Indie Author Weekly

065: 10 tips for how to beat writer’s block

June 23, 2020 Sagan Morrow Episode 66
Indie Author Weekly
065: 10 tips for how to beat writer’s block
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Indie Author Weekly
065: 10 tips for how to beat writer’s block
Jun 23, 2020 Episode 66
Sagan Morrow

Today, I want to share about writer’s block… and specifically, 10 tips for how to beat writer’s block.  

Let’s be honest: we all tend to struggle to get the words on the page at some point or another. There’s no doubt that it can be difficult to figure out how to overcome writer’s block when it crops up.  

But luckily, it’s not the end of the world! There are a variety of ways you can overcome writer’s block, regardless of the type of writing that you do.  

I’ve had multiple conversations over the years with various people—friends, other freelancers, clients—who have a misconception that because I write for a living (and because I’ve been doing this for the past decade), I personally don’t really have to ever deal with creative blocks.  

This couldn’t be further from the truth! I’ve hit walls with clients projects and with pretty much every book in my Polyamorous Passions series, at one point or another. I have those tough writer moments too, just the same as you. But it’s what we do when it happens that matters.  

I shared more about this topic in Episode 13 of this Indie Author Weekly podcast, so I recommend you tune into that episode for ways to deal with writer’s block, too.  

Writer’s block isn’t the end of the world. It’s all a matter of addressing it when it happens… and then taking action and DOING something about it. Even the most experienced and prolific writers get stuck from time to time. What sets those writers apart from the rest is that they’re willing to plough forward and get over it.  

And you can do that, too! You have it within you to overcome writer’s block when it strikes. I believe in you, and you need to start believing in yourself, too… and taking strategic, intentional action to do something about it.  

Okay let’s dive in. Here are 10 tips for how to beat writer’s block when it inevitably comes up…  

Resources & links mentioned in this episode:  

Let's chat about this episode:  

Support the show (https://saganmorrow.com/secretpodcast)

Show Notes Transcript

Today, I want to share about writer’s block… and specifically, 10 tips for how to beat writer’s block.  

Let’s be honest: we all tend to struggle to get the words on the page at some point or another. There’s no doubt that it can be difficult to figure out how to overcome writer’s block when it crops up.  

But luckily, it’s not the end of the world! There are a variety of ways you can overcome writer’s block, regardless of the type of writing that you do.  

I’ve had multiple conversations over the years with various people—friends, other freelancers, clients—who have a misconception that because I write for a living (and because I’ve been doing this for the past decade), I personally don’t really have to ever deal with creative blocks.  

This couldn’t be further from the truth! I’ve hit walls with clients projects and with pretty much every book in my Polyamorous Passions series, at one point or another. I have those tough writer moments too, just the same as you. But it’s what we do when it happens that matters.  

I shared more about this topic in Episode 13 of this Indie Author Weekly podcast, so I recommend you tune into that episode for ways to deal with writer’s block, too.  

Writer’s block isn’t the end of the world. It’s all a matter of addressing it when it happens… and then taking action and DOING something about it. Even the most experienced and prolific writers get stuck from time to time. What sets those writers apart from the rest is that they’re willing to plough forward and get over it.  

And you can do that, too! You have it within you to overcome writer’s block when it strikes. I believe in you, and you need to start believing in yourself, too… and taking strategic, intentional action to do something about it.  

Okay let’s dive in. Here are 10 tips for how to beat writer’s block when it inevitably comes up…  

Resources & links mentioned in this episode:  

Let's chat about this episode:  

Support the show (https://saganmorrow.com/secretpodcast)

Hello friends! Sagan here. Welcome back to Indie Author Weekly, where I share my behind-the-scenes journey of writing and self-publishing books. 

If you’re new to this podcast, I am a productivity strategist for multi-passionate creatives at SaganMorrow.com: I help people manage their time and energy effectively, through customized, actionable strategies that work for your unique life and business. When I’m not teaching about productivity to solopreneurs, I spend my time writing romance novels, and occasionally, business books. And that is what this podcast is all about: the adventures of the author life.

