We’ve all been faced with writer’s block, unless you’re either new to writing or a liar. I took three years to write my first book, and while admittedly this is largely because I was in full-time education, a lot of that time is down to writer’s block.
There are many weird and wonderful ways to beat writer’s block, and this part of the blog is dedicated to a few of my favourites.
One of the best methods I’ve found to beat writer’s block is eating. I don’t mean popping out to your local Pizza Hut for a few hours, although I’m sure that that would help some people. I’m talking about eating while you write. This is no way an original idea. The artist Wendy MacNaughton even produced a cartoon based on famous authors and their writing snack of choice.
The distraction of food can help you stop focusing so intensely on what comes next, plus help you keep healthy. As someone who routinely forgets to eat, especially during a writing spree, this is often the only way that I’ll actually eat before I look at the clock and realise it’s three am already. Internet users have a reputation for eating unhealthy snacks while at the computer, but there are plenty of healthy things that can be eaten at a desk. Dried fruit, salad filled tortillas/pita bread, and mugs of soup are all healthier than the many sugared and salted alternatives.
Speaking of which, I write much better if I stay hydrated, which is something that people from so many professions forget. If you know that you’re someone that forgets to drink, make an effort to have several water bottles around where you write. It may seem irrelevant to writer’s block, but your brain will work a heck of a lot better if you fuel it with water.
Aside from that, food can help with writer’s block in other ways. Have a food that you eat solely when writing. For me, this was a three layer, salted caramel cake that I only let myself slice when I was about to sit down and write. At one point, this was so effective that I was forcing myself to write solely so that I could eat cake. Strange logic? Of course. But effective. So long as you don’t leave incriminating stains across the keyboard… I would definitely recommend that you stick to drier, cleaner foods.
Use the food as a prompt. It sounds strange, I know, but it worked for me. Work the food into your scene. If it doesn’t really fit, you can also edit it out later, but so many events revolve around eating that a surprising number of chapters can come from just a snack.
A lot of people bake when blocked. While this doesn’t work for me, personally, I still like to bake food for when I’m writing. Chocolate Chip Muffins, Cheese Twists, and potato salad are all fairly easy to eat while you write. Not to mention the fact that they’re possible to make as a very, very unskilled baker.