The first thing to know about writer’s block is: every writer experiences it. It’s like your mind becomes fuzzy. The harder you think the worse it gets. Your stuck. Your scene just is not coming together. Your dialog does not sound right. And where is your character going from here?
Well, are you ready to try a new idea? We have 42 ideas. Skim through our list. Pick one or maybe two and try them. If they don’t work come back and pick another one.
Now, let’s discover some fun ways crush your writer’s block.
#1. Conquer Your Fears
Don’t listen to that negative voice inside you. You know the one that says “You can’t.” Tell it to shut up, because you are doing it.
The fear of making a mistake or failing can paralyze your progress.
Remember mistakes are a major part of the writing process. We have rewrites and revisions for that reason.
Thomas Edison failed in over 2000 experiments before he came up with a light bulb.
Don’t be discouraged by failure. Learn from each experience. Then move forward.
You might want to download our E-book It’s FREE
#2. Set Aside Time
You won’t be able to jump start your creative thinking if you don’t make time for creative ideas to take hold.
Think of something creative or simply something you have never done. Few things free our minds more than doing something we have never done before. Now, set a date. Make time to do it.
#3. Challenge Yourself
Let’s not stop there. It is important to continually challenge yourself.
Create your own opportunities to find new ideas. Tackle a new project or find new ways to do things.
Think of something you’ve always wanted to do. Now Do It! You may find this trick extremely liberating..
#4. Inspiration Doesn’t Just Happen
While we’re at it, search for new sources of inspiration. Constantly look for fresh ideas.
Go to new places. Look at everyday things, in a new way.
Life can be magical if you’re anxiously looking for the magic.
We live in a frenzied world. Sometimes your mind just needs to unplug. Too much information can put your mind in a tailspin.
Consider taking a siesta from the Internet for a day or two. You might be amazed at the new ideas that will come your way.
Yes, you will survive.
Here’s one secrete. Relaxing can rejuvenate both your mind and your creativity.
How do you like to relax? Go for a walk? Read a book? Watch TV?
Taking a break from your writing. Relaxing for a while before continuing, will yield dividends in new solutions to your writer’s block,.
Have you ever wondered about meditation. Meditation helps silence all those hectic thoughts which plague your mind throughout the day.
Meditation allows you to gain an inner calm while opening your mind to new ideas. It’s one way to pull yourself out of your mental rut.
It’s hard to think creatively when you’re hunched over your computer.
Use meditation to let your mind relax. Let your ideas flow.
#8. Stop Criticizing Yourself.
Better still, remove the pressure of expectations. Don’t expect to be great right away.
Let your mind and heart come together. Practice will expand your abilities. You should be striving toward a goal because it is something you desire. Give yourself time to get there.
Just do your best and see what happens.
#9 When is Your Most Productive Time of Day?
Here’s something to keep in mind, we each have a little different biological clock. This clock tells us when to eat and when to sleep. It also regulates specific times of the day when we feel fresh and alert more than at other times.
Listen to your own rhythm. Discover your biological prime time.
I am a morning person. My husband, John is a night owl.
When are you most Productive? Choose the write (right) time to write.
#10 Change Times.
But there is more. Sometimes, working at our non-optimal time of day may bring fresh ideas.
Because we feel less inhibited. Less structured. Morning people may try working at night and night owls may try getting up early.
I often do my best thinking at 2 AM. Go figure?
While we’re at it, a paper published in the Journal of Consumer Research showed that high levels of noise impair thinking. But a consistently low level of ambient noise increases creativity.
Fill your mind with Music. It might help you focus on your story instead of your writer’s block.
You might want to pick your own CD. Music you enjoy triggers the brain’s innate desire to detect patterns and solve problems.
Try it. You may find yourself inspired.
Designate a physical place for your writing. You need a solid space, where you can concentrate.
Moreover, include your favorite pictures and mementos. Include a vision board if you have one. More on that later
Not enough space? Try a creative corner.
Your brain will get in the habit of being creative in that spot.
Sometimes, a little peace and quiet is necessary to get in touch with your own thoughts. Go for a solo walk. Focus on your story
At one time I had five children under the age of eight. Oh, how I loved to lock the door and take a luxurious bath.
