So you have a deadline looming, or you want to write that content. A blog, or perhaps a manuscript, there’s a hidden “book within” and … nothing. Perhaps you are a seasoned writer, and for one reason or another, you find yourself with a blank page, an empty screen feeling disgruntled. Maybe you are a business owner in need of content but are left scratching your head.
So to get creative- you can do a couple of things to help stimulate that wordsmith mind.
I often say in our workshops; writing has a certain elitism to it that is incredibly overrated. Writing began as scratches in the dirt to communicate. It continues to communicate. If we wish to utilize Search Engine Optimisation, then we need to be using the correct bindings of grammar and readability. However, FIRST- writer’s block.
1) Often creativity arrives peripherally. You know when you are straining your mind trying to think of something, and it just gets blocked up, nothing comes through- zilch. Then, when you divert your mind to something else- bang! The answer pops up just like that. For example, you are trying to remember that 80’s TV character, it’s evading you. Then the next day you are shopping for vegetables and BINGO! You remember Cringer is the alter ego of Battle Cat from He-man. So encourage your peripheral creativity, how so? Get it doing something different!
2) Nature Walk – beach or bush – as humans, we relax when we are in nature, and it can be incredibly stimulating to be in and around a natural environment. When we unfocus our minds from “other thoughts” and focus on the “right now” an outdoor wander can be the light bulb moment. Don’t forget to take a smartphone so you can voice record your ideas as they come through; then you can keep them for later. Often when we get a great idea, we aren’t carrying a notebook, and we can forget those nuggets of wisdom. If you have something on hand to record your thoughts- you will start to accumulate them like shells on the beach. (Social media tip- don’t forget to take a pic of something nice on your walk for your Instagram and Facebook feed.) Writers Block no more shall you show your face!
3) People watch- the opposite of the nature walk. Find a great cafe, and people watch. Complete strangers- look at them (don’t stare too long though or you will gain creep status). Use some imagination. Where are they going? What happened to them yesterday? Are they sad? Then make the rest up. What star sign are they? Do they like their kitchen clean or are they messy folk with a phobia of moths? Let your imagination take over; there might be a story in there. People watching was the go-to for Hemingway in Paris in the 1920’s and remains a wonder tool for the uninspired.
4) Try and write a paragraph about a topic without using the words typically used for it. For example, try and describe a field of grass without using the word green, soil or sky. This can be quite tricky, but it gets you thinking in “words” that are outside of the square and gets the brain-cracking in a different direction. An indirect thought is a wonder for creative stimulation. If you go to the pantry and it is nearly empty you will end up creating something different and unique- same goes here. write for 5 minutes and go back and replace all the verbs with something unusual- THIS IS GOLD! Writers block be gone!
5) Ernest Hemingway said “All you have to do is write one true sentence. Write the truest sentence that you know.” Start with this. What is the truest sentence you know? Start from there, and words will form. Write them down. Procrastination can be a beautiful bedmate. To counteract it-
Sometimes you need a footy coach rip, a harsh reality checks to get you going. Some no fluff no BS words of wisdom. Stephen King has sold millions of copies of books around the world. Many people know him for his horror genre not realizing he is the master wordsmith behind Shawshank Redemption and The Green Mile or by Me. The man is a genius and his other talent, and he doesn’t suffer fools. This includes his university lectures. I quote:
“Amateurs sit and wait for inspiration, the rest of us just get up and go to work.”
Remember if you want a long length of string, you have to unravel it and let it roll out, it’s no good sitting in your pocket.
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