Beat the snot out of writer's block
by Andrea Semple
Writing a novel is hard. First off, you've got to cope with everyone smiling patronizingly at the idea that you could ever be a published writer.
Then you've got all those horrible demon voices in your head saying: 'YOU'RE CRAP! YOU'LL NEVER BE A NOVELIST! PUT YOUR PEN DOWN AND GET BACK TO THE DAY JOB!'
As a result, it's not surprising that we all suffer from writer's block from time to time. Unfortunately, there's no miracle cure to help you write 80,000 or so words without once wanting to stick your head in the microwave.
All I can do is offer my own personal solutions which may not be one hundred percent effective, but if they stop just one of you from banging your head against the wall then my job has been worthwhile.
OK, let's get to work — here are my top ten ways to beat writer's block:
1. Just do it.
Nike's slogan is not just a way of selling overpriced trainers to
branded teens across the globe. It's a neat encapsulation of how
to overcome writer's block. That's because writer's block tends
to be another name for writer's fear. The fear of crap writing.
You can overcome that fear by just doing it anyway, regardless of
whether it's crap or not. After all, you can edit out the crap
2. Read a book.
Books breed books. Instead of staring at a white wall for
twenty-eight hours stick your head in an old classic and get
inspired. Dickens always works for me.
3. Do some research.
If you are having a case of imagination block, read up on some
relevant facts or general research. Factual information relating
to the place, period, theme or characters of your novel can then
be sprinkled into the story.
4. Don't stress.
Pressure is the enemy of writing. When you are writing your first
novel that pressure is most likely to come from yourself. Setting
yourself a deadline is a great idea, but don't let it give you a