Since the beginning of time, playwrights both new and old still face the same, age-old problem: writer’s block. Throughout your career, you’ll be given many methods to overcome blocks, but here are six tried-and-true methods that will propel you through and into your best and brightest writing:
1. Take a Break
After nine, straight Red Bull-induced hours powering through the same scene, it might be time to step away. Take a walk, pet your dog or eat something. Whether you step away for an hour or a month, it all depends on you. Just make sure you’re still stretching those writing muscles from time to time and keeping your work in the back of your mind.
2. Get Inspired
Art inspires art, and life imitates it. Going to an art museum, movie, dance concert or even a coffee shop could be the spark you need to get through that scene or block. If you keep your mind open, inspiration can take your play to a creative peak you never would have guessed would reach. Just be sure not to steal!
3. Write Anything!
Whether it’s a poem, a song, a novel or a cookbook, writing flexes the muscles you need to get you over the hurdle.
4. Skip Around
One secret playwrights don’t often learn until later on is that you don’t have to write scenes in order. Writing a scene you can picture can make a block easier to get through. Come back to the scene that’s blocking you later on as the show takes shape.
5. Edit Something
If you have scenes written, go back and edit them. Have some friends read a couple of scenes out loud. As you revise bits and pieces of the show, the answer of how to move forward may become clear.
6. Come Back Full Force
The final bit of advice is the hardest: Write! If all else feels like it’s failing, it’s time to try again. Even if it takes a million edits to sift through, get an idea of something on paper. You can always trash it later. Forcing yourself through the block often looks harder than it actually is.
The best method for getting over writer’s block is doing what works for you. Playing around with methods to find out what works will make you a stronger playwright and help you later on if that block comes knocking once again.