Regrettably, we’ve all been there. In school, at work, or for your own pleasure, we have all at one point in our lives sought to write something and have stared at the empty white page with absolutely nothing springing forth to fill it. You run your hands through your hair in frustration and grit your teeth. Is there something wrong with you? Why can’t you just conjure up the words to illuminate your ideas for writing like you usually do?
Well, my friend, it appears that you are suffering from writer’s block. Writer’s block can be devastating to your productivity and leave you doubting your abilities as a wordsmith. It can last for months and completely derail whatever project you need to work on. But luckily, there are some techniques to cure this malady of the creative mind and overcome the author block you are experiencing.
Read a Book
Creativity is contagious in a lot of ways. The thoughts and musings of one person can spark an explosion of imagination in another. A great way to get yourself in the writing mood is to read someone else’s work.
Reading and exposing yourself to other people’s writing helps you hone your abilities as a writer. You can look to a particular stylistic choice or wording of an idea and seek to learn from it. You can open yourself up to influence, and if you let that influence sink in, it can inspire you to create something all for yourself.
“But William,” you may ask, “How can reading help me in a more immediate sense? I’m working on a time-table here, and don’t exactly have enough hours in a day to knock out a whole novel while working on this.”
To this, I would tell you that you don’t need to read a whole book. You just need to read enough until those little synapses in your brain get moving and you start coming up with the words to fit with various ideas for writing. The point is to get inspired, and as can be seen by their popularity through the centuries, books are quite useful when it comes to inspiring others.
Consider Your Surroundings
If there is one thing that kills creative thought, it is distraction. Make sure you are in the proper environment to write if you are having trouble with coming up with ideas for writing. When settling down to write, be sure to check your surroundings. Auditory, visual, and emotional distractions are all fast and efficient killers of creativity, which is completely reliant on focus and attention. Loud talkers, enticing websites, and even awkward personal tensions can distract your mind, leaving you unable to overcome your writer’s block. If you ever intend to execute your creative vision, you need to create an environment where creativity can flourish.
Make sure you settle into a quiet space or have sound-cancelling headphones at the ready. Limit your access to social media and the black hole of the Internet. If you are experiencing unresolved personal strife with someone, for the sake of your work, you may need to keep them at arm’s length for the time being. This isn’t to say you should run away from your personal problems, but sometimes you need to step away from it to focus on other things.
A creative environment, in addition to being free from distraction, can be made more conducive to creative thought by utilizing round, soft edges, and cool natural colors like blues and greens. For more on how to boost your imagination, see our blog.
Listen to Instrumental Music
Have you ever listened to the score of a movie you’ve never seen and just tried to imagine one or more scenes in which the music was a part? Often times, even with movies I have seen, I find myself creating entirely new scenes and narratives. Closing your eyes and just listening to the music can be a great way to overcome writer’s block and to help come up with ideas for writing.
Listening to music can help when it comes to drowning out unwanted ambient noise and distracting sounds, but sometimes, the lyrics in a song can themselves prove distracting. Playing instrumental music removes this possibility.
One of my personal favorite music scores to listen to when writing is the soundtrack to Game of Thrones. It’s exciting, exotic, and emotional. I find it is easy to get lost in the music and dig into the work of writing whatever needs to be written.
Just Start Writing
Like most things in life, the first step is to put one foot in front of the other. In other words, just do it! Get through it! Get over the hump, and power through!
Many times when searching ideas for writing, it’s just about getting started. Once your push through that first couple of sentences, the rest will come easily. I mean, just look at this blog! It’s living proof that sometimes you’ve just got to make yourself write to generate the finishing cure on writer’s block, rip out its spinal cord, and start whipping it with its own vertebrae. Yes, that was an Undercover Brother wrapped up in a Mortal Combat reference. Do something about it! Write a comment!
What do you find helpful to generate ideas for writing and overcome writer’s block?
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