20 More Ways to Beat Writer’s Block pt 2/2   3 comments

by Elizabeth Huff

  • Try a Different Form of Inspiration – If you typically get inspiration from the same source over and over, try something different. A play, a picture, a video game. Anything can become fodder for your mind.
  • People Watch – Watch people in a public place with a journal close by. Write down things that catch your attention or conversations you over hear, or any ideas that strike you. Try not to look creepy or stalker-ish when you do it.
  • Use Your Expertise – Do you know a lot about a hobby or job? You can use your expertise to generate new ideas for almost any kind of writing. Write an article, poem, how-to piece, or short story about something you have experienced in your hobby or job.
  • Dream Journals – The usefulness of this exercise probably varies from person to person. Personally, I don’t usually remember what I dream about, but if you do, consider making a habit of writing them down and looking through it next time you need inspiration.
  • Let It Sit – Sometimes walking away from writing for a short time can help you to relax the pressure you put on yourself. Be careful that your short break doesn’t lead to procrastination.
  • Create a Character – Instead of trying to come up with a story first, try creating a character. Build him from the ground up and give him a few odd characteristics. Think of something he would hate to have happen to him, or something that already has happened that he has to get over.
  • Read Quotes/Song Lyrics – Write the story behind your favorite song or quote, or use them to inspire all new ideas. How about putting a different spin on the story?
  • Important Events – Brainstorm a list of important events and then write a story centered around one of the events.
  • New Experiences – Opening yourself up to new experiences can open your mind to fresh writing ideas. There are tons of free and low cost activities you can do no matter where you live. If you are from the US it’s even easier. Go to your state’s tourism website and request a copy of it’s calender of events or attractions. Usually it’s free, and you can find out about things going on in your area you might not have known about.
  • Use a Tape Recorder – Talking out loud can help jump start your creative thinking and focus on what parts of your story are lacking. You can easily keep track of any ideas you may have, and always go back and review.
  • Change the Audience – Most stories have themes that are universal, just the characters and situations change to fit the intended audience. Changing your intended audience forces you to look at your story in a new way, and focus on the message you are trying to get across.
  • Play a Role – Try changing the style or “voice” you write with. Try using flowery, detailed language, or write like you imagine a small child would.
  • Breakdown Ideas – If you already have a story idea, but it seems complicated and you don’t know where to begin, try breaking it down. Outlines are great for this and they can keep your story on track.
  • Think of Writing as a Regular Job – If you think of writing as a regular job, the pressures of “creating” maybe lessened. It also becomes a little easier to write a little everyday.
  • Remember Your Motivation – There are reasons why you started writing. What are they? If your reasons were good enough to motivate you in the first place, they should be good enough to re-motivate you when you are feeling less than creative.
  • Turn Off the Critic – It’s easy to criticize your work, after all no one knows your faults better than you.While you are writing turn the critic off and save his comments until you are ready to edit. Just get into the flow of writing.
  • Bribe Yourself – I think this would work best with long projects, like finishing a novel. Tell yourself that when you finish, you will do something that you normally wouldn’t do. Promise yourself something and then stick with it.
  • Daydream – Take a moment and let your mind drift over whatever it wants. See if inspiration hits you or just use it as a short break.
  • Don’t Panic – I guess the important thing to take from this is that panic won’t help you write what needs to be written. If you are short of ideas, the best way to go about fixing the problem is to try to systematically come up with ideas. Go through this list and do the exercises until you find one that works for you.
  • Read My Blog – It may be self serving, but oh well. On my blog you will hopefully find ideas and writing prompts that you can use to kick your creativity into high gear, as well as websites that can help you with researching the story you may already want to tell.


That is my list of 40 ways to beat writer’s block. If you know of anymore please post a comment.


3 responses to “20 More Ways to Beat Writer’s Block pt 2/2

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  1. Pingback: 20 Ways to Beat Writer’s Block pt. 1/2 « writingstruggles

  2. Research, for me, is the single best way to not only break writer’s block but prevent it from ever happening. The more I read on subject matter my story touches on, the more possibilities unfold, the more potential avenues the plot can take, and the richer the entire narrative becomes.

  3. Helpful and creative, I especially enjoyed the ‘Bribe Yourself’! Thanks for sharing, and nice blog!

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