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From the Blog: Battling The Bump—Triumphing Over Writer’s Block

It’s important to take breaks when you’re writing so that you don’t get blocked. Here are some helpful hints by Young Writers Program Participant Cozetta J!

As we all know, writer’s block is no fun. Writer’s block is when you want to keep writing, but you feel like you can’t. Like the words and the inspiration won’t come. Let’s go back to when you were first starting to write your book. Your novel was doing great. The plot was progressing, and your characters were thriving. You were so excited about getting your novel started, and you couldn’t wait till you had it finished and on your shelf; possibly even published!

But then, all of a sudden, you realize that your plot went by too fast, or you got ahead of yourself and you began writing about things that weren’t supposed to happen till a while later in your book. You realize that your book is a mess. Disgusted, you stop writing your novel, and you move on to other things. Everyone keeps telling you to “not give up!”, or “don’t stop writing!” which are two very important things to do. But sometimes, you need a break from writing. There is such a thing as writing TOO much in too little time. I’m not saying that it can’t be done, just that it could give you the dreaded writer’s block. But can you really avoid getting it? Well, I am sorry to say that you can not. It’s almost like your brain just freezes and says, “This isn’t fun anymore,” and so you stop writing your novel.

It is easy to come up with an interesting plot for your story; with lots of exciting things that are going to happen in your book. The hard part is bringing your plot to all 50,000 words of your novel. When your novel’s exciting first few chapters end, you may have no idea what is supposed to happen next, so you might quit. I can’t tell you what you are supposed to write there, or how you are supposed to write it; but I can give you some ideas that sometimes help me.

  1. Stop writing for a little while if you’re stuck. Don’t force yourself to write. Even though sometimes it may help you to do so, you don’t want to hate your work!
  2. If you are not liking the way your novel is going, don’t try to fix it until you know exactly what you want to put there instead.
  3. Make a timeline chart for your book. Write out on a big sheet of paper your story outline, and plan on what every chapter is going to be about. Write down when your characters come in, or when they leave. Now that your novel’s outline is where you can see it, try writing a little bit everyday, till you feel your excitement and creativity coming back to you. Don’t worry, you will get over your writer’s block if you really want to.
  4. Want to write. Don’t just give up on your story, want to finish it out and be proud of the work you’ve done so far. Don’t quit, just take a break every so often and do what you like to do best and the ideas will come to you; I promise.
  5. Find a quiet place to just sit and think about your story. Play your novel over and over in your head just like a movie. Imagine your plot and your characters. Cry with them, laugh with them, love them. They are your friends, don’t throw them away. They are waiting for you right now to write what happens next to them.

So go, finish your novel. Do what works best for you. Go, your writing and the world awaits! 

(For more articles like this, explore the NaNoWriMo blog!)

Cozetta (Cozy for short) loves writing, reading, playing violin and piano, exploring the woods and roller-skating. She dreams of becoming a full-time author, and a professional roller- skater. She lives in Belton, Missouri, with her parents, her six younger siblings, and her favorite dog in the world, Rose.

Top photo by Ben Wicks on Unsplash.

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