I still do some of my best creative thinking in the tub.
Try it! Add some bubbles if you like.
#14. Rejection May Spark New Ideas
Be honest, none of us wants to be told what we did was lousy.
When John first started writing, he was proud of his masterpiece that is, until we asked two of our daughters to read it. The first one simply said, “it stinks.” The second daughter crossed out about half of his manuscript.
All that hard work. What should we do now? We decided he had a good story. He just needed to learn more about writing. We began exploring better ways to write his story.
Let rejection push you to find new, innovative ideas.
One cool trick is called “brain dumping” or “free association.” Take a pen and pad and write whatever comes to mind on the subject you are working on.
Next, pick a word from that section. Put that word of the top of the next page now write words you associate with that word.
The next step is to pick a word from either page, write it at the top of a new page. Now write words you associate with that word.
Don’t correct or revise. Let your mind Free Think. It is amazing how our minds make connections. Use those connections to explore new and original ideas.
This can have a snowball effect. With one idea leading to another. It might eliminate your writer’s block.
#16. , Brainstorm Your Ideas to Avoid Writer’s Block
This is a common tactic in business. It can also be a powerful tool for developing new ideas for your story.
Find a partner and start tossing ideas back and forth.
Whenever John gets writer’s block, he comes to me. We begin brainstorming ideas until one of us says, “that’s it.”
We don’t stop there. Now we take that idea and tweak it, mold it, refine it until it works.
You just need to find the right partner.
#17. Storyline Problems Usually Have Multiple Solutions
Start by suspending judgment. Just because it didn’t work before, or you can’t imagine how an idea will work now. Doesn’t mean it’s the wrong idea. Don’t start in the negative.
The goal should be to generate as many creative storylines as possible. Write them All down.
Search for a variety of ideas. Don’t simply choose the first idea that pops into your head. Take the time to consider alternate solutions.
Next, focus on clarifying and refining each idea. Maybe even combining them, in order to arrive at the best possible solution.
When you feel you’re banging your head against a wall., utilize “what if” questions like “If we do this, what will the outcome be?”
If you consider the outcome beforehand, you’ll be better able to develop creative solutions, that will work.
If the idea is not the best for this scene, set it aside. Work on it later or use it for a future chapter.
#19. Prevent Your Writer’s Block With a Storyboard.
John and I both use Storyboards to prevent writer’s block. When we get stuck we go to our storyboard for inspiration.
It’s a peculiar thing about inspiration. It comes in spurts if you don’t capture those sparks of inspiration when they happen, they will float away out of your mind like a bubble.
The trick is to carry a notebook or iPad with you. If you have Microsoft Note, Dropbox, or Evernote, you can even dictate your creative thoughts into your phone. Easy Peasy.
Also make a list of your story ideas. Write them down as soon as they pop into your head. Writing ideas down clears your mind, so you can move on.
Another advantage, if you have written them down you won’t forget them. Our minds are too forgetful about the little details.
Some of my best thoughts come in the middle of the night. I learned long ago to get up and write them down or they would vanish with the morning light.
Check out our article: A Storyboard Will Explode Your Creative Writing
#20. Make It a Game.
Find someone or several people to make your own creativity game. We have created a Writing Prompt game You can play it by yourself , with a friend or even at a party. Simply download the game and start playing.
Here are two websites with writing prompts. https://thestoryshack.com/tools/writing-prompt-generator/ Or
You can simply ask provocative “what if” questions.
Let each person come up with a different idea, to start a new game. Remember it should be fun.
Tease the idea, stretch it, and play with it until it becomes a new creation.
#21. Try Yoga To Ease Your Writer’s Block.
Some believe that certain yoga poses like child’s pose and pigeon pose, can boost your creativity.
I’m not promising you anything, but there are other proven benefits to yoga such as lowering your stress and anxiety levels. So, yoga may help you relax and unwind. Just think, yoga could be a fun idea with side benefits.
When struggling with a problem sleep might be the perfect solution. Sleep restructures new memory representations. Meaning, we think about experiences in a new way.
Try sleep, you might find what you need in the morning.
