An idea comes to you for a great book, film, or play. After you procrastinate for a bit, you sit at the computer, typewriter, or pen and paper, and you begin this magical journey. You are enjoying yourself through this creative process of constructive the best storyline and characters and when you least expect it like constipation, you get clogged. It’s an uncomfortable and inconvenient feeling you wouldn’t wish on your greatest enemy.
You sit there typing/writing, then deleting/erasing, typing/writing, then deleting/erasing. Nothing you think is satisfying enough to keep and in anger and frustration you save what you wrote and you walk away. Frustrated and wishing you were in a writer’s nightmare you begin to think harder and harder so you can continue. As much as you heard of writer’s block, in this time you wish it was a myth.
Like many writers I have experience writer’s block and I have had to find unique ways to unblock it so I could finish the magical journey. Below are a few ways you can unblock and unclog your creativity so you can type/write more and delete/erase less.
READ: The number one way most writers have heard is to read something. It can be a book of the same or different genre, a magazine, or newspaper, maybe even the back of a cereal box. Reading opens up your mind to new ideas and concepts and information you may have not known existed, which then could open your creativity to start writing again. The only thing you should watch for is plagiarism. Reading to unclog creativity, is not copying someone else’s ideas, it is a way to broaden your thinking so you can come up with an idea you may have not known without being informed by reading.
TAKE A BREAK: Being elsewhere other than a stuffy writer’s room (okay, maybe it’s not stuffy) is another way to unblock your creativity. Going for a walk, sitting in a park, going out to eat, or even going to a club or bar can open your mind of creativity. From seeing people and their interactions with each other, to seeing nature can easily cause you to come up with many ideas you would have not thought about sitting in your writer’s cave. Even think of going somewhere you haven’t been in a while or never been. Don’t be afraid to go beyond your comfort zone.
Start FROM THE END: The last time I had writer’s block, I choice to the write the book backwards. I had written the beginning and most of the middle and wasn’t sure how to get to my chosen ending. I decided to write the last chapter and from there I was able to spark ideas to use to finish writing the middle. It may seem unorthodox to write backwards, the thing is, if it works, who cares.
WATCH TV: Some of my ideas from my books or even my original plots were inspired by a television program or film. Watch television, a film, or something on streaming. Sometimes a theme or problem in what you are watching can give you insights on ways you can unclog your stuckness. Be strategic though, don’t turn on the television and sit for hours, make a schedule to turn on and to turn off. This way you are not spending most of your time watching television instead of reading.
STEAL IDEAS: Well, not exactly. Be inspired by people. Social media has so many people sharing all of their personal and private business. Even when you watch the news and see the latest headlines of your fellow citizens creating good and bad deeds. These are great ways to be inspired to create more storyline. The perfect example is Law and Order. They became infamous/famous for recreating storylines of news headlines. Whether it is the news or people on social media all business that becomes public is perfect for inspiration. Just make sure you change some names and situations so you are not accused of stealing someone else’s story.
WRITE A MEMORY: Simply write down a memory of yours. Whether good or bad, recent or not. Take the time to remember a birthday party, graduation, funeral, time you were bullied, wedding, birth of a family member, etc. Write down everything you remember from that moment and then write what you learned from that moment (if any), and what feelings you had in that moment. Go in to great detail with the memory. Write everyone involved in the memory, clothing you wore, the location, details of the location, if you remember, the smells. NO detail is too much. That alone could open up a wide range of ideas to add to your story and remove “the block."
SURVEY: Take the time to go on social media or use your emailing list and ask questions or do a survey. Let’s say your main character recently found out he/she was adopted. Ask your followers how they would feel, what they would do, how they would react, if they found out they were adopted. The responses alone can open up a can of ideas so you can continue writing and not be blocked for long.
Writer’s block is not fun. There are fun and creative ways to unblock it. Just make sure in all the ways you choose to bring your pad and pen or laptop with you. You would hate to have your writer’s block, unblocked and when you get back to your writer’s cave you forget everything. That would be more frustrating than the block itself.
I hope that was helpful to you and your writing journey.
about the author:
Proud Uncle Casey Bell has authored two Young Adult books, three General Fiction, three Non-Fiction, two Short-Stories, one Horror, one book of Poetry, five Children books, one book of collection of Art, and has produced four Word Search books. Twenty-two books in total, but has no intentions of slowing down. He enjoys sharing stories, ideas, and art that cause people to think beyond the box. Not only a writer, but also a playwright, graphic designer, fine artist, and fashion designer.