Sorry for the long silence in the past week or so. Finals. What else can I say? But thankfully, summer is now here, and I finally have time to

Kind of what writer's block feels like, huh? La Brea Tar Pit, courtesy of

process some of my thoughts more fully.

Only to find… I don’t have many thoughts at all. Maybe my mind is burnt out. I have thinker’s block. Like writer’s block, only for my brain. Which (contradictory enough) brings up a thought: What are some of the most effective ways to escape writer’s block?

The way I see it, there pretty much isn’t one guaranteed way for every writer to pull themselves out of the tar pit. Just like there isn’t “one way” to write that works for every author. Sorry to anyone out there who has written a “The One Way to Writing” type book. But since there are many ways in which to get stuck on your work, there are probably many ways of getting out. Here are a couple that I’ve found to be helpful.

1.) Go back to previous work and start editing. Not much will give you a better perspective on what you want to write than by going back and fixing what comes before it.

2.) Pick a character upon which the following scenes will focus and pull into focus their motivations and goals. Usually, a character will try to bring his/her plans to fruition. Unless (s)he’s a dead fish. Then you might want to fix your character before you try to continue your plot.

3.) Ask for help. This has been of immeasurable value to me to have friends and fellow writers who can fire ideas back to me after reading my work. Sometimes it takes an outsider to really suggest changes or ideas that would make your story come alive again.

4.) Don’t be afraid to cut. Let’s face it; a plot can change as you’re writing it. And if/when that happens, you need to be ready to cut out something that was truly great, but doesn’t fit anymore. Save it for later, perhaps. But if it doesn’t fit with the new direction your story is headed, it needs to be laid to rest. At least for a while. Hopefully it won’t become a zombie if you resurrect it, though.

5.) Work on a different project. Take a step back, reevaluate, leave it be to simmer while you stir another concoction. Take a breath. You’d be surprised what kinds of ideas can bubble to the surface in your absence.

What are some ways that you have pulled yourself out of writer’s block? Any suggestions?