Friday Speak Out!: To All Those Who Have Lost Their Creative Thinking Caps

Friday, January 20, 2017
by Jenna Brandon

We've all been there. You sit down to write. You expect the words to flow, knocking down everything on their way, but the writing just...well, it just doesn't happen. It is not a shame to admit that time has come to fill your creative thinking tank with some fuel. In fact, I have never heard of writers who churn out novel after novel and never face a writer's block.

Some writers prefer to listen to music or exercise in order to deal with this writing paralysis. Some meditate or simply have a glass of wine to distract and boost creativity. These are all good tried and tested methods, and they do work, but what else can you do to help your mind get creative?

1. Exposing yourself to some kind of absurdity allows to unlock your subconsciousness and stimulates non-trivial thinking. Therefore, one of the ways to get rid of the writer's block is to experience something absurd. You may want to visit a contemporary art gallery, read a book like Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead by Tom Stoppard (my favorite) or even famous Alice in Wonderland, or listen to some cosmic music.

Apart from that, there's one absurd technique that is supposed to boost your out-of-the-box thinking. All you need to do is find a big box and sit near it. Yes, literally sit outside the box. If anyone did it, please let others know in the comments – I really wonder if that works.

2. Another thing that helps me come up with original ideas is taking pictures. Whenever I feel like i need to recharge my writing batteries, I go out and just wander the streets with my camera. I helps me notice small things I would have missed otherwise, concentrate on details, and link many different ideas together. Photography works for me personally, but you can find your inspiration in cooking, painting, or doing crafts.

3. Mark Banschick, a famous psychologist, suggests equipping your very own creativity room (or creativity corner for small apartments). It should be a place where you can unleash your imagination, paint on walls, laugh, dance, dream, and create. I do have a whiteboard for brainstorming and a corner where I put pictures and sketches, and my brain automatically turns on its creative mode when I surround myself with such things.

Albert Einstein once said: “Creativity is intelligence having fun”. I couldn't agree more. The best ideas are born when you set yourself free and open up to all the fun and excitement of the world. Do not be afraid to play, listen to yourself, and let your mind wander. Savor the life and creativity will find you!

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Jenna Brandon is a blogger, content writer, and editor at She’s on a never-ending quest for excellence in writing and photography.When she is not writing or taking pictures, she travels the world together with her husband. 
Would you like to participate in Friday "Speak Out!"? Email your short posts (under 500 words) about women and writing to: marcia[at]wow-womenonwriting[dot]com for consideration. We look forward to hearing from you!


Sioux Roslawski said...

Marcia--Thanks for posting this.

Jenna--I never heard of the "absurd" idea. It makes sense. I'll have to try that.

The "box" idea intrigues me as well. I'd be curious if anyone out there has tried it.

You travel a great deal? What are some of your favorite spots? Southern France is my #1 destination.)

Jenna Brandon said...

Hey Sioux, gald you found my revelations useful! :) My all time favourite is Italy, I even started learning Italian after my trip to Florence!

KAlan said...

Thanks for an always-timely post, Jenna. Rebooting creativity has always been a weak area in psychological research, so it's no wonder that writers have so many different ways to deal with it. I find that stress, even just from working for half a day, pretty much ends any chance of writing on that same day. It's always interesting when others post that they are inspired by being busy.

I posted some techniques here, about using TV to get writing again, but they all involve continuing to write; I will have to try some of the shake-ups you have suggested, too.

Jenna Brandon said...

Hey Alan, thanks for your comment! Interesting observation about not being able to write when you're overworked. Many writers admit that some of their greatest ideas are born when their mind is stressed and tired, as we are less able to think clearly and concentrate. I think it's even psychologically proven that a tired brain produces more creative ideas. Try it and let me know if it works for you! :)

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