Beating Writer's Block

Wednesday, December 16, 2009
by LuAnn Schindler

Stuck in a rut and unsure of how to get the creative muses to delight you once again? Try these surefire sensory tips that will let the words flow.
  • Move it. When I lose concentration or when the words don't come easily, I move to a new location. Sometimes, I take my laptop and move from my office to the kitchen or bedroom. Other times, I saunter out to my deck and take in what's happening outside. And yet on other occasions, putting words on paper instead of typing, makes all the difference.
  • Look around. Pictures may be worth a thousand words. Or maybe even an entire novel! Those times when I can't seem to get a handle on a character trait, I look through my photo albums and look at what's going on. Another visual attack on writer's block is to visit a museum. You'll be amazed at how details stand out.
  • Read it. When I find a publication I think I would like to write for and I can't come up with a topic that will translate into a sale, I peruse the newspaper and look at every advertisement. I've come up with several articles from ideas generated off a 2x2 ad.
  • Listen carefully. Working in complete silence does not bother me, but when I'm developing ideas, I like music to blare in the background. I have an eclectic mix on my iPod, and it generally takes a couple songs to pump up the volume - and the possibilities.
  • Taste it. Trying to come up with specific details? I'll grab a piece of fruit and slowly note the details of what I'm tasting. I usually amass a sizable list of words I can add to what I'm working on.

How do you beat writer's block?


Jayne Martin said...

90% of writing is just showing up. Planting your butt in the chair. Pulling up a blank document and staring at it till hell freezes over if need be. When all else fails start typing the conversation that's going on in your head. Seriously... you will be surprised where it leads. Once give a voice in this way, I find I can barely shut my muse up.

Donna Volkenannt said...

During a recent writing workshop one suggestion to get the writing juices flowing was: write down five events you remember from your past (at least five years ago) that made an impression on you.

After that exercise I came up with memories long buried and ideas for several short stories. I've already completed one story. The exercise really works!
Donna V.

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