Most authors will at some point encounter Writer's Block. It can be a hugely frustrating period of head-scratching and seemingly endless hours spent staring blankly at a screen. Fortunately though, it does not last long. While I was writing Heartbound, I had to contend with days where my brain just refused to work. Most of the time, this blank period only lasted a handful of days. The key is to remember that these days will soon pass.
There are many different tricks to overcoming Writer's Block. Each author will have their own unique solution, and mine was to visit a nearby bookshop and just spend half an hour looking through the books in a similar genre to Heartbound. It was inspiring to think that the likes of Stephen King and Dean Koontz had all most likely gone through what I was and yet there they were, proudly sitting on a bookshelf and wowing readers. As I've said before, writing is a marathon, not a sprint.
I've also come to realise that forcing the words out is detrimental to the overall novel. Think about how easily your words are coming out; are you having to think really hard about what you are writing, or are the words just flying across the page? If the former is the case, I would recommend leaving your work for the day and come back to it another day. This is your mind's way of telling you it is struggling and needs to recharge.
Whilst Writer's Block affects most authors, there are other reasons why the creative juices just will not flow. Look at what is going on in your life: are you busy at work or struggling to sleep at night? These could also lead to your mind being unable to focus on your writing. Not only that, but the stresses of work could carry over into your writing; trying to write when your mind is stuck in work mode is like riding a bike up a hill in a high gear; you might get there eventually, but at a high cost.
The key here is to find a time in your day that you can dedicate solely to your writing. Whether that is first thing in the morning or late at night, each author is different. For instance, I have learnt over the years that my mind is in full creative flow at around 7-10am, with the peak being at around 8:30. Writing for just an hour a day can ensure that you are keeping your work moving along and will help maintain creativity.
Blogs and diaries are also great for keeping your writing mind active. You might not always realise it, but continually updating a blog or a diary is like updating a novel; you are constantly describing events, and building up the 'story' of your life. Not only that, but writing a blog gives you a sense of achievement in times of writing blackouts.
One solution that is key for all authors is that perseverance is a necessity. Difficult though it may be, the number one way of keeping the creative river in full flow is to just keep going. Days of Writer's Block do happen, but they are by no means permanent. It is how you react to them which will determine how your writing progresses.
Let's get writing!