What to do when you get stuck
There are various answers to this problem, and all of them are entirely dependent on you as a person. For me, being stuck just means that I spent too much time in someone else’s head. So without further ado, here are some of my own tricks:
The very first thing I do when I’m stuck in consult friends. Every writer has their go-to person that they run to when they don’t know what to do. Talking out your course is a good way to figure out what to do next, including but not limited to destroying the last bit that you just wrote because it keeps backing into a different car in the same driveway. Luckily for me I have several people that I can just shoot a quick text to like “How should I kill my character?” and I get a slew of psychopathic answers that I adore in every fashion. I have gone on several walks and several long drives with people trying to help me through a hole that I have ultimately dug myself into (thanks Brandon!).
Other people just need to take a couple steps away from the bomb before it explodes into a million shards of paper and creates some really sad conservationists. If you look at your product from all angles, maybe you can cut the right wire and break into the house to finish your spy mission, or you learn that there is no good way to keep going and you just run in there all “leroooyy Jeeeenkins!” style and hope that something good comes out of it. In other words; you have to move out of your characters head and back into your own in order to keep going.
Read a book, an article, a magazine, a Facebook article, or whatever you young kids are doing these days to occupy your time. Sometimes you have to appreciate other works of art and move into someone else’s head. I find that reading helps me discover ways around my own problems, and also gives me good insight on what I could do in the future. And no, I don’t mean word-for-word stealing someone else’s work. That’s illegal and immoral. And it also kind of makes you a liar. No one likes lairs. Regardless, read something that doesn’t have your personal stamp on it.
Have a jam session. Put on your favorite music, pull your hair back, change into something you can move in, and just dance. Get your heartrate up, break a sweat, and pull a muscle in your groin from trying too hard. Sing loud and proud, force your pet to dance with you, or serenade your shower head. What I like to do is drive with the windows down screeching the songs out of my lungs- everyone is a rockstar in their own car- while people stare at me and wonder why they live in the same town as a crazy person.
Hit the gym or throw on your running shoes. Pull out your old workout gear, realize that they’re too small, have an existential crisis, put gym! On your calendar five out of seven days a week, and shimmy your big ol booty onto that treadmill and work up a sweat. I guess or you can take a more calm approach and do some daily yoga and meditating, until you become a master at Bharadvaja’s Twist (Google that bad boy).
What Brandon and myself do in the office when we hit a wall is play “Spinny chair.” Which is exactly what it sounds like. We roll around the common room- which is hardwood- and spin-launch ourselves from one end of the room to the other and spin around as much as we can. It’s so silly, but so exhilarating.
Take a nap. It really doesn’t do much but further your laziness and unwillingness to finish the project, but I guess you can use the excuse that it helps you realize what is and and is not worth it.
Ultimately what I’m badly trying to say is that the best way to go about breaking down that wall that just slammed in front of your creativity is to face it head on, and then back down once you realize that fighting it will only make it worse. What I have listed are things that work for me, and has worked for others that I suggest them to. On that note, leave a comment with your email if you are stuck and want an outside perspective on what to do next, I’d be happy to help! Or be a risk taker and write a basic synopsis of what you are trying to fix in the comments, and hope that other writers are willing to throw some courtesy your way and suggest some things.
Anywho, ttfn and thanks for reading! Follow us on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram as New Traditions Publishing, as well as follow our blog Live-Writely for tons of great content and updates on books and projects that we are working on for all of you lovely people.
Live long and prosper (credit to the Vulcan Salute)