- Books, Literature, and Writing
How a Poet Can Fight Writer's Block
You sit down at your desk with a coffee and the best intentions. You boot up the laptop or whip out your notebook and….nothing. You open the curtains, you take a sip of coffee, maybe you have a cigarette. Still nothing. You do this every morning for a week. Still nothing. Congratulations, you have writer’s block!
We’ve all been there, if that puts your mind at ease at all. Luckily, there are some tried and true ways to get those creative juices flowing again.
Read, read, read!
Poets can benefit greatly from reading the work of other poets. Discovering a unique rhyme-scheme or unusual imagery can often be enough to inspire. Try reading styles you are not familiar with, as well as your all-time favorites. This will give you new ideas and re-fuel your passion by reminding you why you fell in love with poetry in the first place.
A lot of poetry is inspired by past experiences. Look through old photo albums, get in touch with a longtime friend, take a walk through your old neighborhood. Think back to this time last year, five years ago, ten. Think about what has changed and what has stayed the same. Think about your friends at each of those times and what you did together. Tell yourself the story of your first kiss, first love and first job. Going through these old memories is sure to stir up some emotion, which is vital in writing poetry.
A lot of writers get into a routine – writing at the same time everyday, always writing on our computers, etc. While this can be great for our discipline, it can often take a toll on our inspiration. Try taking a notebook to the park or beach. Go to a café. Try writing at night, or get up extra early. Redecorate your writing space. Interrupting your routine may be all you need to get out of that rut.
Go "people watching"
Poets tend to see things differently; we often pick up on subtleties and details that are overlooked by others. Go to a public place and pay close attention to what is going on around you. Take note of the way that girl flips her hair or the impatient stance of the man waiting in line. Try to guess the ages or careers of the people at the next table. Let your imagination run wild!
Don't give up
The best, and really only, way to truly fight writer's block is to write. Even if what you are writing is absolute crap and you know it, keep writing. Eventually, somewhere in the middle of your mediocre attempts, you will strike gold, and that little nugget can fuel your passion and inspiration for a long, long time.