Whether you’ve been feeling a creative block for the past few days, the past few months or even the past few years, there’s nothing fun about it. Many of us define ourselves by the fact that we are writers, we are creative. When suddenly you feel as if you are no longer to do those things, it can easily feel like you’re not succeeding and living up to your own expectations.
In spite of this, it’s just a block! Sometimes you’ll just snap out of it, other times it’ll take a little bit of an extra something.
Here are some quick and easy tips to combat writer’s block and get your creativity back on track!
Be aware of your environment
For me, environment is crucial when it comes to writing. Try to put yourself into a place where you know you’ll be productive or inspired. Sometimes all it takes is a slight adjustment to your surroundings.
One of my favorite places to write is my bedroom desk, where I have a whiteboard decorated with photos of my favorite writers and some quotes written down. With the stress of the week this area often becomes cluttered and an obstacle in itself. When I’m feeling uninspired, I’ll clear off the surface so that there’s only my whiteboard, my pencil cup and my laptop. This act of organization often mimics itself in my head and I’ll feel a lot less scattered, able to focus on the creative project that lies ahead.
Other times, it takes being in a new environment to get that burst of inspiration I need. Changing up your environment can make you more aware of your surroundings. This attention to detail often spikes creativity for me.
Take photos & carry around a notebook
Last semester, I took a class called Fiction Writing Through Photography. The class had three major writing assignments where we had to take a photo to springboard a short piece from. My favorite task was having to take a photo of a stranger and craft a narrative around them. It produced one of my favorite short stories I’ve written yet. You can find so much inspiration in mundane daily life, people waiting for the bus, stranger’s conversations in a café, be nosy!
Another way of finding inspiration everywhere is utilizing a notebook, don’t let it leave your side! Whether it’s an actual journal, scraps of paper or even your phone’s notes feature, jot down everything. My favorite writing stems from every day circumstances, and maybe something you observe happening would be a great scene to write. Even if it doesn’t give you a fantastical plot, it will get you writing!
Yes, I did just say Pinterest. Pinterest is a great site to get that spark to fuel your writing! Though it’s often used for DIY projects and recipes, the website has an endless amount of resources for writer’s to take advantage of.
Beginning with the structure of the website, boards allow you to pin images, quotes and pretty much anything that sparks your writing to save for a later time. A new feature is sections, which allow you to split off the information on your board into different sub categories. This is extremely helpful when creating story boards. Within the board, I’ll have sections dedicated to different characters, settings and scenes.
Additionally, bloggers (like me!) use Pinterest as a way to reach a wider audience to share their content. A simple search for ‘writing advice’ will provide you with thousands of blog posts that can lead you in the right direction regarding your creative process.
Here’s a sneak peak of the story board I’ve made on Pinterest for a novel I’m currently plotting!!!
Set Deadlines for yourself
Pressure can be a motivating force that will kick you into gear. As previously mentioned, being in a workshop dragged me out of writer’s block kicking and screaming. With set deadlines for drafts and polished pieces, I had no other choice but to write. Enrolling at an in-person or an online workshop can be a great way to subconsciously beat writer’s block due to the accountability.
(https://www.writersonlineworkshops.com/ is a wonderful website to help guide you into the direction of finding a FREE (!!!) online workshop that can help motivate you)
The reality of the situation is, however, creative writing workshops can often be inaccessible (something I plan on covering in the future), but there are ways to get around this. Create your own schedule with deadlines that will push you and ask a friend to hold you accountable.
Again, I know I just said YouTube. Surprisingly there’s a wonderful writing community called author-tube where you can find videos and resources. Something that’s been a huge motivator for me is a series by ShaelinWrites called As I Write. These videos are vlog styled and detail her writing process and everything surrounding it. For some reason, binging these videos gives me the writing bug and I just can’t help opening up a new document and creating. It’s like watching one of those workout inspiration videos and getting the sudden urge to work out (even when you know you won’t follow through).
My two favorite writing channels are ShaelinWrites and Abbiee Emmons, check them out!
Take some time to practice self-care
I think that this is the most important step. Be gentle with yourself. Your writer’s block could stem from being burnt out—and that’s completely okay. We live in a stress culture, everything is always do do do. When experiencing creative blocks, you are not failing, you are being human. Take some time to yourself to unwind and channel your energy into what will make you feel at peace with the world and your writing.
Thanks for reading and happy writing!