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27 Explosive Ways to Bash Through Writer's Block
We've all been there before.
You opened your Microsoft Word document, you've turn on your favourite radio station, the room is lit just enough for you to find your creative inspiration, you're finally ready to tackle this enormous task ahead of you. Only...
You tried typing a sentence or two. But for every word you key into your computer, you delete another two. You can't help but admit... you're suffering from writer's block.
Tragic, but every now and then, even the best writers will stumble and fall trying to look for a new angle or a story to tell. It's like everything there is to say about a topic has been said. It has been written, not once, not twice, but almost a million times. You can't seem to find a new way to put a spin on that topic, a new sizzle to the spice.
Fear not though as you're not alone.
Before I share with you some of my personal favourite ways to find randomly targeted inspiration, there's something you need to realise about the human mind. It is a surprisingly complex thing, our mind. It is capable of storing more data and information than our hard disk. It is also has more computing power than your laptop's processor. Yet when you want it to work the way you need...
Here's the truth, it is not your brain failing you at the critical moment. You just haven't learn to activate its full potential. And once you do, your inspiration will start flowing.
So how do we do just that?
Interestingly, it is not by focusing on what we need to get accomplished at that moment. That will be counter-productive. Instead, the best way to get inspiration is by breaking your momentum. Or what we call in Neurolinguistic programming a change in state. Often times, you may discover that many of your best ideas came not from writing about the topic, but by doing something completely different. And almost counter-intuitive.
It's intriguing how our minds "connect the dots" yet when you do it, you suddenly find yourself bursting with random inspiration you never knew you possessed.
So, to help get your mental clog spinning... here are some of my personal favourite ways to randomly find targeted inspiration.
Get Inspired Through Activities
1. Go and take a hike (Literally) - You can find good inspiration and ideas while you're taking a stroll along your favourite park or street
2. Bird Watching - There's something about the way birds move in groups that can spark an idea or two
3. Go for a Jog - Get your adrenaline pumping and flowing to stimulate your brain muscles
4. Watch a Movie - Don't just follow the story, try to uncover how the plot was developed
5. Grab a Dectective Novel - A good sherlock or Kindachi whichever you prefer
6. Solve a Puzzle - Still onto more ways to get you thinking
7. Read Famous Quotes - There's wisdom to be found and their wisdom can translate into a story, the story you're about to write
8. History and Mistakes Committed - Likewise, analysing a historical event and relating it to your writing is another way to tell a good story
9. Freewriting - Any writer has to know this technique. Sometimes we're our biggest stumbling block and the solution to our problem. Just keep writing and suddenly the ideas will start popping up uncontrollably.
10. Look through Old Photographs - Reminiscing about an event or a moment in time will stir up some emotional juice you can convert into a touching story. That's writing from the heart.
11. Hang Out with some Friends - Nothing works better than putting work aside and grabbing a beer or two. After dissing each other for a while, you just might get some new ideas. Do remember to jot them down immediately. You don't want to trust your drunken self to remember now do you?
Get Inspired Surfing the Net
12. Who Says Facebook Isn't Beneficial - See what your friends are talking about on their walls, there may be a juicy story or two embedded in there
13. Youtubing for Answers - Youtubers are constantly bouncing tons of ideas around as they give a new twist to plain and common everyday activities. Try something similar in your writing.
14. Google is Your Friend - This search engine knows it is almost irreplacable. It holds information about everything we do and it is better at connecting the dots than most of us can. Tap onto its knowledge base for some inspiration.
15. Join an Online Debate - It's no secret that behind the anonymous mask we're free and more courageous in voicing our opinions. Take some of those opinions and use it in your writing.
16. Get Your Daily Dose of Ted Talks - They're educational. They're entertaining. And you'll learn a thing or two from these short clips and sharing by successful people.
17. Use Curated Ideas - There are countless number of blog posts on your topic. You may need to dig a little deeper to get the good stuff but they're there. Pull two or three of them and add your own flavour into the mix.
18. Find out what's Trending on Google - If people are talking about it, it might be worth riding the wave and tapping on the latest hot topic.
Get Inspired Through the Arts
19. Take a Deep Breath and Meditate - Allowing your body to relax and enter into a meditative state of relaxation and let the ideas flow.
20. A Picture Paints a Thousand Words - We've all heard this saying, now it's time to write those thousand words. Select a picture, any picture, and do describe what you see, what's happening, why that moment was so important it had to be captured.
21. Go back to the Classics - Find a symphony or a classical piece with no lyrics in the entire song. As you listen (and fight the urge to fall asleep) experience the story they're unraveling in that ballad and you may have the story you need.
22. Listen to a Rap from an Artist You Hate - Force yourself to sit there listening to every word and let your emotions go into over-drive. Now channel that anger straight into your notepad. If they can make a truckload of money of that crap, why can't you?
23. Go to your Local Art Gallery - Have you seen those masterpiece with abstract ideas? Try envisioning the artist's idea when it was created and tell that same story in your article.
Get Inspired Randomly
24. Play the Newspaper Word Game - Flip through your local papers and select the first word you see on each page. Do this till you get 3 words. Now write a paragraph using those words and make sure they appear in your final article.
25. Take a Cold Shower - Even better if it's in the dead of winter. Try "shocking" the inspiration into your body. Talk about extreme sports.
26. Become Lord of the Potty Throne - Disturbing but instead of reading a magazine or "staining" your mobile phone (do you still put it on your face after a toilet session?) think real hard about your article while you're pushing something out.
27. Do some Long-awaited Spring Cleaning - You may find some hidden gems you've forgotten about under the column of dust which could be useful. If all else fails... at least your home will be free from some garbage.