{Guest Post} Knocking Writer’s Block by Em Barrett

{Indie author Em Barrett, who wrote “Leaving Green Island,” is a young professional, a wife and a mother. She also independently published her first novel, “Leaving Green Island,” this year. Read my Q&A with the author and read my post that was inspired by her strong female main character. Below she gives some great advice to fellow writers about how to get thoughts and ideas flowing. Like Em, I also recommend combining No. 2 with No. 5. And why not add some Bradley Cooper?}

This gorgeous man-beast just needed a magic pill and a hair cut

If you Google “writer’s block” (I’ll admit I’ve been that desperate!) the advice you’ll find most often is this: “Just write!” That’s right, just put pen to paper or fingers to keyboard and write something, anything, just keep writing!!  I’m sure that approach must work well for some people, but in my experience, all that comes of forcing myself into uninspired writing is writing that seems, um, uninspired.  Reading my own terrible writing then convinces me that I have nothing worthwhile to say, further promulgating good old writer’s block.  So, I thought I would share a few different techniques for overcoming writer’s block that have worked for me in the past…

{1} No writing allowed.

Have you ever noticed that the great plot twists or dialogue exchanges come to you when you don’t have a piece of paper to write them down on, or even a free hand to write them down with?   Whenever I am too busy to write, the ideas seem to just teem up in my head and I find myself desperately wishing I had a few minutes to write them down.  If you fill your time with other activities and forbid yourself from writing for a set number of days, your mind will quickly be brimming over with inspiration.

{2} Hey there, Keith Richards.

We all know what a problem those nasty little inhibitions can be when we’re trying to pour out our souls.  I’ve always found that writing with a little Chianti buzz can really help my ideas flow out without so much second-guessing and overanalyzing.  This is like my mom-friendly version of rock n’ rollers shooting up.  Just don’t forget to do a little editing in the a.m. and probably don’t spill your wine on your laptop either…

{3} Engage your senses.

You know how your favorite emo song from middle school or a whiff of your first boyfriend’s cologne can knock you right back in time?  Well, I’ve found that setting the scene can really help put me in the moment with regard to my writing.  Music is an especially helpful way to do this.  Writing a love scene?  Create a playlist that reminds you of when you were in love. Writing a tearjerker?  Put on one of your go-to depressing songs. Listening to music that stirs up your emotions will help you connect more easily to those feelings as you write.

{4} Venture out.

When you’ve hit a wall with your writing, go out and get some fresh air, eavesdrop on some conversations at Starbucks, or visit a place that relates to your story.  I guarantee that if you drive around in a cold car at night for an hour, you’ll have new inspiration for describing that stake-out scene you’ve been struggling to write!

{5} Be a night owl.

Remember how your best English papers in college were always the ones you started at 2 a.m. the night before they were due?  Well, maybe not always, but anyways… Late at night our brains get a little crazy, and when it comes to writing, that can be a very good thing.  We all feel a little more emotional and a little less inhibited in the wee hours of the night and are often able to empty our creative selves out onto the paper in a different way than we do when the sun in shining. (p.s. I strongly recommend combining this tip with Tip #2).

Happy writing J
Em Barrett

Read more about fabulous indie author Em Barrett here.

Get her smart chick lit novel, “Leaving Green Island,” for only $2.99 on Amazon here.


About julieschicklit

My book blog is dedicated to finding books, stories & ideas that redefine women's literature to be something smarter & funnier. More RAWResome lit for ladies. I am remaining some-what anonymous because I have a day job. My Man-Beast and I are soon going to live abroad in China, so that's why I'm a reblog-aholic.

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