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Sunday, July 18, 2010


Conquering the Blank Page

What do you do? The page is blank. Or, if you prefer, the cursor is blinking against a sea of white screen.
You don't know what to write. Writer's block seems to have entered into your brain and decided to take up an unpaid residency.
Here are a few of my tricks that have worked in the past:

- Pick up a pen and start doodling. I look at old notebooks and notice many of my margins are elaborate doodles with a retraced letter I've drawn. After those doodles, my writing flowed.
- Take out the scissors and glue and have a craft moment. What or who is the story about? Make a collage of the furnishings from a character's house. Clip words from magazines or newspapers that might represent the themes or ideas from your work.
- Go for a walk or work-out. Creativity appreciates a work-out every once in a while and so do you. Sometimes, walking away from a blank page helps bring the ideas back to your fingertips.
- Be still. Find a spot outside and just breath. Don't think about the blank page. Don't think about writing. Just take some time for yourself and keep a notebook close by. Nothing like stepping away from a problem to help return you to solving the issue, especially one of a blank page.
- Pull out a writing book. They are on your shelf for a reason! Dust off and use a writing book. Find a writing exercise that has nothing to do with what you want to spill out. Use that to re-connect to the writing at hand.

Unleashing one's creativity and filling a page sometimes means taking a counter-intuitive move. Because creativity gets some of its fuel from the unexpected, doing the unusual or unintended action will dislodge the non-paying lodger out of your brain.
What are some of the tricks you use to shake loose your ideas and get them flowing onto the page?

Elizabeth King Humphrey is a creativity coach and writer who blogs at The Write Elizabeth, unless she's unleashing a summer bout of writer's block.

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