When you have writer’s block, it can seem impossible to get your creative juices flowing again.
Writer’s block is nothing new, but there are plenty of tools out there to help you overcome it. Over the last century alone, writers have come up with some pretty interesting techniques to get through blocks. Here are three tricks for getting past writer’s block that many famous authors have used:
1) Write something else
Ernest Hemingway was known for writing entire paragraphs in just one sentence. Sometimes when he got stuck on a particular story he would write another piece entirely. He once said about this method, “When I am working on a book or a story I write perhaps six different things.” Hemingway wasn’t the first author to do this. Back in 1917, James Joyce was writing a novel called “The Sisters” and he got so frustrated with it that he started a new book entirely, called “Ulysses.” Both of those books have since been considered literary classics.
So if you’re ever feeling stuck, why not switch gears and write something else? You’ll still be working on your project; you’ll just also be doing something different at the same time. This can really help you clear your mind and give you some fresh perspective when it comes time to go back to what you were originally working on.
2) Read your work out loud
Successful playwright Thornton Wilder would read each of his plays out loud once he finished it. Sometimes he even hired actors to come and read with him. According to a former student, “He wanted to hear what the characters sounded like in the people’s own voices.” This technique is important because we often don’t realize when we’ve made a mistake or used awkward phrasing until someone else reads it aloud to us. Reading something out loud can also help you get into character. If you’re writing dialogue, try having your character say their lines out loud while you’re writing them-you may find that your dialogue sounds much more organic this way!
3) Take a break
James Joyce wasn’t obsessed with finishing projects-in fact, he was known for never completing novels. Joyce once admitted that his method was simply “to make notes and to have the notes at hand in a safe place.” Joyce would start something new as soon as he finished a previous project, but many writers find that a little break can really help you get back into your groove.
The literary term for this is called incubation, which refers to breaks during the creative process. Incubation allows your mind to wander away from whatever you’re working on. Sometimes when you take a break from writing it inspires completely new ideas or solutions-even if you don’t realize it until after you’ve returned to your original work.
So there are three easy ways to bounce back from writer’s block: write something else, read your work out loud and take a break. Hope this help you to past writer’s block!