Brain Cramps (Writers Block)

Walk it off. Seriously, stop trying to force the words onto the page. Just like a fart, if you got to force it… If you’ve been staring at your screen and nothing has changed for the past umpteen minutes; save your progress, get up, get your shoes on, go outside, and take a quick stroll. Let your mind wander, and let your subconscious take a shot. Treat these instances like you would an actual cramp. If, for example, your calf cramped while you were running, more than likely you wouldn’t keep running. You’d massage your calf, stretch it, and walk it off. You wouldn’t return to running on it until you were sure it wouldn’t cramp again. Treat your writing the same way. Reading/Listening to audiobooks/music equates to massaging the brain, walking it off equates to…well…walking it off. Stroll for however long you want. After all, walking is good for you!

When you get back from your walk, give yourself a minute to unwind (unless your brain cramp has completely receded, then dance your fingers all over that keyboard). If you are still suffering from a brain cramp, then try and identify what’s causing the cramp—maybe its how to transition from one scene to the next, how to end a chapter, or how your characters are going to get from Point A to Point B. Maybe you feel like your chapter just isn’t quite there, and you can’t really put your finger on the reason why. Whatever the reason, if walking the cramp out didn’t help then don’t waste your time forcing it. Read, work on another writing project or scene, spend time with your family, do whatever, just don’t waste your time forcing an issue. As you’re lying in bed that night, ready to fall asleep, think about your brain cramp and what you identified as the source.Run it through your mind, over and over again. Fall asleep to that thought and see if your subconscious doesn’t tackle the dilemma while you sleep. If that still doesn’t work…move on. Work on another part of your book, or start writing another.