#23. How About a Power Nap
This is my favorite. I can lay down for 20 minutes. Fall asleep and awake refreshed. This kind of nap stimulates right brain activity. That’s the half of the brain responsible for your creativity.
I realize not everyone can power nap. But it is worth a try.
#24. Believe It or Not, Play Video Games
Here’s a fun excuse to sit in front of your computer. If you pick the right games, you can energize and encourage a positive mood.
Moreover, you can increase your problem-solving skills.
You might want to try: https://www.lumosity.com/en/ OR
https://www.memozor.com/ both these websites will help you increase your problem-solving skills.
#25. Boost Your Creative Juices with Puzzles.
Let’s look at this possibility. Solving puzzles, any kind of puzzle, will free your brain from the quagmire of writer’s block. Cross word puzzles are especially good. They make you think of words in a different way.
#26. Create a Private Treasure Chest For When You’re Stuck
Try this. Collect things that inspire you (photos, quotations, small items that bring you joy).
When you’re stuck go through your treasure chest.
I love butterflies and carousel horses. When I see them, it makes me happy.
Remember, happy is a creative state of mind.
#27. Make a Vision Board.
Here’s a great idea. Make a vision board. Use any flat surface (poster board, magnetic whiteboard, a wall) to create a vision board.
The purpose of a vision board is to ignite your creativity by helping you visualize your project.
Include photos or pictures from magazines or find photos on the Internet Try: https://pixabay.com/ Or https://unsplash.com/ Both sites make it easy to find what you need since all the pictures are indexed.
For great inspirational quotes try: https://www.brainyquote.com/
When John first started writing he created a storyboard to keep his numerous ideas organized. He simply used a wall in his office.
Check out the best way to make a vision board at https://www.wikihow.com/Make-a-Vision-Board
#28. How About Exercise When You Feel Chained to Your Computer
Strenuous exercise is a fun way of getting your creative juices flowing. Choose an exercise you enjoy.
One study published in the NHI said, “physical activity is associated with improved effective experience and cognitive processes.”
In other words, exercise combats that mental fog and fatigue you experience from sitting in front of the computer for hours.
So, play some music and dance around the living room. That’s what I like to do.
If stuck at your desk, try these six exercises: https://www.doyouyoga.com/exercises-to-do-at-your-desk/
Sometimes we struggle with our creativity. Mind mapping is an easy way to pull ideas out of our own minds.
A mind map is a great way to connect ideas and look for innovative answers to questions.
Create a mind map by writing down a central topic. Next, think of related ideas or terms around the central word. Mind mapping is different from brainstorming in that it allows for branching ideas and offers a very visual way of seeing how these ideas are linked.
As you start a new project, create a flow chart to track your presentation or project from start to finish. Look at various paths or sequences of events that might occur.
A flow chart created from your Mind Map can help you visualize the final product, eliminate potential problems and maybe create unique solutions.
For more details check out: http://mindmapfree.com/
It’s kind of solo brainstorming.
This may come as a surprise. But research shows that blue and green colors enhance creativity. Maybe that’s why I love looking at the sky are staring at the water.
One thing you might try is having landscape or seascape pictures in your creative space.
For me, going outside is by far the best.
If you can’t go outside, try sitting by a window.
One of the most important things about creativity is the ability to look at a problem from different perspectives.
This tactic can produce more ideas than you might have had by looking at the situation from only one or two points of view.
Each hat is given a color and a specific way to look at the problem.
Red Hat: look at the situation emotionally. What do your feelings tell you? Consider your intuition.
White Hat: look at the situation objectively. What are the facts?
Yellow Hat: use a positive perspective. Which elements of the solution will work?
Black Hat: use a negative perspective. Which elements of the solution won’t work?
Green Hat: think creatively. What are some alternate ideas?
Blue Hat: think broadly. What is the best overall solution?
#32 Switch Scenery To Stimulate New Ideas
Consider working in a different location.
Research shows this is one of the best ways to increase your creativity. A new environment will help stimulate your brain. It may even help you think in unconventional ways.
Can’t change your physical location. Imagine yourself in a different place. Maybe sitting by a mountain lake. Laying in a hammock in Hawaii surrounded by a warm ocean breeze.
