Unique Ways to Overcome Writer’s Block
Anyone who has ever sat down to write has experienced that dreaded nemesis, writer’s block. It can feel like a crippling experience, but it can honestly become a way to encourage creativity.
Rather than looking at writer’s block as a poison come to suck the creativity out of you, or worse yet looking at it as an excuse to not work, look at it as an experience. When you experience writer’s block, you have an opportunity to stretch those mental muscles and look for ways to overcome it.
To help you get started, I’ve come up with ten unique ways to beat writer’s block.
Play word games
Find a game that requires you to manipulate words. This will help your mind get into creative mode. It can be something as simple as a game that involves making words such as scrabble or bananagrams. Or it can be something that involves forming ideas with words such as story cubes.
One of my favorite games to play is Man Bites Dog. This is a great game to help you think about how to organize words and how to use them creatively.
If you are struggling to get ideas going in your mind, try a word game and see if you can’t get the creative side of your brain going.
Design your own world
You don’t just have to be a sci-fi or fantasy writer to create a unique world. Think of what the ideal environment would be to you and start jotting it down. Create a picture of it with words, or draw it out and then create bullet points to describe it.
One, this will help your mind think creatively. Two, this will get you focused on describing and using words to bring something alive.
You can start simply, thinking about obvious things to add to your world, creating in more detail as you go along. Just write down whatever comes to mind to bring your world alive.
Who knows, perhaps you will get inspired for a new story idea using your created world. Even if you don’t, you will at least get your brain primed for the creative process.
Re-create a favorite story
Pick a scene from your favorite book and try to re-create it with your own words. You might start with copying the scene out word-for-word, then moving to describing it in your own way.
There is no right or wrong here, you aren’t going to use this to publish anything, so you don’t have to worry about copyright. The whole idea is to get your brain working.
Your re-creation doesn’t have to be perfect. Just take the time to think the scene out and start writing it from your point of view. Once you are primed for writing, it will be easier to transition to your official project.
Make a trip outside your comfort zone
This doesn’t have to be an exaggerated trip.
Is there a place you rarely or never visit in your town? Make an excursion to check it out. Is there a place you have wanted to check out for some time? Get out and do it.
This will help you open your mind to new ideas. Observe your surroundings and take in something different than what you’re used to. Take some time to talk to someone there and get to know their story.
Take a notebook with you, or open notes on your phone to jot down the observations you make. If you can’t take notes where you’re at, make a point to remember certain things to jot down later.
Observing something new can open our minds to new ideas and get us out of a funk. If you are feeling like your ideas are stale, find motivation for something new outside your comfort zone.
Can’t get started? Just start writing whatever thoughts come into your head. Don’t second guess the thoughts, just write them. Once you start putting thoughts to paper you can more easily direct your thoughts to the task you want/need to complete.
This idea isn’t really unique, but I think it’s important that the idea of just writing is included in any list of writer’s block cures.
Listen to music
Listening to music can help increase your focus and get your mind working on something. Don’t just listen haphazardly though, close your eyes and hear the music, the words, let it develop an image in your head.
After you’ve listened, try to describe what you saw. This really works best with classical or jazz, but you can do it with any music. Create a picture of what images came to mind while listening. See if you can make a scene out of what you saw.
Have a conversation with a child
Are you a parent? Or do you have access to a younger niece or nephew? Take time to start a conversation with them.
Children generally have a vivid imagination and listening to some of the things they come up with could help you start your own creativity going. If nothing else, you can write about some of the things they come up with.
find a painting, drawing, sculpture, etc. and study it closely. Try to imagine what’s going on around the piece. Create a story for the art work in front of you.
If there are people, what are they doing or what led to the current poses? If it’s a landscape, think about what would be in the environment around it that you’re not seeing. Why are the things you see present?
Make the picture tell a story. It doesn’t have to be the story the artist had in mind; Just create a story around what you are seeing. Build it up as much as you can.
Many times, writer’s block can come from our minds being full of other worries.
Take time to open up to God, get those other worries off your chest, spend time asking for guidance from God, or just praising him. Let God direct your words, let him guide your creativity.
God wants us to bring all things to him, this includes our creative vision. You would be amazed how much easier a task can be once you’ve spent time with God.
Take a walk, dance, jump on a trampoline (I keep a rebounder in my office), do something to get the blood flowing.
This will help you relax and increase your mental clarity. If you find that your mind is struggling, get your body moving. The release of endorphins can help you focus and bring a sense of calm.
Don’t let writer’s block get the best of you. Try some of these ideas to break through it and add your own. Find what works for you.
Have you found some useful ways to combat writer’s block? Tell us about it in the comments.