I've been writing for as long as I can remember. I roleplay, I explore fanfictions, I write original pieces. Through my experiences, there has been one major problem-- writer's block. According to dictionary.reference.com, writer's block is "a usually temporary condition in which a writer finds it impossible to proceed with the writing of a novel, play or other work."
Well, while it certainly hinders anyone's ability to write, it shouldn't be an unstoppable force. Part of being a writer is being able to overcome writer's block. You shouldn't allow it to dominate you. Frank Tibolt once said, "We should be taught not to wait for inspiration to start a thing. Action always generates inspiration. Inspiration seldom generates action.” I entirely agree.
So what if you don't have inspiration?
Make inspiration. It doesn't matter how you do it, only that it's done.
...but if you're having a bit of trouble making inspiration, perhaps I can be of service. I am currently writing eight different series, a combination of fanfictions and original works that I update regularly. On top of that, I roleplay and run my own writing site. People constantly ask me how I do it, how I manage to juggle so many writing projects without exhausting my muse.
Here's the deal. I've gained a few helpful tips from this constant writing so if you would like, feel free to take a glimpse at the list below. See if you find any of these tips useful, and if you have something you would like to share, send me a message. I'm sure that your advice may be of use to someone else.
1. Just keep writing. It may seem counterproductive, though it has worked miracles for me. Don't give up. You may feel like you can't write anymore, but usually this is not the case-- don't you dare limit your creativity by saying "I can't." Continuing to write generates ideas and is helpful because it opens up possibilities. No one says that your first draft has to be perfect. If you don't like it, just trash it and start over. I've always come up with a breakthrough eventually.
2. Plot ahead. If you're stuck at a certain point in your piece, think about what happens later on and work backwards. Sometimes it's easier to figure out the solution first and then come up with the details of getting to said solution.
3. Start several projects. I can't write just one thing. For me, it doesn't work that way. I have to bounce between genres, among different settings and ideas. It keeps me on my toes, and when my mind is too exhausted to deal with a particular story, I can easily shift to the next, fresher piece. Now, I'm not suggesting eight different series like I have because I'm easily crazy, but having two, three, four different projects won't hurt.
4. Find sources of inspiration. Read, listen to music, watch a movie, play video games, catch up on the latest updates of your favorite fanfiction-- it doesn't matter. Often times, people come up with their best ideas when they are excited, and if another source of media can get the blood in your veins pumping, then go for it. If you would like some recommendations, just message me.
5. Give yourself a break. No, I'm not telling you to give up. I'm telling you to clear your head. Shove your writing projects aside for a day or two and come back to it later. Sometimes it's better to look at things from a fresh point of view or to relax your mind before even thinking about what to write next.
6. Talk to others. Seriously. I've discovered that some of my readers are brilliant-- absolutely brilliant. Your readers may have wonderful ideas if you're willing to ask and listen. They know what they want, and you can give it with a bit of guidance. If you're reluctant to be too direct, start a contest, provide a few minor details and let the winner choose. I did this with Jaharaan Love at one point. I realized that I would spend too much time worrying about the outcome of events so choosing which characters to use would take forever. Thus, I started a scavenger hunt and made the winner choose for me. With the setting of the chapter in sight, I finished it with relative ease.
7. Write one-shots. Don't let them distract you from your original projects, but writing one-shots helps. Why? Because it's hard to develop writer's block with one-shots. When I start a one-shot, I always have the ending in mind 'cause if I didn't, I would write too much and either a) not have a one-shot or b) have one hell of a long one-shot. Once you gain your confidence as a writer again, continue with your other pieces.
8. Analyze your characters. This sounds stupid, but if you're ever stuck at one point because you don't know what your character would do, this is a good exercise. Ask yourself and even map out the results on a sheet of paper if you wish (it's what I do) what -insert character- is actually like. List his/her personality traits, any quirks, whatever you meant him/her to be like. I even have a list of questions you can ask yourself-- they will hopefully provide you with a deeper understanding of your character. If you would like them, send me a message.
9. Write. Grab a pen and a notebook and write. No more typing. I feel that constantly staring at the screen is not only uncomfortable, but it's distracting with the internet and games and whatnot. Also, this is great for brainstorming. Be sure that you're using a pen and not a pencil. You don't want to lose anything in the event that you erase an idea that you may end up liking. Start scribbling, doodling, whatever strikes your fancy, really.
10. Go off on a tangent. Basically what I'm doing now. While I haven't hit that writer's block stage yet, I'm hoping to stimulate my ability to continue writing so I can finally get that next chapter of Jaharaan Love out there for the readers. It also makes me feel more productive because I'm talking about a subject that I'm experienced with and can very possibly help others.
These are the suggestions that I have for defeating writer's block. So far, they have not failed me. Keep in mind that they're not listed in any particular order. All of these have worked for me at one point or another. Hopefully, these suggestions will be useful for you. Destroy that writer's block, fellow authors, and let your creativity bloom!