Renee Writes

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How to Overcome Writer’s Block: 5 Simple Tips by Christina Battons

Writer’s block is one of the most dreaded things for many of us. Even the experienced writers face it from time to time; however, the more experienced writer is, the quicker they are able to overcome it.

Beginners or less experienced writers aren’t as lucky, though. They can find themselves stuck for days, unable to produce something they find worthy and decent. Of course, not all of us can afford such long writer’s blocks, especially if we have to earn a living with the help of our writing. That’s why today I’ve prepared some simple tips that could help you overcome it quickly and finally get back to writing.

1. Step away from writing.
There’s no point in spending hours staring at a blank page when the words simply won’t come no matter how long you do this. Instead, step away from your writing for a bit and try to do something else. This will help you relax and switch your attention from writing to something you actually feel like doing at the moment. This way you’ll be able to relax and maybe even find some inspiration and ideas.

Of course, the best way to do this is to do something creative instead of simply switching to your housework or work projects. This way your mind will rest more and will be able to produce new ideas.

2. Go outside.
Long walks not only allow you to rest – they are a great source of inspiration. When you are walking, you are observing the world around you, looking at how people look, how they behave, noticing the nature around you, and so on. The flow of oxygen to your brain also increases, making it easier to concentrate and think more clearly.

3. Free writing.
This great technique isn’t used by writers only but can be especially beneficial to them. Free writing is simple: you choose a certain time or page limit (for example, you are going to write for an hour or are going to write three pages) and start writing until you reach this limit. The mere thought of doing so scares some people, but actually, you don’t have to write a masterpiece or something. All you need to do is to write: maybe this will be a story or simply everything that comes to your head, from daily worries to feelings that have been bothering you for a while. Free writing is great because it helps get the things out of your head, making more space for amazing ideas, as well as helps develop the writing habit.

4. Mind mapping.
Mind maps are used in different areas of life, helping to establish the connections between certain things or objects and develop new ideas. They are a great tool for writers too, allowing to solve various plot problems, link together certain abstract ideas, come up with the new stories or plot twists, as well as expand some ideas too. That’s why you should definitely try them if you feel stuck at some point of writing.

5. Make a promise and stick to it.
One of the harshest and most effective ways to overcome the writer’s block is to actually continue to write no matter what. Some people sit and wait for the inspiration to come, while some simply start writing, hoping that inspiration will come in the process. While this technique won’t be useful to everyone, it still can help many of us a lot.

If this seems tempting but too challenging, start with a small step. For example, promise yourself that you are going to write 100 words a day no matter what. This won’t take much of your time and so seems like an easy task – at the same time, this means that you’re going to write something consistently, day after day. Do it for a couple of weeks, then increase your daily limit to 200 words a day, and so on.

These techniques can help you a lot. Moreover, you don’t have to use all of them to overcome your writer’s block. Start with one of them and then add another or combine all the techniques that seem appealing. And don’t forget: writing isn’t about making everything right from the start (you can do it later while editing or try using one of proofreading services). Concentrate on the process, not on the result.


Christina Battons is a web content writer and blogger from LA. I am a graduate of the University of Southern California. Currently, I write for various blogs like Thriving Writer or similar. I am interested in topics about education, writing, blogging, motivation, etc. My writing I use as a tool to further the education of others. My free time I spend with my family, friends, or riding my bicycle. You can connect with me through Twitter or Facebook. I’ll be happy to hear you, just drop me a line!

Author Spotlight: Going Through the Change: A Menopausal Superhero Novel by Samantha Bryant

 

Welcome to this week’s Friday Author Spotlight and my first author spotlight on 2017! Today I have Samantha Bryant returning with her book, Going Through the Change: A Menopausal Superhero Novel, and a great guest post about growing up!

Samantha Bryant is a middle school Spanish teacher by day and a mom and novelist by night. That makes her a superhero all the time. Her secret superpower is finding lost things. When she’s not writing or teaching, Samantha enjoys time with her family, watching old movies, baking, reading, and going places. Her favorite gift is tickets (to just about anything).

