As a writer, I have faced writer’s block more frequently than you can imagine. I have probably stared at thousands of white computer screens and blank pages in my career. I know as well as anyone how excruciating it can be to get that first coherent thought out on paper. Fortunately, all of my experience in this arena means I have come up with a few tips to effectively overcome writer’s block, unlock energizing creativity and get brilliant ideas flowing. See which tips work best for you!
#1: Take a walk.
Throw on a jacket and some comfortable shoes and leave your house. If your usual walks take you left, go right instead. Look for something new and unique in your familiar neighborhood or walk so far you end up in a completely new area of town, with houses you’ve never seen and gardens you’ve never stopped to admire. Don’t think about your writing during this walk; just take in the life that surrounds you and allow inspiration to strike when it is ready.
Note: Be sure to take a bit of paper and a pen or pencil with you, just in case the floodgates suddenly open and ou want to write something down.
#2: Listen to music.
Put on your favorite tunes and straighten up the house, get out in the garden or dance around a bit. The lyrics, the melodies, the lead singer’s voice – it can all spark something within you that just may lead to a brilliant sentence, page or maybe more…
#3: Read a book by an author you love.
Have you ever noticed how inspired you feel after reading a book (poem, essay, or prose) by your favorite author? The next time you're battling the dreaded writer’s block, pick up a book by an author you love, curl up in your favorite chair and read a few pages. Sit with the book for a while and allow the weight of what you’ve read to settle into your being and stir up some of the energizing creativity you have been searching for.
#4: Play the Alphabet Game
This is one of my favorite exercises to get the creative juices flowing. The first step is to open your journal and list each letter of the alphabet, A through Z. Then, write anything that comes to mind that begins with each letter. For example, it can be one word like, “Avalon,” or it can be an entire sentence like, “All happy families are alike; each unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.” If your creativity sparks from one of the letters, follow it and see where it leads. If you get stuck and the letter only produces a lonely word like “Apple,” move on to the next one.
Another way to play the Alphabet Game is to begin your first sentence with the letter A. The next with the letter B and so on. You may be surprised at what develops.
As you work through these exercises, be aware of what you’re writing and how it makes you feel. Look for patterns in what you’ve produced. Look for what excites you. Look for the story within.