Over the last couple of weeks, I have found myself suffering from writer’s block. There are 12 blog posts sitting in my draft folder, 5 unfinished fanfic posts in Evernote, and bits and pieces of class essays floating around in Word and Google Docs. Some of this stems from grief, other parts of it has to doing with graduation being less than 100 days away, and the rest is coming straight from the state of duress America is in. While I would like to put all my projects on pause until my muse magically comes back to me, life does not work that way. So here’s what I’ve been doing to ignite my inspiration and get back to writing.
Beating Writer’s Block at Its Own Game
Change of Scenery
Typically I write at home, in the comfort of my bed on my iPad. It’s my comfort zone. Though I love that spot immensely, back pressed against the wall and blanket draped across my lap, sometimes we have to leave our comfort zone to get things done. Grab a blanket and set up camp at the park for a couple hours. Throw everything in your bag and lug at your gadgets and notebooks to your favourite cafe. Find a secluded spot at your library near you and get to typing away. Hey, even ride the bus around a few times if that does the trick for you.
Recently I’ve been walking over to a local coffee shop or hanging out on the roof top of my apartment.
Now hear me out,I’m not saying hit up Groupon Deals and book the first trip across the pond, but traveling is a great way to jumpstart some writing. In may ways, it’s taking “Change of Scenery” and putting it on steroids.
Since August, I’ve taken a mini weekend trip every month. They have helped to fuel blog posts and get fresh content out there. I already have 4 blog post ideas from my recent trip it Georgia and Tennessee which was only 4 days in total.
If you can’t afford to take an extended weekend trip, perhaps a day or weekend trip in a city or town near by would do you some good. If you can swing a long distance weekend trip, save some money by hopping on Megabus or Amtrak and enjoy the scenery while you journey to your destination. Some of my unfinished posts were written while on Megabus last weekend.
If you aren’t aware by now I consider myself an amateur freelance photographer. Channeling the creative energy I have into photography often helps with my writing. The strangest things like snapping a photo of two friends on the street together or my fresh manicure against a particular background will do the trick when it comes to breaking the writer’s block.
In many ways, exercise has become a form of meditation for me. 30-45 minutes out of the day when I’m thinking of nothing else. It isn’t about how many calories I’m burning or the new email that has occupied my inbox or what absurd thing Spicer has said in his recent press conference. It’s just me and the bike or yoga mat or elliptical. When the time is over, I’m pumped with endorphins and my mind is clear. There’s nothing like a blank canvas for inspiration and ditching writer’s block.
Listen to Music
Looking back at previous works of fiction, I’ve found most of my favourite pieces have been written to certain songs. Fragments of the lyrics slip into dialogue and set the tone for how the chapters flow. So for my fanfic I crack open Evernote, load Tidal, and get to switching songs until I find the right one.
Being the good millennial I am, my phone goes everywhere with me. I do mean everywhere. If you were to unlock my phone and take a look at my notes, you’d see random sentences and paragraphs fueled by dreams or thoughts floating through my mind while riding the bus or little quotes from conversations with peers. But sometimes one needs to put pen to paper.
Yes my hand writing may look like chicken scratch , and I wind up straining my eyes to decipher what it is I wrote, but 9 times out of 10, this does the trick. It requires my mind to function differently and I’m less likely to go back and correct the little errors I see when I type. Having a constant stream of writing and thoughts, makes all the different when it comes to a research paper or latest fanfic update.That also means I’m less likely to have grammatical errors in my final work ,because I catch them while transferring the physical to digital.
That’s all I have folks. It isn’t one set formula. Sometimes it is a combination of these practices and others it only takes one to do the trick. Just keep at it until you muse returns to you.
Until Next Time,