She’s the author of Going Through the Change: A Menopausal Superhero Novel and the sequel sequel Change of Life, both available through Curiosity Quills Press. The three-quel will be out in summer 2017. You can find her on Twitter @mirymom1 or at her blog/website.

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About the Book

Half women’s fiction, half action-adventure story, Going Through the Change is a new take on superheroes. The series dares to ask the question: what if the people with powers were grown women with careers, relationships, responsibilities, and families?

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Keep reading for a guest post by the author:

Not a Girl Anymore
By Samantha Bryant

I’m not as young as I used to be. I guess it was bound to happen. It was either that or living fast, dying young, and leaving a beautiful corpse. Or vampirism, I suppose. I’m not really up for that—I like sunlight too much, and the “dying young” train has already zoomed past anyway, leaving me standing at the Middle Age station.

I don’t sit around mourning my youth all the time though. The only thing I really miss is the physical energy: the way I could stay up all night and survive the next day on coffee alone, or sleep in the back of my truck and still be able to turn my head in the morning.

There was a lot that didn’t suit me about being a girl: the uncertainty of it all. Top of the list was being underestimated. People assuming I couldn’t do something for myself or that I wouldn’t be interested. People thinking I was there as decoration or entertainment only. Being a woman means that if someone tries that, I call them on it. I speak up.

Like Bonnie Raitt, “I’ve been around the world/I’m a woman, not a girl!” And I’m so glad. I enjoy it.

Except when I read, watch TV or go to the movies. There, too many women heroes are eternally twenty-two, underdressed, unattached, childless, and only out for adventure. They’re so not me anymore. There have been some wonderful older women characters, but they are the exception in a world where the rule is young, svelte, and beautiful.

I live for characters like Judi Dench’s M, Helen Mirren’s Victoria, and Ming-Na Wen’s Agent May or The Calvary. Women with history and experience, treachery and expertise. I’ve been thrilled to see more of these women showing up on the imaginary hero landscape. Now, I want more women like that who also have people they love in their lives. There are plenty of loner heroes, not so many heroes with a family. At least we have Helen Parr, even if she still lets people call her girl.

Toni Morrison said, “If there is a book you want to read, but it hasn’t been written yet, you must be the one to write it.” So, I did.

Going Through the Change: A Menopausal Superhero Novel is my attempt to show the heroism of grown women. Besides dealing with the sudden onset of superpowers, my characters are also facing conflicts in the rest of their lives: relationships, work, families, society. The main characters range in age from thirty-two to sixty-seven. One is a mother to young children, two to grown children. One is a grandmother. Two are horrified at the very prospect of children. They are diverse in other ways, too: attitudes towards love, money, careers, and race.

Writing this book was a delight, so much so that I’ve already written several more short stories, two novellas, a sequel and a three-quel for the characters (several of which are due out in the next year!). Superhero fiction has been a great venue for exploring what it means to be a female hero. I love speculative fiction for its ability to take on issues without feeling like you’re doing anything more than playing. Ideally, I want a fun story that leaves the reader thinking. I hope that’s what I’ve written: a thinking woman’s heroes.

As I say when I sign copies, “We are all of us heroes!” (some of us are just a little more literal about it).

Guest Post: What to Do If You Are out of Writing Ideas by Richard Nolan

Today I have guest blogger, Richard Nolan, returning to share with us what to do if we’re out of writing ideas!


Minolta DSC

New writers fail to understand one thing that writing is hard. It is not an easy task at all. Not sure where to start for your next writing project? You are at a loss for inspiration and ideas. Well, it happens to all at one or another point. You are going smoothly, producing creative high-quality and unique content, and then, instantly, you run out of new ideas. You search high and low for new thoughts and inspiration, but you are stuck. It is all for naught. As a matter of fact, you are blocked.

Whatever the business you are dealing with, there is always a dire need for creativity. Maybe it is how you offer your blogs and posts to your readers, or maybe it is the blogs and posts itself. Either way, you are in need of help to get out of that creative rut.

