What Do You Do When You Have Writer’s Block?

The last few months of 2017 and January 2018 were fantastic for me, writing-wise. I pumped out dozens of articles for various websites and finished a novelette. I wrote every day. I even made some money.

But every day of February so far has been a disaster. I’ve got a quarter of the way through articles before dismissing them as trash. Two unfinished fictional projects poke the back of my mind all day when I’m working or cooking, but as soon as I sit down to write, my mind goes blank.

Am I burned out? Or is it just writer’s block?

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I’m pretty upset about it. Today’s a national holiday, which means I’m not at the office and it should be a day of working on the final of my fantasy trilogy. I just quit my job to be a full-time writer, for pity’s sake. Now I can’t even manage a five-hundred-word article and the idea of writing fiction would be laughable if it wasn’t so tragic.

What do you do when you’re suffering from writer’s block? I’ve been reading a lot. I love to read anyway, but I’ve already demolished several novels in 2018 alone. I’ve also been playing video games. I’ve been writing for this blog, but that to me doesn’t really count as “writing.” I want to finish my trilogy! I want to start working on a new project!

So how do you beat writer’s block? A quick Google search takes you to a few articles. I just found this one on GoinsWriter, which suggests music, walking, coffee, reading, and even freewriting. Writers Digest says you should write when everyone else is asleep, clear your desk, exercise, and work on other creative projects.

This slump suuuuuuuuuuuuucks. What do you do when you have writer’s block?

5 thoughts on “What Do You Do When You Have Writer’s Block?

  1. I think a burn out is definitely possible! I haven’t written a single word of my WIP in 2018 but I hope I get back into swing soon. I’m in the same boat as yours and am looking for inspiration everywhere. After pondering over my daily schedule, I feel I don’t assign a set time or day to write. I start off the day with all the important things I need to get done and writing doesn’t come in that list so that shoves writing completely out of the day’s to-dos. I’ll be trying to make a writing schedule next month to hopefully get back in the groove. Hope we break this block soon, Poppy! 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Pingback: Top 8 Experiences in Ishigaki, Okinawa | Poppy in Japan

  3. Hi Poppy,

    I came across your site through some mutual friends we have on Twitter. Given that this post is a few weeks old, I don’t know if you’re still having writer’s block, but if you are, I thought I’d share what I do when writer’s block strikes:

    This is the default approach I use to come up with story ideas (because sometimes Writer’s Block can strike right at the beginning), but, as I say at the end, I believe it could be used even if you get stuck in the MIDDLE of a story.

    1. I brainstorm one of two things: a character or a place. I can be either really detailed or very vague.

    2. I create the Lead-In. If I picked a PLACE in step 1, I ask WHAT brought the Hero(es) to this place. If I picked a CHARACTER in step 1, I ask WHAT caused the Hero(es) to cross paths with this character.

    While whatever I come up with in Step 1 can be vague, the answer I come up with in Step 2 must be both detailed and engaging (and preferably not obvious). Also, when I say ‘engaging,’ what I mean is that this lead-in-this chain of events- must be evocative of a certain mood or genre.

    3. With the lead-in from steps 1 and 2, I now have the foundation to build the rest of the story. Among other things, I establish the Hero’s main goal (if that wasn’t already established in step 2) and establish short-term goals that the Hero must accomplish to achieve the main goal.

    Also, step 3 is the point that I come up with any other characters the story needs and add depth to the characters the story already has. Anytime I get stuck in the middle of a story, I repeat the above three steps.

    I call this method WHO, WHAT & WHERE. The WHO and WHERE refer to the character or place I come up with in step 1; the WHAT refers to the Lead-In in step 2. I hope it helps, or (as I told another writer friend) if it DOESN’T, I hope it steers you to something that DOES help.

    Take care.

    Liked by 1 person

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