And no, I’m not suggesting plagiarism…
So, have you heard of writer’s block? I’m fairly certain you have. It sucks. Nothing is worse than blocking out a blissful chunk of time to write, and then sitting down and realizing that you’ve lost all the talent and ideas and motivation you’ve built up over your years as a writer. Just poof, like that, you suck at this.
I’ve been there too many times.
There are a myriad of ways to deal with this.
1. Power through. I’ve quoted Stephen King on this before and I’ll probably quote him again:
Sometimes you have to go on when you don’t feel like it, and sometimes you’re doing good work when it feels like all you’re managing is to shovel shit from a sitting position.
2. Go for a walk, or do laundry, or take a shower, or bake something. Sometimes that blank screen in front of you is enough to shore up your creative juices, and you just need to get away from it to get them flowing again.
3. Read great writing. This can also inspire your creative juices to flow.
4. Or you can take it one step further–and copy out bits of your favorite writing.
This is my new favorite strategy, and one I don’t see mentioned that often. I have somewhat of an obsession with beautiful sentences. In every book I read, I dog-ear the pages with the quotes I love on it, then copy them out and post them on my Tumblr dedicated to beautiful sentences (though sometimes I do get lazy and just take pictures of the page). I also copy out longer passages, and use them to write these posts. I love doing this–copying down entire paragraphs of beautifully written sentences then learning something from them is basically my (nerdy) idea of heaven.
And I’m not exactly sure what it is, but this almost always works. Maybe by osmosis, those bits of genius seep into your fingers for when you go to type out your own story.
(But do not plagiarize. That’s no good, no good at all.)
Awesome image of the ultimate beautiful sentence found here