It happens to everyone. That I-can’t-stand-the-thought-of-writing-right-now feeling. You get to this moment where you feel like just looking at your manuscript will make you vomit.
Most of the time I would advise you to just write through it. Butt in chair until words happen. But what if you can’t even handle that? Here are a few things you can do while you’re waiting for that spark to reignite.
- Read. Read as much as you can. It’s the best non-writing thing you can do to improve your writing.
- Learn a new skill. If you’re struggling with writing, try your hand at another creative outlet. Give sculpting a go. Learn a dance routine. Alternatively, try learning a skill your main character would us. Are they an archer? Try shooting some arrows yourself. Or if they ride horses, try that out.
- Get some exercise. Focusing on a physical activity will help clear your head. This doesn’t even have to be a hardcore workout complete with cardio and strength training. It can be as simple as going for a walk.
- Research agents. One of my favorite things to do during a bout of writer’s block is to stalk the Manuscript Wishlist feed or the Ten Queries feed. If you’re planning to get an agent eventually, you may as well start researching now (just don’t send before you’re ready!). I also find that this gets me excited about writing because it reminds me what my long term goals are.
- Get into your novel aesthetics. Make a Pinterest board for your book. Choose your dream cast for when they make your bestseller into a movie. I recently discovered a site where you can make manga-esque pictures of your characters, and I had a lot of fun with it.
Sometimes writing blocks happen. But when they do, you can still find writing-productive things to do. Let us know in the comments what some of you like to do to make your creative dry spells productive!