As writers with brains in constant search of fresh ideas for blog posts, the same creative brains wish to pen a story one day or already have an idea but are lost in what to do with it and how to move forward. We read a lot of great books and when your thoughts are about how wonderfully the story in those pages are written and how you can possibly do great as a job as that author, don’t worry, you’re not alone. Every single author out there have felt insecure about their pens in one way or the other but the difference between them and the people who wish to become authors is that invisible line you step over to do the job or not.
When I use the term ‘author’, I’m not talking about those people who have their names printed on covers alone. The moment anyone successfully completes a story, whether it’s a short one or the length of a novel, they are an author. Do you have a finished manuscript sitting typed out day after dedicated day on your desktop? Give yourself a round of applause. You’ve done an amazing job.
Many people begin on an idea but then drop it a few pages through, either feeling sick of it or deciding it isn’t good enough.
- The first tip I’d recommend is to never feel negative about the idea that popped into your mind. The reason you twist your mouth at it is you either feel it’s dull or lose interest after that first rush of excitement, or you read something similar to it in another book. With regard to the latter concern, the truth about books is that one is always inspired by something of another. But that doesn’t mean you plagiarise or copy an entire story. That’s offensive. The backbone of your story is how you look at it and how you’re going to develop it. Write what you want to read. The first audience, reader, reviewer and critique for your book is you, the author, alone. So you have to make your book enjoyable for you first before wondering whether it’ll be a good read for other people.
- The second tip is that while writing, don’t ever give second thoughts as to what other people will think. Worrying your lips over a scene you’d like to include is serving yourself injustice. Remember that you’re enjoying what you’re doing. So don’t deprive yourself of any wishes while writing your story. Give your beloved characters what they ask for.
- Which leads to the third tip. Talk to your characters. Assess them. Have conversations in your head. Your protagonist involuntarily becomes your best friend the moment you breathe life into her/him.
- And since your characters are alive and have minds of their own – Yes, they do, don’t be surprised – you’ll find yourself thrown in the back seat of the car while they take control of the wheel and gear shift. Your surrender to them is your story’s bread and butter.
- When you hit writer’s block, don’t freak out. Take a deep breath, press the pause button, and go work out. Read books. Listen to music. Read more books. Go to the movies. Spend time with your family. Spend time with your friends. Go on a holiday. Give yourself all the time you need before sitting back down with your book. You would have gotten over your block.
- Choose your most favourite spot to sit and write, whether it’s your house or outdoors. For me, my best place to write is the desk in my room, the desk in the verandah in my grandparents’ home or the dining table there as well. The table’s quite large so I like confining myself to the corner where no one can disturb me. And recently, I found spreading a mat out on the warm sunny terrace and sitting under a large umbrella, watching the pigeons, is really a lovely place to write too. So choose your perfect place to get the best out of your pen.
- This doesn’t necessarily apply to all authors, but playing music in the background can really help push you forward. I love sweet melody music, ocean sounds, piano covers and BGMs – Disney, mythological shows and Harry Potter (all eight). These inspire scene after scene.
- Once you finish your first draft, don’t give it a second glance for another month or so. Do all activities suggested above to overcome writer’s block and when you sit down to edit, you’ll have fresh ideas storming your mind and will be able to polish it better.
- If you have a really trustworthy and very close friend (excellent if that person is an author in writing progress too), feel free to confide in them about your story. Talk about your characters and discuss all the stunts they pull. It’s fun to talk about them as real people and complain or gush about all they do. In this way, you give as well as receive abundant encouragement, that miraculously, you almost don’t have writer’s block at all.
- Spend time around babies. And children around and under five years of age. The stress over writing gets eliminated as you play with them, talk with them, or just hold them to you, cradling them close.
- Last but not least, be healthy! Work out, eat healthy, avoid junk food, wear comfortable clean clothes and make sure your hair is combed neatly and kept away from your face (Tip: Two plaits are a real joy to write in, trust me)
Please feel free to comment below and share your writing tips too.
Jai Shree Krishna.