Writing a book can be easy for some, but for others it feels like an endless struggle. Motivation seems like it comes and goes when it wants to, kind of like a rollercoaster. The drop comes quickly and it feels thrilling, but then there’s that slow passing time in between now and that next unexpecting drop. The amount of times I’ve thought about giving up on my book doesn’t compare to the amount of times I thought about continuing it. Writer’s block is real, but you know what? There’s many different ways to fight it, even fun ways.
Throughout my journey of writing my TS book, I’ve gone through my ups and downs of writing. Every writing struggle you can think of, I’ve been there. And do you know what I did? I fought back those struggles in every possible way I could think of until I came up with my own anti-writer’s block techniques. Some of these techniques for fighting writer’s block may seem weird and unusual, but at the end of the day they have always helped me and I really hope they can help you too.
Here are my 10 fun ways that I use to fight writer’s block.
1. Art Breeder
A day doesn’t go by without someone dropping into my dms and asking me how I make my character portraits. First of all, I would like to say that I did NOT draw them and I’m saying this because I have met some people who claimed to have drawn their art breeder portraits when really they didn’t. It’s AI technology, not art.
I use Art Breeder to bring my characters to life, especially when I write a new book. I remember the first time I used Art Breeder and it was like stepping into this magical realm that I never wanted to leave. I still use it to this day and as long as I’m writing books, I will continue using it.
Not only does Art Breeder generate faces, it also generates landscapes, buildings, animals and so much more. So if you wanted to create your entire book’s fantasy world from kingdoms to mystical pets, then Art Breeder makes it a lot easier to do exactly that. Warning though, some of the pictures it generates will look pretty creepy. Soooo….there’s that.
I definitely recommend using Art Breeder if you don’t have any photos of your character’s appearance. It makes writing a book a lot easier.
Avatarify goes hand-in-hand with Art Breeder. There was a short time on social media where people were using this app to move the faces in their pictures. I remember the mind-blowing feeling I felt when I discovered it, because I had just found out about Art Breeder during a writer’s block period. So I knew I had to upload my portraits! And these were the results.
Talk about literally bringing your characters to life! It’s terrifying and amazing at the same time. It was definitely the boost I needed to get back into the writing spirit.
3. Tell A Writer Friend
Nothing beats the feeling you get when your close writer friend tells you how excited they are about reading your book. I would say I’m quite fortunate to have a close friend who shares the same writing passion as I do. We both aspire to become authors and we share our work with each other, via video-chat, regularly. One example, every two weeks we used to share our new chapters a day before video-chatting to discuss our thoughts and fan-girl over our books. Setting these types of goals with your writer friend works well for fighting writer’s block, because then you have a constant audience that will push you to keep going every time that feeling of doubt arises.
I also have a few family members with creative writing careers who I know I can go to whenever I’m feeling stuck on my book.
Having these close connections where you can speak freely your book is very motivating. Writing then becomes a top priority, because those connections are waiting for you to finish your book so that they (and future readers) can read it. To stay motivated, I highly recommend keeping the mindset that there are people waiting to read your book.
4. Create a Character Board
I’ve made five character boards so far for the characters in my TS book. When writer’s block is in my way of writing my book, I pull them out and hang them up in front of me. With my character boards to look over, the motivation to write kicks in because everything about my character (that’s important to my story) is on those character boards. MBTI, personality traits, character’s common phrases/quotes, hobbies, secrets, fears, photo references, Art Breeder portrait, wants and needs.
I included a video below that shows you how I create my character boards step-by-step if you wish to do the same. I also included two character board outlines (created by me) to help you out, but really you only need the Google Slide version to make the character board. The PDF version is just to put with your piles of book notes for safekeeping.
Google Slides | Character Board Outline (Copy the slide, then print it out!) [link here]
PDF Document | Character Board Outline (Print with “fit printable area” mode) [link here]
5. Brainstorm Random Scenarios with Music
I usually get writer’s block when I have no idea what to write about for the next scene. I know the plot of my story and I know how it begins and ends. It’s the little moments in between that I get stuck on. When those moments come, I take out my headphones or speakers and listen to music for as long as I want. I keep myself busy, basically in pilot mode, while my brain puts my characters in random scenarios to help brainstorm ideas for book scenes. Depending on the style of songs I listen to determines what scenario I throw my characters in. Examples:
Song: “Inside” by Chris Avantgarde, Red Rosamond
Random Scenario: Main character realizes they are overpowered with magic that they can’t control and becomes feared by others.