Obviously, if you can’t change your physical place, you can still spend a few minutes visualizing yourself in an exotic location.
This little trick is a fun way to spark valuable inspiration.
#33 Make Lists to Break the Chain of Writer’s Block
This might be the most valuable idea we give you. Make a list of the things you care about the most. This will help you focus on what is most significant to you.
Furthermore, this list will prevent you from doing things contrary to your best interest.
An excellent way to make a creative list is with the website; http://listnerds.com/.Creating and sharing lists will add to your creative process.
#34 Gesture With Both Hands
This suggestion may sound a little silly.
But a study found using both hands to explain something prompts the brain to consider multiple perspectives.
Using both hands may improve your creativity because it causes activity in both your right and left brain.
#35 Follow Your Intuition
Looking back, I believe the best advice my mother ever gave me; was to trust my intuition. She said if my mind told me one thing and my heart told me something else, follow my heart.
I have tried to follow this advice for my whole life. And I’m glad I have.
Don’t concern yourself with what others think about your idea.
Other people’s negative opinions are always creativity killers.
Be nice to yourself. Listen to your inner voice. You won’t regret it.
#36 Expand Your Senses
To do what others are not doing you must see what others do not see or feel.
Here’s an interesting idea. Lay down. Look at the world from your back. Observe the world upside down. Use a mirror to navigate as you walk down the street.
See a room as planes and angles. Are the colors brilliant or dull?
Notice the feel of the air and the sounds around you.
Experience metal as temperature, and fabric as texture.
Notice light and shadow. Are shadows gray? Or are they a little greenish or yellowish?
If you want to crush your writer’s block, expand your senses. Look at the world with an eye for detail.
The subconscious is a wonderful playground. Dreams are a treasure house of images, sounds, and feelings.
We tend to find more creative approaches to problems when we let our mind wander.
We keep a pad and pen by our bed. As soon as we wake, we take a few moments to try to remember our dreams if something seems significant, we write it. Later we add it to our journal or our storyboard
#38 Be Curious
Here’s another fabulous tip. Give yourself permission to explore new things.
Reading about widely diverse topics will open new avenues in your brain. This will also help you make odd connections between ideas.
Pick people’s brains. Talk to strangers. Ask questions. The world is full of different opinions. Seek them out.
Constantly add new ideas to your knowledge base. You never know when those ideas will come in handy.
Through the Internet, you have thousands of years of experience at your disposal.
Never stop learning.
Wait there’s more. Ignite the power of your imagination.
Imagination is the ability to produce images, ideas, and sensations in your mind.
Tapping into your five senses energizes your body and stimulates your imagination.
So, immerse yourself in your visualization, in order to boost your creativity.
Let the beauty and colors around you fuel your imagination.
Photography, drawing, and painting are deeply creative activities. Getting involved with art is a wonderful way to boost your creativity.
You say, “I’m not an artist.” That’s okay. Try doodling. Let your creativity flow through your fingers.
Take out your phone or camera, take pictures of whatever intrigues you. You will see the world differently from behind the lens.
Photographers and artists filter their world through very personal lenses.
There is no reason you can’t do that too.
#41 Ha Ha Can Lead To AHA
So, what’s the next step?
Laughter is a powerful force. Hearty laughter is a wonderful way to jog your creativity. Creative people can make ordinary things more amusing.
Laughter will jump start your emotional side. Discover that creativity comes from your emotions. So, laugh, smile, have fun. Even if you’re not feeling cheery, a hearty chuckle can actually trigger a positive mood.
Get silly to be more creative.
Set yourself free. Lose yourself in doing something you love. Love has loads positive energy.
Love will motivate your brain to be more creative.
So, if you’re miserable doing something. Stop. Try turning your attention to something you love. Even if it’s only in your imagination.
Imagine yourself doing your favorite hobby or being with someone you love.
Love is a great feeling to boost your creativity.
Now you have 42 ways to crush your writer’s block..
You need to be willing to take risks, set goals, and put aside time each day to write.
Seek that imaginative place inside you. Let your imagination grow until it soars. Develop a creative mindset.
Stop doubting your ability. Sometimes the true fun is the process not the product.
John & Patty @writingagreatbook.com 2019