There’s a small combination of things that can help:
Sometimes, you may not feel like writing or can’t write simply because you may need to create a routine to get yourself into the mood. This can be making sure your work space is clean, if you like to set up ambient noise or background, if you want to get cozy, etc. For example, I usually get into the mood when I’ve been showered, have PJs on, have a rainy cafe ambience on the TV, and a drink (usually Monsters) by my side. I also tend to light a candle or two, and then a good way to help motivate myself, I’ll post a picture or video to my Snapchat story.
It can be a strain on your mind to always write in the same place every day, because honestly, it can be draining. So, you can try to write somewhere new that can make you feel excited. This can be writing in your living room instead of your bedroom. Writing at the park or in your backyard. Or, personally, somewhere in town. If you can, see if you can write at a local coffeeshop, bookstore, library or somewhere like that. Because you’re writing somewhere new, it can not only make you feel excited to write, but it also can give you inspiration on a scene or just the itch to write.
I believe they’re the same or similar to sprints, where you put a timer on and just go at it. Personally, this helps me so much whenever I’m stuck mostly because I focus on just getting words on the page than anything else. And you can start small, too, like with ten minutes, and see what happens. I’ve had dozens of times when I couldn’t get passed a certain scene, but then I’d put ten to fifteen minutes on my timer and write whatever came to mind because of the pressure I felt. And it worked wonders. I’d get down 500 words here and there when it took me days, weeks, months to even write that much.
I think the biggest problem many face, myself included, is that we think too much—we want the first words that come out of us to be golden and flawless, but the truth is… that’s far from reality. If we think too much about what we’re writing, we get stuck and believe that it’s not good enough, which is why we’ll just stare at blank pages. But like, you can’t have a story without something written down.
The purpose of these crawls is to help you not think about it too much. It’s a way to force you to sit and write, but it’s not meant to sound like a draining process. And some scenes can be hard to write, but if you let your mind go, let your fingers just type whatever comes to mind in those few brief minutes… you’ll be able to actually have words on the page. They also don’t need to be perfect because you can always revise it. You can’t revise a blank document.
- Make sure to have an outline.
A vague idea may not always cut it. If you have written stories before with a vague idea, then by all means skip this section. But in many cases, some kind of outline is typically needed for various reasons such as to help motivate you and to help keep you in the know of how the story is coming along. If you’re not too sure where the story is going, perhaps you need to dig a little deeper because it can help get you unstuck.