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5 Writing Tips To Help You Boost Your Creativity
The Curse Of Writers-Block
As every writer knows, writing is hard. People might like to think that it is as simple as stringing a few words together to create a sentence, but we know better. We know that some days the words flow on to the page like magic, and other days we can't even write "see Spot run". Writers-block is something that every single writer has experienced; whether you are a professional or just write for fun, no one is immune. Since we call ourselves writers, we may feel ashamed to admit that sometimes the words we love so much fail us. The most important thing you can do when you have writers block is to not beat yourself up too much, accept that this is something that happens when you're a writer and remember that this block will pass. Try out some of these tips and do what feels best for you, eventually those words will flow like magic again.
Tip 1: Write Everyday
Writing everyday is key to maintaining your creativity. If you don't write for a living then it is very easy to keep putting off writing, there may always seem to be more pressing issues that take up your time. Before you know it, it has been weeks or even months since you have written anything; by that time you've probably lost your momentum and even your inspiration. One big reason why many of us don't write everyday is because we see it purely as a hobby. If you do see writing as something you do "just for fun" then you may feel guilty for taking time out of your day to write. It can be very hard to get into the habit of writing everyday, especially if you have a lot of other commitments such as children. There are a few things you can do to make it a little easier to get into that habit.
- Set aside a time each day to write: Setting aside a specific time each day to write is a great way to get into the habit. Try to make it the same time each day and force yourself to sit down and write.
- Limit distractions: There is nothing worse than being interrupted when you've got a good flow going. Once that concentration is broken it is difficult to get it back. Tell people to not disturb you during your writing time and turn your phone off so you're not tempted to check it. Try to only start writing when you have nothing urgent to do, if you spend the whole time thinking about how you need to do laundry then that defeats the object.
- Give yourself a time limit: Set yourself a reasonable time limit and stick to it. Write for the whole duration, it doesn't have to be good you just have to get words on the page. Don't give yourself a time limit that you know you can't keep, if you can only manage 10 minutes a day then give yourself 10 minutes to sit down and concentrate just on your writing.
Writing everyday is a habit that every writer can benefit from. It allows you to practice and get better at what you love to do.
Tip 2: Use Writing Prompts
Sometimes all you need to get going is a push in the right direction. If you're anything like me then once you've got that first sentence there is no stopping you. I have found using prompts to be very useful in getting me going. Sometimes I have even been able to make a really good story out of a prompt. I have heard some writers say that using prompts somehow makes you less of a writer, I couldn't disagree more. There is nothing wrong with getting inspiration from a prompt, it does not make you any less of a writer. Where you get your inspiration from is up to you, whether you get it from staring out the window or from reading a writing prompt doesn't matter. What matters is that you have the passion to write and that you follow through with that passion.
You can find loads of writing prompts for free on the internet. I like to use Writers Digest as they have loads of different ones, you're sure to find something there that suits you. If you use something like Facebook or Tumblr then you can ask your friends for story ideas or for a first sentence.
Tip 3: Keep a Journal
Although this may seem like a strange idea keeping a journal can inspire you. Writing down what happens to you on a day to day basis can give you ideas. Sometimes we spend too much time thinking about the big picture when it comes to a story that we forget about the small details. The little day to day things that you put into a story is what makes it more realistic. If you keep a journal of the small things and the emotions you feel then you can go back and read it when you feel like your story needs a "reality check".
It can also keep your thoughts organised. If you find that your head seems to jumbled to write then keeping a journal can really help. A clear head is the key to good writing. If you can do your journal before your writing time then that's even better since it ensures that your head is as clear as can be.
Tip 4: Don't Worry About It Being Perfect
Worrying about your writing being perfect is a big problem for a lot of amateur writers. I struggle with this a lot and I often find that I'm editing my writing before I've even finished it! Even if I don't intend to show a particular piece to anyone then I want to it be just right, to the point where I can spend half an hour trying to find the perfect sentence. I think a lot of us amateurs are worried that if our writing isn't 100% perfect then we'll be laughed at. We want people to take us seriously and so we feel we must prove to them that we are good at what we do.
Your writing doesn't have to be perfect every time, it doesn't even have to be close to perfect. If worry the whole time about how good your writing is then you'll never get past the first paragraph. It is important to remember to write for you, don't write to become published, don't write for you family, write for you. You should write because you love to do it not because you want something to come of it. Once you do that you won't worry so much about being perfect.
Tip 5: Join A Writing Group
Writing groups can offer inspiration and motivation no matter what kind of writer you are. It is a good way to talk to other people who also love to write; you can bounce ideas off each other and offer advice. You don't even have to go to an actual group, there are literally thousands of online groups that you can join for free. Online groups are great because you don't have to leave the house or go at a specific time. Also as there are so many different groups that it is easy to find one that suits your needs. Whether you'd prefer a small group where you can get to know the other people, or a large group where you can get many different opinions, you are sure to find one that you.
I find it really helpful to talk to other writers, especially when I've got writers-block. I've gotten some really good ideas from online writing groups in the past. Most writers agree that bouncing ideas off each other is very helpful. Sometimes you get a good idea but you don't exactly know where to take it. Instead of letting that idea fade from your mind, go talk to some other writers and see if you can make something of it.
Other writers can also give you some much needed motivation. It's very easy to get despondent when you've got writers-block, it can be tempting to give up writing all together sometimes. Talking to others who have gone through the same thing and gotten over it will help you realize that pretty soon inspiration will strike.
Tip 6: Don't Wait For Inspiration To Strike
There's no better feeling than getting inspired, sitting down to write, and having the words just flow perfectly from your mind. Unfortunately that doesn't happen all that often. Although you should try and get inspired as often as you can, the fact of the matter is that more often than not, you won't be writing when you are inspired. If you wait for inspiration to strike then you might be waiting an awful long time. That is why you have to try and write even when you feel like you have no ideas what so ever.
We hope that we will be inspired often and then we get down when we don't. Even professional writers aren't inspired everyday. The difference with them is that they force themselves to write even when they feel like they have nothing to say. That is what you have to do. When you're writing time comes along don't put it off just because you lack inspiration; even if you can only manage to write a few sentences, that is better than nothing.
How Do People Deal With Writers-Block
What do you do to help with writers-block?
Don't Let Writers-Block Stop You
Writers-block isn't enjoyable but it is something that happens to all of us at some point. If your inspiration has up and left you, don't worry, it will return. There's no real "cure" for writers-block but if you try out the tips then you may find that it goes away more quickly. Unfortunately, sometimes you've just got to ride it out. It may feel like you'll never get your groove back but you will. Although writers-block may knock your confidence, don't let it get you down. One day you'll wake up and there'll be no stopping you from putting those words on the page.