1. Write every day.
Writer’s block seems to only get worse the longer you remain stuck. By writing every day –even if you never use the words– you can avoid this. Remember: that which you write, does not have to be kept. It does not have to be inspired, incredible writing. It can just be a stream of consciousness.
2. Put aside time to write.
Reserve time every day to write and keep this even if you no longer have a deadline or major project to attend to! Even something as small as having this routine can help maintain the mindset needed for writing.
3. Read, and read widely.
As Stephen King suggests, “If you don’t have the time to read, you don’t have the time –or tools– to write”. Reading is such a huge part of the writing process and books are an author’s fuel. You never know when or where inspiration will strike!
4. Think like your editor!
If you’re in a writing slump or have a sudden loss of confidence in your work, try and take a step back and read through your work from a different perspective. Think of yourself as the reader and step outside of your writer self to consider what you, as a reader, would enjoy reading.
5. Don’t be discouraged!
So many great authors had their masterpieces rejected at first and went on to become great successes and widely well-regarded –had they given up, the world would be deprived of their stories!
6. Try not to limit yourself.
Perhaps consider having two different projects to work on at once so you can continue to be creative and productive even when you feel unable to progress with your main project. This second project could be something as simple as a blog or journal. Something like this would be a non-pressure project that could stay personal and private, just used as a creative outlet.
7. Remember to take breaks!
Even in stressful situations with deadlines looming it is important to give yourself time to relax and step away from your desk. Giving your brain time to process your writing can help create more realized and fully fleshed-out characters.
8. Create a good working environment.
A clear desk space, and a tidy room of the right temperature helps limit distractions and can enable writers to spend their precious time actually putting pen to paper. This tip is especially important if, like many writers, you write from home and need to separate time for writing in the same place as your normal daily life occurs.
9. Make character studies.
A tip for writing well thought-out characters would be to think about each one individually and keep track of what you’ve written about them so far, to make sure not only that you’ve not contradicted yourself, but also for later reflection to identify if anything is missing to fully realize them.
10. Enjoy yourself!
Writing should be fun but as Ben Nesvig says, “Happiness is paradoxical. It only really comes when you focus outside of yourself on what you can give to others instead of what you can do for yourself.”
Writing to impress yourself is counterintuitive because it is near impossible to do justice on paper to the vision in your mind. The real happiness comes when you hear about how happy your story has made the readers, and that makes it all worth it!
Good luck to all of the writers out there!