonykentonline

    What a great article! Congrats on your week in the Spotlight, Ann Margaret! Have a great time πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Sorry I’m so late.

    These are all fantastic ideas. I often find when I talk it out, the answer magically appears. I also skip around and switch to flash fiction if I’m really stuck, like she mentioned as well.

    Liked by 1 person

  17. Ann Margaret, so sorry to be hitting the tour so late. I never got notification till I noticed the tweets and then couldn’t find your tour schedule. It looks like you had a grand time with out me lol. I love your blog. That’s exactly how I manage writer’s block and in my opinion the only way that is sure to work.

    Liked by 1 person

  18. Pingback: Friday Roundup – 14th October | Stevie Turner, Indie Author.

  19. Great advice, Ann Margaret. Always good to hear from other writers and what works for them.

    Thanks for hosting, Craig!

    Liked by 1 person

  20. Pingback: Reading Links…10/19/16 – Where Genres Collide

  21. Wow I’ve been stuck basically all year and this really helped me!! Maybe you could take a look at my blog and I’d be happy to exchange likes on the posts we like and a follow!

    Liked by 1 person

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