Location, Location, Location
While it’s comforting to write in your office, working in the same place consistently can hurt your chances of being spontaneously inspired by external factors. Having a large picture window can be effective, but it doesn’t always do the trick. Sometimes, the best thing you can do is to get into your car and start driving until you see a good place to stop and write. If you’re writing on a laptop and have a short lifespan on your battery, you’ll need to find a coffee shop, library, or other quiet place where you can find a free outlet. Otherwise, you can write outdoors, which can both inspire you and help you write more prolifically. I’ve found that the best cure for my writer’s block is to take a pen and notebook to a park, sit on a bench, and let nature keep me inspired.
Besides writing your novel or other pieces for publication, it’s helpful to keep a journal that you can look back on for inspiration when you’re suffering from writer’s block. I know of at least one talented and widely published poet, Claudia Emerson, who keeps a journal for the purpose of inspiration. She reads back through it for words, phrases, or ideas that catch her attention, and she uses those to spawn new poems. Not only is this effective for poets, but it’s also a helpful habit for novelists, authors of children’s books, and nonfiction writers. I wasn’t sure that it could work for me, but now I’ve started reading through my journal and I’ve found several phrases to use in my writing projects for publication. It’s not entire sentences that become useful, but two- or three-word phrases that have real substance and can engender larger ideas. Gleaning these from your own writing can boost your confidence and help you write more effectively, even when you think you’ve hit a wall.
Stop, Look, and Listen
When you start to feel that you’re unsuccessful in your writing endeavors, stress can start to creep in and rob you of any inspiration or productivity that might have been available to you. Sometimes, it’s helpful to stop what you’re doing, look at a peaceful image, and listen to calming music. Viewing a slideshow of favorite vacation photos can return your mind to a more peaceful and enjoyable time, enabling you to access productive thoughts and ideas. The same is true of listening to inspirational music. Stimulating your visual and aural senses in this way can distract you from the problem of writer’s block while providing a solution: calm nerves and fresh ideas.
For especially intransigent writer’s block, try combining two or more of these strategies. This will help you focus your energy, expand your options, and reduce any negative thoughts that might be associated with writer’s block. Stay creative and positive to get back to writing in no time.
Today's guest post was courtesy of Maria Rainier. Thanks for the great advice, Maria!
What's your trick to combat writer's block? Leave it in the comments!