Overcome Writer’s Block: Tip 2: Build on What You Have

Every writer, at one time or another, has found herself staring at a blank computer or notepad with nary an idea in mind. Perhaps you’re up against a deadline, but your creative juices don’t flow on anyone else’s schedule. Is this, of all days, the day your talent finally eludes you for good?

Writer’s block can stymy a project faster than anything, but over the course of years writing and communicating with other writers, Outskirts Press staffers have discovered and gathered some unique strategies for helping writers deal with a stubborn creative funk. One of these techniques is bound to work for you, too.

Build on what you have.
Writers aren’t always inspired by the opening paragraph first. And, sometimes, the entire storyline isn’t even clear. If you’re itching to write but don’t yet have the whole picture, you don’t necessarily have put off writing until the entire outline is sketched out.

Sometimes a small plot point is all we really have to go on, but we feel it could lead to something big — follow it! There’s no rule against starting there, even if the destination isn’t yet clear. Elaborate on a catchy bit of prose or an intriguing concept you haven’t fully fleshed out. Sometimes you can build an entire chapter or story from that nugget.

Bounce your “scene” idea off an unbiased party; he or she may be able to provide feedback that helps you hash out the entire plot. Choose your writing confidants carefully, then lean on them in times like these.

Over the coming weeks, we’ll discuss more of these techniques in-depth. We want to hear from you, too. What writer’s block-breakers have gotten you past the creative brain freeze? Do share!

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