Song: “Arcade” by Duncan Laurence
Random Scenario: A character lost someone close to them and is not dealing well with that loss.
Song: “How Villains Are Made” by Madalen Duke
Random Scenario: The well-known hero becomes a villain after losing the one thing or person that made them a hero in the first place.
Song: “Nobody Wants to Be Alone” By Christian Reindl, Atrel
Random Scenario: All the main characters enter a battle looking bada** and then kicks a**.
Song: “In Your Arms” by Ryan Louder, Ashley Serena
Random Scenario: Main character shares a heartwarming moment with the love interest in a field of flowers.
6. Set the Mood/Vibes
Surround yourself with your book! Take out your character boards, Art Breeder portraits, character costumes, props or whatever else you have that relates to your book. Are you stuck on a horror scene? Turn on some creepy music and turn off all the lights. Is it too loud or busy where you live? Find a quiet coffee shop or library to write in. Do you have costumes or outfits that your character wears? Put it on and let your character’s soul take over your mind and body for the day.
It’s all about setting the mood and those good vibes to jumpstart that motivation!
7. Make Videos About Your Book/Characters
I made this video (or a trailer as some had called it) on the aesthetic of my book and I am obsessed with it. Everything in that video from the background music to the photos I used is what my book is about. I watch it every time I’m sitting down in front of my laptop feeling unmotivated. After watching it on replay for a few minutes, I begin typing away on my laptop, because that video always reminds me why I am writing this book. So that you, and other readers, can explore this world I’ve worked so hard to create.
If you want to make a book video like mine, there’s a free phone app that makes it a little easier to create one. It’s called VLLO and I use it for every video I make.
8. Browse Entertainments That Share Your Book’s Genre(s)
Tv shows, movies, books, comics, etc. If your book is a fantasy story, then read or watch fantasy stories. If your book is a horror story, then read or watch horror stories. If your book is a LGBTQ romance story, then read or watch LGBTQ romance stories. I’m sure you get the picture.
For me, a lot of brainstorming goes on when I’m binging on other stories because I focus on the tropes, magic system, relationships, worldbuilding and character personalities that are used. Example; one of my main characters from a book I’m writing is an ISTJ, so I always focus on the ISTJ characters in the shows and movies that I watch. Mainly for the fun of it, but to be honest, I want to see how these shows and movies perceive a character with the ISTJ personality.
9. Draw Or Commission Your Book/Characters
Yes, Art Breeder is amazing when it comes to portraying your character’s face. But what about the rest of your character? What would they look like in different clothing or hairstyles? How tall or short do they look? What’s their prominent feature? Do they happen to have a missing limb, which limb is missing? Is your book more fantasy or contemporary? What does the main character’s current home look like?
Us writers have the vision of our books and characters in our heads, but the physical image is what we secretly crave. If you’re stuck with writer’s block and happen to have no drawings of your book or characters, then draw them. Or, at the very least, find an artist that you like and trust to draw your characters. Do it, because why not? It’s fun!
Seeing your character(s) in art form is literally everything! You’ll know exactly what I’m talking about when you finally draw or commission your character/book.
10. Keep Your Audience Updated
Listen, sometimes we need that extra pressure to keep moving forward. A way to add that pressure is by sharing the book we’re writing with others. Like our Art Breeder portraits with some facts about our characters. Or photo references of the worldbuilding in our books.
Do what I did during a writer’s block period, create a close friends list on Instagram and share some information about your book here and there on your close friend list. The feedback I got from my experience has always been a surprise. I’ll get comments from others telling me how much they can relate to my characters. Whether it’s my character’s mental/body conditions, personality, sexuality, or even their ethnicity. It’s always something new and I welcome all feedback and comments, because it does help.
(NOTE: Do refrain from sharing too much information like your character fears, secrets, wants and needs since those can be major spoilers for your book.)
If you’re reading this, then I’d like to thank you for taking time out of your day to read over my fun ways of fighting writer’s block. If you have any questions relating to this blog post, feel free to comment below and I will get back to you with answers.
If you’re wondering where you can find me to follow along with my writing journey or to get to know me, you can follow me at dayshepard.writer on Instagram. If you want to check out my art page and maybe commission art from me, you go to dayshepard.artist on Instagram.
Thanks again for reading my fun ways of fighting writer’s block. I hope you have a wonderful day/night!