Monday 15 September 2014

How to Avoid Writer's Block and Get Your Story Written #ChaBooChaLite

In my third year participating in NaNoWriMo, I set a goal of writing 10,000 words every three days until I reached 50,000 words, and I beat that goal by reaching a word count of 50,020 words within the first two weeks. The following year during National Novel Writing Month, I wrote 100,126 words within the 30 days of the challenge. These are some of the strategies I used while writing my novel for NaNoWriMo. (This is reposted from Blog Your Book in 30 Days.)

This is the half-way point in your writing, and for many, this is the point, when writing, that writer's block can sneak up on you or you might start feeling a lack of enthusiasm for your story. It's also possible that you have continued writing daily until this point, but you don't feel that you are getting the word count you were hoping for. Here are some tips that will help you to avoid writer's block and produce a high word count over the next two weeks.

1. Split your focus between different parts of the story-line. By writing different parts of your book at different times, whenever you feel stuck on what you are writing or just need a break from it, you will be able to switch to a different story to write about. This can work when writing a one-story novel or a non-fcition book as well. When you get stuck on a certain part of the book or just need a break from what you are writing, start on a different scene within the story or a different chapter within your non-fiction book. You can always go back to finish the one you started with and when you do, you will feel refreshed and full of new ideas.

2. Set aside as much time as you can spare for writing. You may find that you can sneak more writing time into your day than you originally thought was possible. If you're a parent, you can write when your kids are at school, when your youngest takes a nap, or when all of the children go to bed. Maybe you will stay up late to write. Take a notebook with you everywhere and write while on the bus or while waiting at the doctor's office. Wake up early to write before everyone else is up or before you have to leave for work.

3. Get rid of distractions during your writing time. Many things constitute distractions. Children can be very distracting, so write when they were in bed or at school. The TV is distracting, so make sure it is off when you are writing. Facebook and Twitter are distracting, so tell yourself that you will reach a specific word count before allowing yourself time on either site.

4. Challenge yourself. Try and beat your best record for word count in a day. Or look at how your friends are doing and try to beat their word count. Think of a daily word count that seems slightly out of reach for you and then challenge yourself to find a way to reach it that day.

5. Believe in yourself. No matter what obstacles seem to be in the way of you reaching your word count goal, believe that you will overcome them. Because you can.

6. Make writing a priority. There may be a lot of things that have to be priorities in your life, but if you are reading this, then there is at least a part of you that wants to make writing a priority too. So do it. Make writing something you will not allow yourself to set aside.

7. Get rid of your internal editor. Just write without looking back. When you finish your novel, you can go back and edit what you have written, but just let it go while you are in the middle of writing. You can't edit writing that hasn't been written.

8. When you are not writing your novel, talk about it with others. Not only is this helpful in coming up with new ideas or ways for you to think about your plot, but also, just the act of talking about it will help you to come up with new ideas on your own.

9. Give yourself a break from writing every now and then. Sometimes a change of scenery is all it takes to give yourself fresh ideas and keep the writing flowing.

10. And the one thing that is the most important is to have fun with your story! Enjoy every second of the world you are creating!


And now to announce the winners of the first two prizes!

The winner of the journal is:

Melissa Khalinsky

Congratulations, Melissa!


The winner of the mock book cover is

Kelly Vavala!

Congratulations, Kelly! (Please e-mail me with your book title and any ideas you have for the cover.)


  1. You and I both did amazing word counts and all of your tips are the same things I use. I wrote 57k in my first campNanowrimo and 104k in my first NaNoWriMo. The 104 turned into two complete novels that are now circulating between submissions and rejections.

    Well done Kelly and Melissa.

  2. Some excellent tips here - amazing word counts for one month. I have done the NaNoWriMo and succeeded, just prefer shorter books now. Much easier to edit!

  3. Awwwwww Thank you so much Becky!!!

  4. These tips are so very helpful! I think the hardest part for me is I spend to much time thinking about "it" rather than actually writing it down. Thanks again for the wonderful post

  5. Great tips. I know this month has been a struggle with writer's block, but once the block shifted, I was on fire! Wish I'd read this article a week ago...