We all know her. She sneaks up on us when we least expect it. Refuses to leave until after she’s completely worn out her welcome. Makes us so angry and frustrated that sometimes we give in and give her exactly what she wants — for us to throw in the writing towel and give up, at least for the time being. I know I’ve been guilty of it before, and I imagine most writers have been at some point. So, I wanted to share with you all the ways I can sometimes battle (and beat) Writer’s Block, sending her away with her tail tucked between her legs in shame.

1. Take a 20 minute power nap. Seriously. Lie down and close your eyes, picturing the last scene where you left off. When you either wake up or get up if you don’t actually fall asleep, you might just feel refreshed – and know exactly what your characters need to do next.

2. Create a playlist for your WIP. I can’t even count the times listening to my thesis playlist helped me trudge through and figure out what happens next. And the really awesome thing about a playlist is (if you’re a proud iPod owner like myself), you can take it with you everywhere!

3. After your playlist is loaded on your iPod and good to go, season permitting, stick your buds in and go for a walk. But if it’s winter and painfully cold where you are, if you can, join the gym. The treadmill has become my writing sanctuary the last few weeks; I crank up my playlist and picture the scene playing out before me as I walk. Something about the movement always helps me! In fact, the treadmill can be credited with my overhaul & reimagination of my current WIP.

4. Try to make an outline. I know what you’re thinking – that I don’t practice what I preach. But hear me out first. By working on an outline, it got my creative juices flowing, and helped me focus on my WIP so long, Writer’s Block got extremely bored with me fast. Sure, I don’t think I’ll actually use it or implement any of the ideas I came up with; but maybe you’ll be different! And hey, it’s worth a shot, right?

5. Bounce some ideas off a friend you can trust will be honest. Maybe even tell her exactly where you’re stumped, or show her the last scene you wrote. It’s always helpful to have another pair of eyes look over it and someone else to brainstorm for you. I can’t tell you how often this has helped me to discuss my WIP with my friend, Jess. (http://jessrsheaffer.com).

That’s pretty much my bag of tricks for dealing with WB. Have any different ones of your own that work for you? Please share!