Let me tell you some secrets of getting out of such a situation.

First, understand that you’re not actually ‘out’ of ideas

Sometimes, when you stuck, you feel that you will always remain stuck. It is not the case. You must understand that your brain is actually an endless source of ideas. In fact, you’re continuously feeding input into your brain, constantly giving it stimulation and subsequently new information. You practically can’t avoid it. You must take a deep breath and know that this rut isn’t permanent.

Get rid of your stress and tension

Sometimes, anxiety, tension, and stress can get in the way of creativity. When you are already stressed, your stress becomes double due to the lack of new ideas, making the block even stronger. Now it’s the time to reduce your stress and feel relaxed. You can do some meditation like yoga or exercise. You can go for a short jog or if you like to play a game, just play that game. It takes only a little amount of tension relief before you instantly get the old creative juices flowing again.

Feeding your brain

One of the most important things you can do to keep your own creative ideas flowing is to provide your brain with some new, beautiful and substantial input. In this respect, you can study books of great authors, watch TV, travel, go outside and sit in the garden to listen to the chirp of the birds. Also, you can consult and talk to your close friends about different topics to get new ideas. An imaginary friend can help you a lot in this context. Just try to feed your brain with the latest and unique information.

Take baby steps

It is not always necessary to write the entire blog post or an article in a single sitting. You should take baby steps. You must write the content through small dots and move forward. This way, you will get out of the block.

Use a different writing tool

Stuck in a creative rut! You can switch from Microsoft Office to Google Doc, or you can even write directly into the WordPress. You can also change the font or even the color of the font. Or one of my favorite options, you can increase your font size. Apparently, it seems awkward and silly, but it works. Such small things can make the writing an interesting thing for you once again.

Goof around on LinkedIn, Facebook, or G Plus

People consider the social media as a great time suck, but if you are out of thoughts, social media is a rich mine full of precious ideas. Just browse through the different social media platforms, check new posts, talk to your links and enjoy yourself. Over and above this, absorb what others are talking about. You will surely find the latest ideas. But don’t sit for hours in front of social media networks; just half an hour is enough to crack the things.

Start in the middle

All of us know that a fantastic introduction always attracts the readers to read the rest of the article. A wonderful introduction is integral for a great post. But sometimes, trying to write a perfect intro can restrain your writing process. In such a situation, you can leave the ‘opening’ for later and just get going with your blog. You can write the intro when you feel comfortable.

Reread your fantastic posts

Feeling down? You’ve lost your mojo, and you might be unsure about your writing skills. All bloggers face such situations at one point or another. Reread the best posts you have written in the past. Go back and read the post word by word. You see how good you are? The talent doesn’t evade; it is still inside you. You just have to refresh your thoughts, and you’ll soon get dozens of new ideas. At a time, you just need a little reminder.

Look at your competitors

You are stuck, well, it’s fine, but you can at least take some time to review your competition. What they are writing and what are their ideas. I’m not saying that you should steal ideas from your competitors, but you can create your own ideas by going through the content of your competitors. High chances are you will find something new, intriguing and interesting.

Watch movies to get new ideas

Writers often get fresh ideas from movies. You can create a blog post on the story of a film. Even a great dialogue can provide you with a base to write your content. Other times you can get inspiration from the fantastic camera work, the way that a beautiful face is framed and the charisma of the mesmerizing landscape captured on film.

Bottom line, it is natural to get stuck, and it happens to all the writers. Stay positive, and you’ll get rid of this situation. You can try the tips mentioned above to get new writing ideas. Remember, only you can get you out of this block, so follow these methods to fetch new ideas.


About the Author

Richard Nolan is a blogger and a private tutor,  sharing his experience in spheres of  blogging, self-growth, and psychology. Richard writes for numerous blogs and gives useful tips for bloggers, students, and teachers. At the present moment Richard works as a general editor for  ProWritersCenter. Learn more about Richard on Facebook and Twitter

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