Last week I talked a little bit about writing every day, and said I had some tricks for overcoming writer's block. I know everyone has their own method for writing, but here's a couple things I try if the words just won't come:
1. MUSIC. This is a big one for me. I almost always listen to music while I write, whether I'm blocked or not. This doesn't work for everyone, but for me, it's a biggie. Finding the right type of "mood" music for the part I'm writing can help intensify the emotions in that particular scene, and help the words flow easier. If I'm having a hard time writing, a lot of times I will listen to instrumental, usually from movie soundtracks, so that the words of the songs don't distract me.
2. Go back a few pages. I usually do this anyway as well, and I think by going back and reading over the last few pages I wrote, I not only write a cleaner first draft (because I'll catch mistakes as I go), it also helps me get back into my story and remember the details of where I was going. This way, when I hit that blank page, my mind is already flowing with the story, and I can keep writing.
3. Just start typing. Even if it totally sucks, I find that just by forcing myself to type something, ANYTHING, it makes the words start to flow. It might take a couple paragraphs before the words start coming faster, or it might take a couple of pages. Are there nights I give up if I've written two pages and it's taken me two hours? Yes. But at least I wrote something. And more often than not, when I force myself to write, I overcome the block and end up doing some of my best and fastest work.
When I push through, is everything I write amazing? No. Do I end up deleting a bunch of it? Sometimes. But more often than not, I'll go to bed thinking, "that was such a waste, everything I just wrote totally sucked." Then when I go back to it the next day, I'm often surprised to find that it's actually much better than I thought.
These are just a few ideas I use. What about you? What do you do to overcome writer's block? Because the honest truth is, once you have an editor and a deadline (which is what we all want, right?) you can't say, "Hey, sorry I'm only half-way done, but I've just been struggling with writer's block..." Yeah. Not so much. Make it a habit now to push on through, and you'll be very glad later!