There’s a lot of drama surrounding writer’s block.
Like all the variations on this theme: “Writing is easy, just open up a vein and bleed on the paper…”
First of all: YUCK! Who’s mopping up that crime scene?
And it’s unnecessarily theatrical.
Seriously, if your chosen career path involves self-mutilation, maybe it’s time to find another occupation.
Sure, most creatives have days when they feel wildly creative. And other days when the world feels like a black void of zero gravity ideas.
Anyone who writes for a living has these moments.
The good news is, for those latter days, you don’t have to hurt yourself to get your work done.
You just need a new approach.
Sometimes all you need is a break: go for a walk, call a friend, drop and do 20 push-ups.
Because as soon as you leave your current environment ideas will start bombarding you.
Simply getting away from a blinking-cursor can be enough to unleash a giant water balloon of ideas onto your head.
For other days, when it would be easier to run a marathon in stilettos than to write a single paragraph, these ideas may help…
1. Start in the middle
It’s easy to get caught up with trying to brainstorm the Perfect Title or opening line. So skip it. Jump into the “meat” of the email or copy.
Oftentimes, once you do that the title practically writes itself.
2. Write anything
Start a letter to a friend.
Write about your latest excursion to Walmart.
Talk about your dog. Anything.
Just “free flow” write something on paper to unblock the word flow.
3. Copy a favorite piece of copy or an ad
For me, when I want to add humor I’ll look up old Dave Barry columns.
I usually read them.
But if I’m really stuck (which is rare, because I find a lot of things hilarious) I’ll start rewriting them to stir the idea pot.
4. Give yourself permission to write crappy
If you’ve ever baked a cake, you’ll know there are at least a couple of points where the batter that looks like it’ll never come together.
That’s also usually when someone walks into the kitchen, peers into the bowl, makes a face, and says, “Is that the way it’s supposed to look?”
What follows is what I would call justifiable homicide.
That big mess is a necessary part of the process.
Ditto for writing.
5. Listen to music
Or do something creative. Draw, color — anything to activate your creativity.
Then go back to writing and see what happens.
6. BONUS TIP!
Okay, this one’s a bit weird. From Brian Moreland, author of short stories and novels of supernatural suspense:
He calls this the Glass-of-Water Technique and swears it works for him every time. And judging from the number of books he’s written, the man is rarely short of ideas.
- Before bed, fill up a glass of water.
- Speak your intention into the water. For example, “I choose to be in the flow of my best writing and tap into my creative source tomorrow.” Drink half the water and leave the glass on your nightstand. (I warned you it was a bit out there.)
- When you wake up in the morning drink the other half immediately.
- Then go straight to your computer and write for a minimum of one hour without distraction.
Repeat for three nights in a row.
Weird? Kinda. But he swears it works.
Either way, you’ll be hydrated, which helps your brain in other ways.
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