Today, I'm super, super excited to introduce you to Bailey Ardisone!!!
I love this girl. Like seriously love her. I think I love her almost as much as she loves Kiran. :)
Let me tell you why. Not only is she maybe the sweetest person on this entire planet but she is a fantastic writer and has an incredible imagination.
Bailey is a veteran author with several novels under her belt in the form of the Sweet Series. The links to all her fabulous books are at the bottom of this post! I asked her to do a guest post and she came up with the idea to write about Writer's Block.
And believe me when I say, nobody was more excited to read her post than me. I seem to struggle with Writer's Block CONSTANTLY. My brain is always going a million miles a minute and I can never catch up with it in order to keep it still and focused. And the more stressed out I get, the bigger the block becomes. I needed this blog. And if you're an aspiring or established an author, so do you!
Spoiler alert. It's amazing. You're going to get so much out of it. So thank you Bailey for taking time to spend on my blog and for giving us so many enlightening ideas!!!
Ladies and gentlemen... Bailey Ardisone.
Writer's Block - Is There A Cure?
So, you're writing your first book, right? The words are flowing, the scenes are spilling out of you, and this entire story is sitting up there in your head just waiting to come out.
Then all of a sudden.....bam. There's a huge block in front of where you are and where you want to be in your story.
It happens to the best of us.
Writer's block doesn't necessarily mean you don't know what you want to happen in your story. You could very well know everything you want to happen all the way to the end. But still - the words aren't coming.
Or, maybe you really don't have any idea what to write next and absolutely nothing awesome and incredibly epic is coming to mind, and so you sit there staring at your computer screen for hours...perhaps even days...on end, racking your brain for just ONE good sentence that describes everything you want it to just so perfectly.
Either way, that's what we call Writer's Block. And I'm here to tell you it can be cured.
Well, at least until the next time you have writer's block.
First of all, don't stress about it. It really does happen to every writer at one point or another. The key to curing writer's block is this: visualization and mood stimulation.
There could be several factors causing this unforgivable, most frustrating brain-clog known to man, so first ask yourself this: Am I stressed? Is there something that's negatively affecting my mood to write?
If you answered yes to either or both of those questions, then you've most likely figured out the cause of your block. If that's the case, then you may need to take a break from writing until you can get whatever is affecting you in a bad way out of your mind and heart. Sometimes time is all you need to heal. But, if you answered no, then great news! And congrats on not being stressed! :D
Regardless of the reasons for the unwelcome barricade, here are some tips to help cure that dang block right into oblivion:
1. Remember when I said the key is visualization and mood stimulation? Yup. It's true. So first things first, try lying in a quiet place with your eyes closed and just day-dream about your story. Let your imagination run wild. Think about every little detail, such as what the character would be feeling emotionally, seeing, smelling, touching, hearing...every little thing. Let those details run rampant. Let your imagination carry you through the entire story. It's okay if you imagine things that won't even end up in your book. Just imagine the conversation and scenes anyway. Also, try doing this to music. Play mood-inducing music and imagine your story/characters feeling the emotions brought out in the lyrics. Whatever music amplifies your emotions the most is what you should be listening to - even if the lyrics/songs have nothing to do with your story. As long as they affect your mood and bring out emotions in you, that's what you need.
2. Skip ahead. Sometimes you need to write a scene that won't happen until way later in the timeline of your story. It's okay! Doing this will help stimulate your creativity and get that block exploding like dynamite. If there's a scene that sticks out in your mind but you were waiting to write it because you haven't technically gotten there yet, don't wait to write it! Just get it out. You can add the surrounding material later.
3. Get to the meat of a scene. If you're struggling with what to write next, just worry about writing the big, important parts of a scene. Again, you can fill in the surrounding material later - or if you're struggling with scene transitions and you feel you're just writing "fluff" that doesn't really need to be there, it may be best to just end the scene there and insert a story break. Start up again with the next part of the story or important scene and don't worry about filling in space in between. Just make sure the character mentions how much time has elapsed. Whether it be later on that day, the next day, or even week(s) to months later. Readers will understand that you're not going to describe every waking minute of the characters' lives.
4. Try writing with that same emotion-inducing music I mentioned in tip 2 with it on in the background. Instrumental music sometimes work best, so try beautiful piano or cello music. You'd be surprised at how much this can help!
5. If music is too much of a distraction, try taking a break and watching one of your favorite emotional movies. Anything that inspires you and elicits emotions. Do you see a common theme here? Emotions. Mood. Visualization. Those things are what triggers our brains for creativity. If you can't write, then pop in your favorite movie and get wrapped up in emotions from someone else's story. Let those emotions carry over into your own story.
6. Read. Read books from your favorite authors - books that you know are incredible and get you emotionally invested. You can even try reading books you already know you don't like. Ones you think that aren't good at all! It can help motivate you to write something better. Sometimes nothing can be more inspirational than other books, whether they're good or bad. Of course, don't copy anyone's ideas. There's a difference between being inspired by a story to where it triggers your own creativity, and downright copying plots. Don't copy - just let the inspiration fuel your motivation to create something of your own.
7. Read someone else's work in progress. If you know someone else who is trying to write a book, sometimes this can be a HUGE writer's block cure. What happens is, your brain automatically tries to make it better. There's nothing wrong with that. It's a work in progress, and typically if you're reading someone's WIP, that means the person is looking for advice or critiques, or maybe just any kind of feedback. Or maybe you're checking for typos. Either way, your brain is already working to try to make whatever it's reading better. When this happens, it can stimulate your own creativity and motivate you to apply your best work to your own WIP.
8. Convert what you have written so far into an ebook for whatever reading device you have (Kindle, Nook, iPad, tablet, ect) and read through it while sitting in your usual comfy reading spot. Read it as if you were reading a published book that wasn't your own and try to get your imagination wrapped up in you own story. You can convert your manuscript/Word doc/iPages doc right online for any reading device! This tip usually always works to get my creative juices flowing again once I reach my dead end in a "reading" setting.
9. Go for a walk. Get out of the house. Go for a car ride and blast that emotion-filled music. Just do SOMETHING other than sitting in front of your computer trying to write. Take a steaming hot shower - do laundry. Go get Starbucks. The point is, no matter what it is you are doing, day-dream of your story while you're doing it. You may just find a change of scenery is all you needed for that urgent desire to rush back to your story ignites in you once again.
...Did you hear the Writer's Block exploding in your head??
Hopefully, you did! Remember - don't stress about it or feel down on yourself. It happens to the best of us, and if you try all of the above tips and STILL have writer's block - then wine. Lots and lots of wine! Or vodka.....okay, or maybe just lots of coffee. :) Treat yourself to your favorite snacks and relax. The words will start flowing from you once again in time. I can promise you that! They always do, one way or another.
I'd be happy to discuss any other writing suggestions with you, and especially if you have any questions, just let me know and I'd be happy to help! Good luck on your writing endeavors, and may all your book dreams come true!
Author of the Sweet Series
Bailey Ardisone was born and raised outside of Chicago, Illinois. She married the love of her life and spends her days submerged in books, movies, music, or art, and loves traveling. Fantasy books and movies have been a huge part of her life, and one of her greatest passions is Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien.
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Get book #1, Sweet Oblivion, for FREE!
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Sweet Escape (Sweet Series #2)
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Sweet Requiem (Sweet Series #3)
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