Now let’s get into this episode of the Indie Author Weekly podcast. Today, I want to share about writer’s block… and specifically, 10 tips for how to beat writer’s block.

Let’s be honest: we all tend to struggle to get the words on the page at some point or another. There’s no doubt that it can be difficult to figure out how to overcome writer’s block when it crops up. 

But luckily, it’s not the end of the world! There are a variety of ways you can overcome writer’s block, regardless of the type of writing that you do. 

I’ve had multiple conversations over the years with various people—friends, other freelancers, clients—who have a misconception that because I write for a living (and because I’ve been doing this for the past decade), I personally don’t really have to ever deal with creative blocks. 

This couldn’t be further from the truth! I’ve hit walls with clients projects and with pretty much every book in my Polyamorous Passions series, at one point or another. I have those tough writer moments too, just the same as you. But it’s what we do when it happens that matters. 

I shared more about this topic in Episode 13 of this Indie Author Weekly podcast, so I recommend you tune into that episode for ways to deal with writer’s block, too.

Okay let’s dive in. Here are 10 tips for how to beat writer’s block when it inevitably comes up…

Tip #1: Dig into why it’s happening

For myself, I often find that I’m more likely to get writer’s block if I’m worrying about what other people will think about the finished product, or if I lose sight of my “why” for writing in the first place. These tend to be related to two sides of my business: my freelance writing work and the novels I write. 

But the thing is, why worry about what people will think about the finished product, when you don’t even have a finished product yet? At the very least, postpone the worries until after you’ve finished writing! Your future self can deal with that. 

Tip #2: Get back in touch with why you’re writing in the first place. 

Building on our previous idea, when you lose sight of why you write, it’s easy to get stuck into inaction or feel too overwhelmed to make any progress. In other words, writer’s block sets in.

So how do you overcome writer’s block in this case? By getting back in touch with your purpose for writing.

This is especially valuable for book authors, because we tend to have a lot of emotion attached to the books we write. When you remember why it’s so important to you to get this story on paper, the words will start to flow more freely once again.

You can learn about my own real-life example for why I’m so passionate about the romance novels I write in Episode 50 AND Episode 51 of this Indie Author Weekly podcast.

Tip #3: Change your environment

I work from home full-time, which I love… but being by myself at home for days on end can sometimes make my environment “stale.” If I’ve been trying and struggling to overcome writer’s block for a while, I take that as a sign I need to change my environment. Pre-pandemic, that would include something like working at a coffee shop instead.

Part of the reason for this is that being in a new environment can stimulate the creative juices and provide you with a whole new set of inspiration. 

By the way—another way you can “change your environment” is by shifting to a different writing space than usual in your house, or by doing something like changing the music you’re listening to, or even change your outfit. Sometimes you need to shift your mood, and getting dressed in clothes that match the tone of whatever you’re writing, or listening to music that inspires you, can be just the thing to get out of your writing funk.

Tip #4: Remind yourself that you can edit it later

If you feel like your writing is getting too cheesy or it just seems to be coming out all wrong, keep in mind that you can change it later. You can edit it or even delete it entirely.

Stop pressuring yourself to get that first draft perfect! When you take perfectionism out of the equation, it’s easier to focus on just writing and getting it done.

Tip #5: Take a break

You might be experiencing writer’s block because you’re burning yourself out by working too much. If you can, take a break from writing for a few hours or a several days. Maybe even a couple weeks! It’s okay to take time away from your writing

That being said, I encourage you to have a plan for when you’ll get back into it, or set some kind of timeframe/deadline on your break. This is especially important for projects where no one else is relying on you to get it done by a certain time. Otherwise, months could go by without you getting back into writing. So when you take a break, make sure you don’t let that break become the rest of your life.

If you want to learn more about how to ensure that rests and breaks are a foundational part of being more productive, as a writer or anything else in your personal or professional life, then I recommend you join my signature program, Productivity Powerhouse. Learn more at SaganMorrow.com/powerhouse.

Tip #6: Try writing something different 

Escape to another project entirely. What’s probably happened when you have writer’s block is that you’ve gotten too “in your head,” so by changing your writing style and switching to another project, you’ll be able to get out of your own head and change your way of thinking.

