J.C. Martin - Five Tips for Beating Writer's Block

Saturday, August 18, 2012


Some of us are unlucky enough to be struck with writer's block now and then. J.C. Martin, blogging pal and author of Oracle, is here to share some tips on getting rid of that dreaded affliction. So without further delay...

BOXING 101: 5 SIMPLE METHODS TO K.O. WRITER’S BLOCK

Writer’s block. The dreaded malady every writer must learn to overcome. While I’ve read many ways to beat it, here is a list of the simplest methods to get those creative juices flowing again: 

1. Just keep writing
“How?” you ask, “The reason I’m not writing is because I’m blocked!” If you’re stuck on a story, rather than staring at an empty page, willing the words to come, try writing something else: work on another project, write a letter or e-mail, jot something in your journal, blog … heck, do some day job-related writing! Any form of writing will do! By keeping going, you’ll find alternate routes to get around the block.


2. Clean the house
Do the laundry, vacuum the carpets, scrub the toilet … it’s time to remove the dirt and grime around your pad, and in the process, remove the block on your creativity! Mind-numbing chores may not be much fun, but they’ll allow your mind to wander. Soon you’ll find a gem of a creative idea hidden in the dusty recesses of your mind!

3. Exercise
Writers tend to fall prey to a sedentary, butt-in-chair lifestyle, so a little physical exercise is not only good for you, but the endorphins released from a good workout has been shown to, among other benefits, improve your mood, reduce anxiety, and of course, boost creativity!

Have you considered a boxercise class? ;)

4. Take a shower
Especially rewarding after item 3 above, this method is the most effective for me. Something about how the water runs down your body—kneading out knots in tired muscles, stripping away dirt and fatigue—is both relaxing and liberating. I like to think that the flow of your mind’s creativity will match the flow of the water, giving it a much-needed kick-start.

5. Take a break
Yes, you read right! Go to the movies, call a friend, play a video game … anything to completely, utterly detach yourself from your project. Sometimes a block is your mind’s way of telling you you’ve been working too hard. After a well-earned rest, you’ll return to your project with a clearer mind, and far less resentment!

By taking one or more of these steps, hopefully your creativity will soon punch its way through the writer’s block damming it up!

Have YOU tried any of these methods? Which works best for you? Are there others you’d like to share? 



Oracle
With London gearing up to host the Olympics, the city doesn't need a serial killer stalking the streets, but they've got one anyway.

Leaving a trail of brutal and bizarre murders, the police force is no closer to finding the latest psychopath than Detective Inspector Kurt Lancer is in finding a solution for his daughter's disability.

Thrust into the pressure cooker of a high profile case, the struggling single parent is wound tight as he tries to balance care of his own family with the safety of a growing population of potential victims.

One of whom could be his own daughter.

Fingers point in every direction as the public relations nightmare grows, and Lancer's only answer comes in the form of a single oak leaf left at each crime scene.
Purchase Links: Amazon US | Amazon UK | Barnes & Noble
About the Author
J.C. Martin is a butt-kicking bookworm: when she isn’t reading or writing, she teaches martial arts and self-defence to adults and children.

After working in pharmaceutical research, then in education as a schoolteacher, she decided to put the following to good use: one, her 2nd degree black belt in Wing Chun kung fu; and two, her overwhelming need to write dark mysteries and gripping thrillers with a psychological slant.

Her short stories have won various prizes and have been published in several anthologies. Oracle is her first novel.

Born and raised in Malaysia, J.C. now lives in south London with her husband and three dogs.
Contact: Website | Blog | Twitter | Facebook

20 comments:

  1. I have tried all of those and they are very effective. The one that usually works best for me though is the keep writing anyway one. I hate every word when I do this, but I wind up making progress anyway and getting closer to my goal.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you for reading E.B., and glad to hear some of these are effective for you!

      Delete
  2. Oh yes, all of these are great! Getting away from the computer (with exercise, etc) is super--gets us sedentary writers out in the real world, and often gives us a fresh vantage point. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Carol, well said. It's good exercise, and gives us a new perspective.

      Delete
  3. Big thank you to Joy for hosting me on her blog today! :)

    ReplyDelete
  4. I like all the tips, but number 4, I find, works best for me.

    J.C., Oracle seems timely with the London Olympics. I'll put it on my to-be-read- list.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Showers can be very relaxing and inspiring, can't they? Thanks for reading, Peaches, and I hope you enjoy the book when you get to it!

      Delete
  5. You've really hit the nail on the head! I don't really believe in this term "writer's block" but I believe that a writer can get stuck on scenes and that doing these things we can get past it quickly.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. True, my 'block' usually involves not knowing how to move a scene forward, or how to transition between scenes, more so than having a total blank. And these strategies are great way to kick-start your creativity.

      Delete
  6. Glad to have you, J.C.
    Thanks guys for stopping in to keep J.C. company.

    ReplyDelete
  7. I've tried all of those strategies and have found exercise to be the most effective. Though I'll do the other four if I still don't get any ideas!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Exercise is also the most healthy! :)

      Delete
  8. Just keep writing. That one always works for me. Or going back and reviewing the last chapter or so to dive back into the story world.

    Your book sounds amazing, btw. I can't wait to read it. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Good one, Vicki. I also find that reviewing the previous chapter helps. Hope the book doesn't disappoint!

      Delete
  9. Hi J.L. and J.C.,

    Great methods and I've used them all :) When it comes to exercise, I've found that jogging works well because it involves that repetitive motion that doesn't require much thinking...leaves room to ponder the story.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for reading Rula. Ditto for housework. I find the hum-drummery of it all allows my mind to wander.

      Delete
  10. Great post. A good walk usually works well for me, even just ten minutes. Gets me away from being stuck in one place and allows my thoughts time to churn! There's always the chance of seeing something or someone interesting and inspiring, too. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Very true. When you're out and about, you can draw inspiration from people and places around you. Thanks for reading, Nick.

      Delete
  11. Great tips, J.C! They all work, too. I love how cleaning or going for a walk starts the thoughts rolling... And since I've been writing every morning since June I find it really helps fuel more writing!

    ReplyDelete
  12. Excellent post! I loved these tips and have found them to be effective. Sometimes you need a change of scenery. :) I can't wait to read Oracle. It sounds fantastic.

    ~Jess

    ReplyDelete

Don't be shy. I'd love to hear what you think.