Originally recorded for Day 3 of my writer’s bootcamp, this video talks about the causes of writer’s block and how to break through it.
You might also like these videos:
Day 1: Let’s talk about your why.
Day 2: Why this book?
Day 4: Finding the best writing time for maximum productivity
Day 5: Setting goals and celebrating achievements
Good morning, everyone. It’s day four of our writers, boot camp, as usual, I am in my car in a different parking lot. Yeah, I’m going to do this again in June and also again in the fall. And I’m going to pick a different time where I don’t have to be in my car every day. Anyways, I just wanted to pop in and talk a bit today about writer’s block. I appreciate everybody’s comments the whole week, as you guys have been sharing your why, your premise, your greatest writing times and just exploring all the ways that you can improve your writing.
And so today we’re going to talk about one of the biggest issues that people run into, which is writer’s block. And there’s really a couple of things that contribute to writer’s block. One, some of the things that we’ve talked about ahead of time will really help with that. So knowing why you want to write and why you want to write this particular book, those things will definitely help when you sit down because you’ll have a purpose with what you’re doing.
The other thing is, at your best, being at your best writing time will also help. But the other thing that is really important, and I tell people this all the time, is there’s two part of your brain, two parts of your brain related to writing. And one is the creative part and one is the editing part. And when the creative part is trying to get the words down on the page and the editor part keeps jumping in there and correcting and making changes, then the creative brain is going to shut down and it’s going to say, fine, you don’t like what I have to say. I’m going to go take my toys and play somewhere else. So you don’t want that to happen.
So I really recommend that you have a dedicated, wonderful flow that you get into the creative zone. And so you want to continue that as much as possible. When you stop to fix something or go back or think about it, you lose that and everything is fixable. When you get words on the page, it’s it’s fixable. So when you come back to your editing time, you can fix it.
So my personal way of doing this, everybody’s different, but my personal way is when I go into my writing session, I start with what I have written the day before. It kind of gives me a running start. Where am I? How am I in this? Where am I in this story? And I can fix things then. And that is satisfying my editor brain. Yes, things will get fixed. So I’m allowing myself to do that. And I go in and I fix that. But by the time I’m at the end, I’m like, I’m raring to go. I’m ready to start writing more.
The other thing I do is I do prewriting. I know what scene I’m I’m writing. Is it an action scene or a reaction scene? If you’ve read my book, Eat the Elephant or if you’ve taken any of my courses, you know what I’m talking about. But is this is this where he’s setting a goal and he’s going to end up in success or disaster? Or is he reacting to what just happened?
Knowing what kind of scene you have is important, knowing whose scene it is, whose point of view, is it going to be. If you know, if it’s going to be an action scene, then you need to know what is the goal? What does your character want at the beginning of the scene? All those things will help you know what the heck it is you’re going to write. And there’s nothing worse than sitting a blank page going, I have no idea what I’m going to write.
But if, you know, if you have a sense of just a quick sketch of who’s in this scene where, I’m going to go with it, what’s going to happen. I mean, it can still take twists and turns. That’s the wonderful part about the creative part of it. It’ll take twists and turns, but you will have a sense of what you’re writing in this scene. You don’t have to worry about anything else. You just have to worry about that particular scene. And it’s amazing how much that helps you get your writing done.
The the other thing then is to some people really like to do some free writing to kind of loosen things up, do some journaling. I usually start my beginning of my my day at my desk with some journaling just to kind of get everything flowing. Some people find that super, super helpful.
The other thing that can be really helpful is the Pomodoro technique. And this is just simply setting a timer for 25 minutes and just writing as fast as you can. Just let it go. Just do a writing. Some people call these writing sprints and you just want to write. Don’t think about going back. If you can avoid backspacing. This technique is really good to help break that editor brain. And so just write everything you can knowing you can fix it later. And then when you’re 25 minutes is up, look at how many words you wrote. You will probably be very pleasantly surprised at how many words you were able to get down.
And then you can take a break, you can go back and edit if you’d like. You can move on to another session, whatever you do. But those are some techniques to really help you break through writing through writer’s block.
So one, separate your writing brain and your editing brain. Do free writing if that’s helpful. Prewrite your scenes, and use the Pomodoro technique to help those four things are helpful. I will put those in the in the comment section underneath so you can have those to refer to.
And I would love it if you comment today, if you’ve tried any of those techniques and if you find them helpful, if you’re going to try something that you haven’t tried before, put that in there, especially if you do it and then come back and tell us what you think if that was helpful for you or not. But I’ve just so enjoyed spending some time with you guys this week and seeing where you’re at with your projects and and just being encouraged by, you know, giving our writing a shot in the arm.
So I will check in with you guys later today. I hope you have a wonderful day Thursday here. And we’re, you know, wrapping up the week. It’s gone by fast. We’ll talk to you soon. See you tomorrow. And in the comments later today. Bye bye.