Stories are made inside our heads. Worlds are built, characters are born and die, universes are constructed. And yet, sometimes our silent brain space fails us. Sometimes, we get stuck and just can’t think our way out of a problem. Here’s a simple yet effective hack to help you deal with writer’s block and get back to your awesome story!
It’s time to get out of your head, stop thinking, and start…
Yes, I’m referring to straight-up, insane asylum type stuff. I do it all the time. And believe me, it HELPS. I will often run a recording app (like Evernote or Audio Memos, or whatever voice recorder came with your phone) so that I don’t have to keep notes and try to capture everything I’m saying. I can just…talk. It’s very freeing knowing something else is keeping track of what comes out.
I walk around my office and I just talk through the scene or character or plot point I’m stuck on aloud. Sometimes, I’ll even recite the dialogue between two characters. I also do this a lot in my car when I’m driving by myself. I do some of my best thinking when I’m driving. Also talking aloud in my car feels safer somehow. Because, like, everyone talks to themselves in the car…RIGHT?
If you’re unsure how to start talking to yourself, just pick a scene or plot point that you’re stuck on, press record on your app, and literally start describing the scene to yourself. Say something like, “Okay, so Lauren is on her bike when the call comes in. She pulls over to the side of the road to answer the phone and that’s when the car comes blazing around the corner…” You’d be surprised how far you can get and how many breakthroughs you can uncover simply by getting it out of your head and into space.
Remember, no one will ever hear these recordings but you, so try to let down your guard, shut off your inner critic, forget what people might think of you, and just start chattin’ away!