9 Ways to Combat Writer’s Block
By: Sophie Austin
Whether you’ve been pursuing creative writing in the professional realm for years or are a novice at writing outside of the classroom, everyone experiences writer’s block. It is an inevitable part of the writing process. But thankfully, there are ways to move past this frustrating stand-still. Here are nine tips for getting rid of your writer’s block:
1. Carry a journal with you
Taking a journal wherever you go allows you to jot down notes whenever you have an idea. You could do this on your phone, but it is easier to physically write down the details of your idea and visualize it without being not limited to a tiny screen. Just having it on your person could incentivize you to start writing!
2. Force yourself to free-write
Free-writing is when you write anything that comes to your mind. Even when you can’t think of something cohesive to write, you could literally jot down: I can’t think of anything cohesive to write. I suggest finding a quiet space and forcing yourself to write for at least a solid 10 minutes straight. It’s likely you’ll come up with one idea that interests you.
3. Record your dreams
Ever have a really vivid and exciting dream, but you can’t remember the details? The otherworldly things that happen in dreams are great bases for your writing. Right when you wake up, after having a dream, write everything down that you can remember. It helps if you have a journal and a pen or your phone close to your bed to expedite this process.
4. Write about current events
Let’s face it. The crazy things that happen in real life are sometimes even more out there than what goes on in dreams or movies. Whether it’s conveying your disapproval on subjects through creating dystopias or simply trying to make sense of the world, writing creates a tangible record of how you perceive events that are taking place in the moment.
5. Go to a park
What attracts readers to stories lies within the details. The skill of being able to depict vivid imagery, such as sounds, sights, and smells, realistically in your writing is what brings your words to life. What better place to practice doing this than by writing about nature? Being in a park can get you in the mood to describe your surroundings in a way that allows readers of your work to feel as if they were there with you.
6. Follow a prompt
When I was in middle school I was involved in a creative writing competition. In order to prepare for this, my peers and I wrote a story every Friday guided by a prompt that our teacher gave us. This allows you to skip the step of seeking out inspiration from your everyday life and gets you back in the routine of creating new worlds.
This is my favorite one. You will find the most interesting people on public transportation. Depicting aspects of these individuals through writing will help you produce intriguing, relatable, and realistic characters. Oh, and make sure you are discreet while seeking for inspiration.
Okay so this tip is less direct. Exercising can improve your cognitive performance and allow your brain to process thoughts more thoroughly. In turn, this can help you produce some fantastic poetry and stories. Some of my best ideas present themselves to me while I’m going for a morning run.
9. Use an image for inspiration
Images, like nature, are good at inspiring us to write more colorfully and vividly. Not only this, there is something about paintings and photographs that take our mind to new places. Think about how web articles are so often accompanied by images. This is because visualizing events adds a whole new dimension to reading about the facts. Emulate this tactic in your writing.
Overall the most valuable thing you can do is stop overthinking about the end result and just write! All good writing starts with a first draft.
Edited by Sydney Hamilton