MAY I tell you something about writing?

Because it’s Memorial Day and my parents are visiting and my creative energy is pretty consumed with a rewrite, I’d love to share a previous post (originally HERE), an oldie but a goodie, about how I overcome the dreaded writer’s block.

Writers Block

My Miracle Cures…

1. I eat. Sometimes healthfully. Sometimes not. Often Bottle Caps, my drug candy of choice. 

2. I read. Books on craft. Young adult fiction. Entertainment Weekly. Whatever.

3. I exercise. Run, walk, bike, yoga–anything weather appropriate.

4. I hang with my daughter. We color. We play Princesses. We make beaded necklaces. Anything creative and fun.

5. I brainstorm with my husband. His ideas are sometimes random and unusable, but he thinks outside the box and he’s an amazing sounding board. Also very supportive.

6. I write drivel. I type out sweeping descriptions of the setting. I fill in backstory. I let my characters have meaningless conversations. Sometimes they just make-out. This stuff almost always gets the cut, but it often helps to get good words flowing.

7. And, perhaps most helpfully, I plot. Or replot. Because when I’m blocked, it’s usually because I’ve taken a wrong turn. I’ve written something wrong earlier on, and that something needs to be identified and corrected.

Tell me: What are your cures for writer’s block?

{Oh! Don’t forget to enter my Reading is Sexy Giveaway if you haven’t already! It ends tomorrow at midnight!}


22 thoughts on “MAY I tell you something about writing?

  1. Sara McClung says:

    Those sound very similar to how I break writer’s block!! Well, except playing with my daughter, as I don’t have one of those yet 🙂 And replace bottle caps with twizzlers.

    I also drink red bull when I’m stuck. Something about the extra burst of energy sometimes pushes my thoughts through the barrier…

    • katyupperman says:

      Yum. Twizzlers actually sound really good right now… Perhaps I need a new writing candy. 🙂 And I bet you play with your kitties when you’re stuck. Whatever works, right?

    • katyupperman says:

      For me, it’s just a way of stepping back for a little break. It clears my head and gives me a burst of energy. I’ll do whatever it takes!

  2. Lynn Rush says:

    LOVE that picture. I’m so going to post that on Pinterest! LOVE IT! I exercise when the words don’t flow smoothly. A long bike ride or run usually help me sort through the muck cluttering my thoughts.

  3. Carrie-Anne says:

    I usually just move to another project so my spark doesn’t die out or feel forced. Sometimes it’s good to break from your characters and their stories for awhile too and not write about any of them. The spark is always stronger when I come back after a nice break.

    • katyupperman says:

      That’s really wise, Carrie-Anne. For some reason I have it stuck in my head that I can’t work on two projects simultaneously, which is actually very silly. I think I’ll try your tip the next time I’m feeling blocked. (Which I’m sure will be any second now!)

  4. Jeremy Bates says:

    You say you write drivel. lol For me, I believe in spewing or vomiting out words and thoughts and then going from there. Too often my mind is pouring thoughts out in staccato fashion and my fingers cannot keep up. Vomit some and see what happens. Forget the spelling and editing for now. Purge!

    • katyupperman says:

      It’s so hard for me to forget about spelling and editing and perfection sometimes, but when I can get into that zone of just typing and not really thinking, it’s such an awesome feeling!

  5. Laura Hughes (@MittensMorgul) says:

    I do most of these things, though my daughter is a little old for princesses. We often play a game together. Sometimes I crochet. The repetitive nature of it seems to jump start my brain. Making the stitches fades to the background, and I focus on the characters instead.

    To that end, I’ve made a six-foot long scarf in the last two days… Hopefully the writing will pick up soon!

    • katyupperman says:

      Well, at least the crocheting is productive in its own right. The repetitive nature thing totally makes sense. There was a time when I knew how to knit… Maybe I should pick that up again?

  6. Angie Rayfield says:

    Holy cow – I saw this and immediately thought “Does she have a little tiny camera attached to my computer watching me pretending I’m getting something written?” At which point, I put a sticky note over the built-in webcam, just in case….

    I have no decent cure for writer’s block. Sometimes I set a timer and then just start writing whatever random stuff comes floating through my head until time runs out; that sometimes seems to clear the ‘logjam’ and get things moving again. Other times, I go with the just step away from it and do something else entirely method, which seems to be like figuring out a detour around a traffic jam.

    And sometimes I just say ‘the heck with it’ and eat ice cream. It doesn’t accomplish anything, but hey, it’s ice cream.

    • katyupperman says:

      Hey, I think those are all awesome ideas for beating writer’s block. Funny how one method might be helpful one day, but not at all useful the next. 🙂 And no, I promise I’m not spying on you!

  7. Jodi Kendall (@Jodi_Kendall) says:

    Just going for a walk or run does wonders for my writer’s block. Or sometimes I’ll plan inspiration days somewhere (museum, art gallery opening, aquarium…) and just bring a moleskin along with me. It’s amazing what getting out of my apartment will do to clear my head.

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