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Welcome, friends old and new, to my blog. This is the place where I can share my scribblings and thoughts on loving life. I hope you enjoy them, make suggestions and come back to read more.

Friday, 21 March 2014

Friday Five: Five Sure-fire Ways to Beat Writer's Block

Writer's Block is a torturous thing. I usually find it hits me around the three-quarter done mark, after the rush of enthusiasm has burnt off and before the end is realistically in sight. I run out of words and, rather than writing drivel which I know I'll end up throwing out or banging my head on the keyboard (which hurts), I've found other ways to work through it. Here are the top five that work for me.

1. Wash up
I know, I hate washing up, but the thing is, when I'm washing up, I can't write, so it clears my head and lets solutions pop in unexpectedly. You can always tell when I'm blocked, as my house sparkles. Sadly, the reverse is also true. It might be a week before I wash up, and only then because I've run out of mugs.

2. Read
When my words are terrible, sometimes I have to go back to where my love for them began: books. It might be a genre similar to my own, or something wildly different, but escaping to another world for a few hours always gets me back on track for when I return to mine. Sometimes I actively read, in order to admire technique and phrase; sometimes I just read for pleasure, a holiday away from my own words.

3. Take the dogs out
Sometimes, all I need is a really good stomp. I used to stomp around Swansea, when uni work was getting me down and I couldn't string a decent sentence together. Harvey and I walked miles around that city, and I'm sure we knew more about it in three months than those who'd lived there three years. The fresh air cleared my head and the rhythmic pounding of feet and paws on the pavements hypnotised me into a state where all my anxiety about finding the right way to say something evaporated. It still works now, whether it's my stories or reports for work.

4. Change media
Staring at a screen does my eyes no good at all- or my back. When the words are stubborn, simply going back to my beloved notebook (thanks again, Nan) cures all my ills. I think it's because I write differently with a pen than I do with a keyboard: words on the screen are so easy to edit that I find it hard to let the words flow sometimes. Writing in my notebook is a completely different technique: I scribble and I scribble, not really reading what I've just written, and not really caring if the words make sense or are as shiny as I expect them to be. I can always fix them when I type them up.

5. Change location
I'm actually doing that one right now. This post is coming to you from my Mum's back garden, where I am lounging on a recliner in the sun, two adorable puppies zooming round my feet and occasionally jumping up for cuddles and fuss. So, if you spot any typos, it's because I'm wearing sunglasses. A change of scene does wonders for the creative mind, especially a blocked one, and the words are now flowing just as fast as the freshly-filtered water I can hear pouring into the fish pond behind me.

Do you suffer from Writer's Block? Any other techniques that work for you? Feel free to share them in the comments xxx


  1. You have covered most of my techniques I think, but I have to blast really loud music while I wash up. Oooh and I also find talking to children about a particular scene (if appropriate!) can help me see it in a whole new light - kids have such a fresh perspective on the world. Also long, hot, bubbly baths with a nice cold tipple can get the ideas flowing, but they usually go down the plug hole before I can get them trapped on a page. :~)

    1. Excellent suggestions! Might try the bubble bath one tonight : )

  2. Great Post and I like the washing up solution - usually where I do most of my thinking. I would also add, go for a walk and go for a drive as well as they are my key thinking times as well :-)

    1. I do a lot of thinking driving to work and back every day- and sometimes my characters talk to each other too! Good job I don't commute on a train...


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