Have you ever found yourself typing a story, stopping, and being unable to start again with the same clarity? Or in some cases, unable to start at all? Here are three methods to jump start creativity that work for me.
- Do something that is productive, but not writing-related. For me, it always seems like whenever I’m brimming with ideas and itching to write, I have no time to write at all. So, I thought I would use this to my benefit. When I find myself unable to continue a story or an essay, I simply walk away from the laptop monitor and do something else. The something else can range from homework to chores to working out… the one thing that is in common among them is that they are all things I would have had to do anyway, and in the middle of doing them (washing dishes especially, I have no idea why), the urge to write returns!
- Listen to music, especially music that matches the character/theme/mood of the story. There is something very powerful about music. It can refocus a person’s mind almost instantly and change how a person feels. I have entire characters and stories inspired by songs. Listening to suitable songs helps me to get “in the zone” for writing. At the same time, I have found that listening to music that does not fit with what I’m writing sends confusing signals to my brain and leads to me having to pick between one or the other.
- Leave blanks. Sometimes I have writer’s block not because I cannot continue writing the entire story, but because I have no idea what to write for the part immediately after where I am. In these cases, more often than not, I will choose to type out a little something like this: “A soft sigh escaped her lips as she thought of him. [blah blah unrequited love yada yada] ‘I’m sorry,’ The words, spoken in such a calm, quiet, cruel tone of voice, seemed to hold enough power to tilt the world on its axis. Her world.” Then I come back later to fill in the brackets, but meanwhile, I can finally move on with the rest of the story!
I hope these tips help and good luck to all writers out there. May you slay the monster known as writer’s block and have lots of fun writing. (I personally can’t wait until summer, when I can start again!)