Sunday, January 17, 2016

Can't write? Trick yourself.

As I reach the end of Clara and Claire (I'm at 72k now), I've learned a lot about overcoming the hard days.  The days where I don't feel like writing but at the same time know I should be. The days where writer's block seems to have all the control over whether I finish this novel or not. I came across something the other day that talked about doing anything that makes your mind think you're not writing (when in reality you are). What a strange concept right? Except it works better than you'd expect.
The past few weeks I've been spending more time handwriting my chapters than typing them up. Handwriting anything is definitely going to require more time than simply typing it. (Lately it seems faster to me since I have tips on my nails, but that won't be the case always.) Sometimes I write in cursive to be a little faster, but the fact of the matter is that this method has been working for me. It's been working on the days where I think "no, I can't write." And that's not to say it works 100% of the time, but hey I'll take what I can get. Staring at a blank screen can be more intimidating than a blank notebook... and it also will point out your grammar or incomplete sentences instantly. All those red lines underneath words starts to leave me feeling panicked and then all I want to do is fix them.
So then what ways can you trick yourself into writing?
  • Write on post its if you're out somewhere or carry around a travel size notebook --this way you're able to scribble down ideas or a sentence or two without even thinking too hard about it
  • Write in a journal, on a piece of paper or clipboard --just try to get the ideas out and don't worry about being neat, spelling right, or your sentence structure. Remember all of this you can come back to at a later time and fix
  • Find a writing app --something like Hanx Writer gives you that nostalgic feel of a typewriter, and you'll have so much fun with the sounds and the vintage look you'll forget you're writing and just have fun with it. Remember it's not always all seriousness --let your creative side run wild
  • Find pictures for the scene or character --and write with those as your aid. A picture says a thousand words right? 
The nice part about handwriting or using another method to write what you want in your novel... Is that eventually you have to sit down and type it up. So you're writing it, reading it and typing it. It gives you more of a chance to add on to the story as you go and remember more of what you've written thus far. It gives you the chance to change things instantly and then just go with it.
So tell me do you ever trick yourself into writing? What other methods do you use to defeat writer's block? Leave a comment below; you might just be helping out another writer.
In the meantime I have a chapter to type up. Wish me luck!
Lindsey Richardson


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