Consider switching to a different client project, writing a blog post, working on some kind of other creative writing project, journaling, etc

Tip #7: Go for a walk (or a shower)

I know a lot of people do their best thinking in the shower. Personally, I do my best thinking when I’m out for a long walk. 

The idea here isn’t to force yourself to think about your writing project (if you do that, you’ll probably just continue to hit a wall). Instead, you’re letting your mind wander, and if it comes back to your project on its own, then all the better. You’re letting your subconscious do the work for you!

By the time you step out of the shower or get home from your walk, you might have already had the eureka moment so that you can be inspired to start writing again.

Tip #8: Try something new 

With my Polyamorous Passions romance novels, sometimes I’ll struggle with writing a particular scene. It just doesn’t want to be written! In that case, I might try changing it: taking the story in a different direction, skipping over the scene entirely (or reducing it to just a couple sentences), etc. I shared more about that technique recently in Episode 63 of this Indie Author Weekly podcast

If you’re having a tough time getting past writer’s block, then it could be because you’re trying to make a square peg fit into a round hole. Try changing your initial plan and going in a different direction with your idea.

Tip #9: Set the timer or give yourself a word count to meet… and stick to it

This is the tough love way of dealing with writer’s block: just sit down and force yourself to get it done.

You might especially need to do this if you need to meet a deadline. Set the timer, give yourself a word count, and don’t get up from your chair until you’re finished. I highly recommend you use my word count goal tracker spreadsheet, which you can grab as one of the bonuses on the “secret” version of this podcast at SaganMorrow.com/secretpodcast.

Tip #10: Read something 

Perhaps what you’re missing is some inspiration from someone else! Take some time to read a book or an article. Maybe it’s your own writing, or maybe it’s something by your favourite author.

It doesn’t really matter what you choose to read, but by stepping away from your own work and diving into someone else’s, you might get the motivation you need to finally overcome writer’s block. 

I love how often I’ll get new ideas or inspiration just from reading someone else’s work. When we read something, it can trigger an idea that doesn’t actually have anything to do with that other writer’s work; it’s just how we connect things in our minds. This is not at all about copying what someone else is doing! Instead, it’s about giving your subconscious mind the space to get inspired while you’re reading someone else’s content.

To recap, our 10 tips for how to beat writer’s block: 

  1. Dig into why it’s happening
  2. Get back in touch with why you’re writing in the first place
  3. Change your environment
  4. Remind yourself that you can edit it later
  5. Take a break
  6. Try writing something different
  7. Go for a walk (or take a shower)
  8. Try something new
  9. Set the timer or give yourself a word count to meet… and stick to it
  10. Read something

Writer’s block isn’t the end of the world. It’s all a matter of addressing it when it happens… and then taking action and DOING something about it. Even the most experienced and prolific writers get stuck from time to time. What sets those writers apart from the rest is that they’re willing to plough forward and get over it.

And you can do that, too! You have it within you to overcome writer’s block when it strikes. I believe in you, and you need to start believing in yourself, too… and taking strategic, intentional action to do something about it.

Now, I’d love to hear your thoughts on this. Connect with me on Twitter and Instagram, @Saganlives, to chat about it! And you can send me a message on either of those platforms if you have requests for future episode topics, too. The more you tell me what you’d like to see more of on this podcast, the better that I can accommodate that. You can also submit your questions or topic ideas anonymously at SaganMorrow.com/question

If you enjoyed this episode, please take 2 minutes to share this podcast on social media and subscribe and rate it on Apple Podcasts—any time you share it or leave a rating or review, it helps more listeners find the Indie Author Weekly podcast, so every bit counts! I really appreciate your support.

By the way, you can access complete word-for-word transcripts of this episode and all past episodes, plus sample chapters of my books and a few other bonuses and goodies, on the “secret” version of this podcast. Get access to all of that at SaganMorrow.com/secretpodcast.

Thanks so much for tuning in to the Indie Author Weekly podcast, and I will see you in the next episode.