How to Write When You Have No Ideas (But You Gotta)

Oh no! Your writing muse is missing. Your creative energy is gone. You’ve hit the dreaded writer’s block.

That wonderful schedule of books that you planned to write and publish is about to come crumbling to the ground, right? 

Nope! I’ve got you covered, Epic Author.

First, it can be easy to feel ashamed about writer’s block because you’re a professional. You have a schedule, you have a purpose, you have deadlines. So why is your writing mojo not working? Augh.

Been there! And survived to the other side–so now I want to help you. 

Here are some options to beat writer’s block and clear out that writing mojo mess.
(Prefer listen? Scroll down for the podcast episode!)

A blog post about how to overcome writers block. White text on an orange background with a picture of a sleeping red panda.

1.) Leapfrog over to another writing project (but really, don’t do this!)

This first option is only last resort. I’ve switched projects during times of great difficulty or stress. I had to follow where my emotional energy was going and hop over to another project for my mental health. So if you’ve got to do that, then do it. 

But you are building a fiction writing business. You do want to get your books out a certain time. You know that if you’re writing a series, the more books you have out, the better it will do.

So don’t leapfrog more than absolutely necessary.

Whenever possible, dig in and make it work. And read on for more ideas for how to stick with the book you should be writing. 

2.) Instead of leapfrogging away, hop around in the book!

 Hear me out. This is not about jumping to another book and completely ignoring the book that you need to to work on.

This is just hopping around to different scenes in the book, and maybe writing things that you enjoy or things that come easier to you before other things that are more difficult.

So if you like to write romance and you’re struggling with an action scene, then try leaping ahead and writing some romantic moments just to get them on paper. They still count. Even if it’s out of order.

I understand that this may be difficult for you if you’re a linear writer. I’m the same way. Once I’m deep into drafting, I have to write it straight through.

But if you can, hopping around within your own story is totally a viable option and a way to break writer’s block.

3.) Go deep and figure out the reasons why you’re stuck.

Don’t assume it’s just fatigue or boredom.

It could be that you’re scared of something you’re writing. It could be that you’re writing something that is making you deal with something inside yourself. Our brains are funny like that. 

Writing is a therapeutic action, as well as a business action or a creative action. We process experiences through writing. That’s why there are writing therapy programs.

So try sitting down and journaling about some of your feelings or thoughts about the scene you’re writing. There could be something inside your head gumming up the works. 

4.) Make sure you’re owning your motivation for writing this book. 

Make sure you’re writing something that aligns with your values. If you’re trying to just make a quick buck, but what you’re writing chafes against your convictions or purpose, it create cognitive dissonance–a disconnect between what’s inside your head and what you’re portraying on the outside. This can make it harder to write and harder to market your book.

For this reason, I’m strongly against writing something diametrically opposed to your values, just to make a quick buck. There’s always a middle ground between what will sell and what connects with who you are and what you believe.

Make sure that you’re owning your motivations for this story and make sure that you’re saying things with your characters, message, theme, etc., that resonate with you and that you’re eager to communicate with your audience. 

5.) Time yourself (aka, use word sprints).

Word sprints are a tangible method where you commit to writing in a focused way for a set period of time. It can be a half hour, twenty minutes, or even ten minutes. This pushes you into a state of competition with yourself and is especially helpful if you struggle with focusing for long periods of time. 

Word sprinting or writing sprinting is common in the writing community. You can even reach out and see if other writers will join in! Accountability is a beautiful thing. Also, be sure to reward yourself after successfully word sprinting so that you reinforce the behavior. 

6.) Take a break from the writing and work on another aspect of your story business.

Maybe you need to take a break from looking at words on a page and make a Pinterest reference board or a quote graphic.

 Having a reference board for your story worlds can be great for marketing purposes. You may not be a particularly visual writer, but readers often like reference boards because visuals help them connect with and identify with your story. And you’d be surprised what looking at fun, different images or scenic ideas could be could do for your own creativity.

You could also pull out some fun quotes and make a quote graphic. This gives you a way to test out story quotes and ideas online and see what connects with people. It also gives you marketing materials to work with.

Pinterest reference boards and quote graphics are two ways to work on your story that don’t involve actually writing–but will still further your potential reach and give your brain a break. 

7.) Adjust your schedule.

If it comes down to it, you may have to adjust your publication schedule.

Maybe you had to deal with a sudden illness for yourself or a loved one. Maybe you had to deal with a job difficulty. Maybe there was some strife in the outside world that really just threw off your creative mojo. Sometimes you just have to change the schedule give yourself a breather.

If you’re writing on a deadline for a publishing house, this can be a little more difficult. You may need to choose the other methods that I offered to get yourself motivated to finish the darn book.

But if you’re on a self publishing schedule, and if you really need a breather, use the beautiful joy of being an indie to give yourself a a break. Make sure to take care of yourself, Epic Author! Your physical, mental, and emotional health are crucial to your writing success. 

I hope these methods help break through your writer’s block and get your amazing, unique words onto paper!

Prefer to listen? Click on the orange triangle to play the podcast!

I hope these methods help break through your writer’s block and get your amazing, unique words onto paper!

Pick a method, go forth, and be awesome. 

Comment with your best tips for kickstarting your creativity!

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