7 Ways to Combat Writers Block
Struggling with Writers Block
As a writer, I understand how frustrating writer’s block can be. No matter what you do, you just can't seem to get your thoughts together. I'm no different from any other writer when it comes to writers block. Whether it's children, family, limited time, medical problems, or the plain fact that I'm just at a loss for words due to numerous distractions or worse....absolute silence...We all need inspiration. Something to light that spark and feed the fire of our creativity.
I have included a few activities and exercises below, designed to help get your creative writing back on track again.
The Clueless writer
#1- Identify What is Causing Your Writer's Block
I remember when I was in high school. That time of my life marked the beginning of my writing interest and exploits. At that time, I experienced and processed life much differently than I do now. Maybe it was hormones, maybe I had a sense of heightened awareness, or maybe it was because I was exposed to so many topics, ideas, academic subjects, and varying relationships that might have contributed.
If this sounds like you as well then all hope has not been lost. Getting back to your inspirational roots and creating fresh new content is not really as hard as it seems. You just need to find out how to unblock your creative channels.
The first step is to identify the changes or current events in your life that may be preventing you from reaching your writing potential.
- Are there external factors that are stressing you out and blocking your focus?
- Are you burned out and need a break?
- Do you have a basic idea of the content you want to create, but not sure where to start?
- Are you feeling disorganized and not sure how to get back on track?
- Are you ready and willing to write but your Muse hasn't visited in awhile?
After you have identified the cause of your block it will be easier for you to deal with that block. Most often writers block occurs when you need to take a breather, recoup, and find a bit of inspiration.
#2- Experience the World and Travel
Luckily, Inspiration can be found anywhere. Now I am NOT saying you have to book a flight to China, but why not take a vacation of sorts? This could be as simple as taking a drive to another City. Spend the day in an alternate scenery. Inspiration can spark anywhere and at anytime. Sometimes, all you need is just a bit of different scenery.
However, do not start your day with the intent of looking for things to write about. Just try enjoying the scenery. Relax and let those happy endorphins flood your body and mind. Take some pictures, and learn a little about the area. It's history, events, the people...Inspiration comes with experience and emotion. When you let go and just feel those emotions inspiration will come. So live, laugh, and enjoy a conversation or two with a friend or stranger.
#3 Memories and Life Events Make for Great Writing Material
It's time to break out that photo album. Go through some old photos and talk about them with a loved one or better still...Call that Aunt or Uncle that likes to talk on the phone for hours. Ask him or her about their experiences as a child or young adult and actually listen to what they have to say.
- What was going on in their life?
- Where did they like to spend their time as a teenager?
- Get them to tell you a secret.
- What was some of the hardest decisions they had to make?
- Who was their first love?
Experiencing these moments with family may spark your creativity, give you some ideas for new content and, as an added bonus, renew some of that love and respect with your family member. I call that a Win-Win situation.
#4- A Child-like Imagination Sparks Writing Ideas
Remember when you ran down the hall and in your mind you were as fast as Flash or when watching Peter Pan made you want to fly? Okay, maybe that was just me, but children have the most amazing imaginations. Your imagination is not lost, it has just been buried under bills, errands, work and other adult nonsense.
Buy some play dough and make mini dinosaur figurines, or buy a box of Legos and build something fantastic. Let your imagination run wild. When you can make something with your own two hands you feed your soul, and your sense of self is renewed. This is a bonus if you have children of your own or if you have nieces and nephews to do these activities with. I listen to some crazy ideas from my children and niece all the time. This is especially great if you are writing children's books, parenting articles, or about magical fantasy worlds.
How to make Playdough Dinosaurs
#5- Meditation for Writing Clarity
Wait..Keep reading. I don't mean a Buddhist monk's style of meditation. I mean relaxed, calm visual stimulation. Lay down in the grass at the park or in your backyard and do some cloud watching. This cost $0 and doubles as another neat activity you could do with children or a loved one. Watching the clouds can be very relaxing. Try to point out the different shapes in the clouds. Find a bunny, a dragon, a goat, or two people kissing. Relax and feel the moment. This activity will help you decompress, allow reproduction of endorphins and in turn will help your mind return to a creative writing state.
Cloud Watching for Writers
#6- An Inspired Writer Keeps a Notebook Handy
You can use this notebook in two ways, and both are beneficial. The first way is to use the notebook as a diary or journal. Start out by capturing your day to day activities (such as the above mentioned activities) then capture those fleeting thoughts that come at random.
(I once wrote an entire chapter based on one fleeting thought that just kept growing)
The second way is to use it as...well...a notebook. Research, take notes, write down ideas. Scour the internet for motivational quotes or search areas of interest. Take notes on anything you found particularly interesting or otherwise inspiring. The more writing you do, the more trained your brain will become for writing productivity.
#7- Use writing prompts
When you write you are exercising your brain. So in a manner of speaking ANY writing that you do will help to clear the fog and jump-start those brain neurons once again. One great way to start writing is to do writing exercises with writing prompts. You can find a listing of 365 writing prompts on this website: here.
There are also many writers resource apps available to download to your phone that can be fun and may help you through your writers block. Here are a 3 apps you can try out:
- Writing Challenge Experiment Free Writing
- PORTENT Content Idea Generator
Now, I have given you 7 ways you can combat writer's block. In the end, there are really four key elements to getting through writer's block:
A) Relax your mind
B) Experience feelings
C) Remember and Share
D) Write your way through the brain-fog to writer's block freedom
(If all else fails you just write while drunk and edit when you are sober)
Make the Commitment
Are you going to commit to writing something today?
© 2014 Heather Ann Gomez