Tips On How To Kick Writer's Block To The Curb!
As a writer myself, writing to me personally is my love and my heart. So not being able to write something when I specifically want to is like death because part of me dies a little when I can't do the thing that I love so much.
It's sad to think about but just about every writer on this planet and probably some on Mars and Jupiter have been through a period where they haven't been able to write a single word. And it's sheer agony! Sheer hell! No writer ever wants to go through a period like this but unfortunately it happens alot. Usually if the writer's block doesn't last too long we don't get too upset but when the days start to stretch into weeks and possibly months then Houston, we got a problem!
The best way to get rid of writer's block is to stop it dead in its tracks before it can even start. Become proactive! And when it comes to writer's block that exactly what a writer has to do, become proactive!
So here are some tips on how to kick writer's block to the curb!
TIP 1: PRINT IT OUT!
Writers, buy yourself a printer. It doesn't matter if it is a dot matrix, ink jet or a laser printer, just buy yourself one! Make it a habit to regularly print off a page or two of your writing and hang it up on the wall of a place that you look at frequently throughout the day such as your bedroom wall, the bathroom or even take a couple of pages of your novel to your place of employment and hang them up in your cubicle. We writers are often inspired to write even more when we have hard proof of our accomplishments.
For you writers who are low on cash and can't afford to buy a printer now be sure to put some of your writing in an email message or on a disc and print out a couple of pages at your local library. Also, most libraries have Microsoft Word or some other word processing program already installed on their computers so you can also write at the library too.
TIP 2: WORK ON A TYPEWRITER!
People let's face it, laptops and desktops have made the typewriter cumbersome and virtually obsolete but who cares! Be a rebel and write on a typewriter sometime. Writers use this relic from the past as another way to inspire you! For instance pretend that you are a writer like F. Scott Fitzgerald, Maya Angelou, Walter Cronkite or any of your other favorite writers who had no choice but to use the typewriter to write on back in the day then create a fake pressing deadline and commit yourself to writing at least 200 words on any subject that you want. Just do it on the typewriter!
TIP 3: GO NOTEPAD CRAZY!
One of the things that I find that works for me when I feel writer's block sneaking up on me is to leave notepads, notebooks, post-its and any other kind of paper such as a grocery slip everywhere around my house.
I leave paper in the kitchen, the living room, the basement, etc. and when the inspiration hits me I write whatever it is down on the paper and leave it in a special spot in that area then when I get stumped about what to write i'll go to any one of those areas and look at what I wrote on any of those pieces of paper and the writer's block quickly disappears.
I also find that buying different sizes of notebooks and notepads helps too plus I try to get them in different colors to really jazz things up a bit in my writing life.
TIP 4: USE ERASERMATE PENS!
This is an absolute must for me! When I write I have to use an Erasermate pen. To me, there is something so inspiring about writing with a pen that leaves blue or black ink on your hand as your jotting down a first draft of an article. I'll tell you I have written many jokes and funny stories from this experience which is yet another way to get rid of writer's block. Plus, it's one of the only pens that actually erases! Cool!
TIP 5: WATCH TV WHILE YOUR WRITING!
Writers do yourselves a favor and tune the tv to one of your favorite television programs and during the commercial breaks do a little writing. Trust me, you'll be amazed at how much you can get written during a half hour to a one hour show. Sometimes I have gotten into my writing so much that I forgot to watch the tv show when it came back on after the commercial.
Writers, you might also want to try watching tv shows or movies whose main characters are successful or struggling writers. For instance, I used to love the 80's tv show, Murder She Wrote! The main character, Jessica Fletcher was a popular and sucessful mystery writer. The episodes often inspired me to get off of my lazy butt and write!
TIP 6: WRITE THE ULTIMATE SHORT STORY!
When I say write the ultimate short story, I mean write the ultimate short story in 160 characters or less. Sometimes when I am out and about on the town and hit with an idea instead of using my portable notebook that I always carry in my purse, I use my text messaging system on my phone. I key in the important words and then I send a text to myself. Sometimes I can do it all in one text message but one time I sent 57 text messages to myself on one short story.
EXTRA TIP ON THE HOUSE: To prevent my phone from getting damaged or wet I carry it around in my purse in a plastic eyeglass case.
TIP 7: BLOG ABOUT ANYTHING!
One of the things that I do to really get my creative juices going is to write short paragraphs or even a sentence or two regularly on my blog. And writers if you don't have a blog consider starting one of your own. There are so many places that you can do this for free such as Wordpress, Blogspot, TypePad, Blogger, etc. Start a blog and write about anything. Remember, nobody's judging you! Write about whatever you want and get feedback, positive and negative, which can also fuel your creative juices too!
TIP 8: BE CREATIVE AND CREATE!
Go online to CafePress or CustomInk and create your own custom buttoms, t-shirts, mugs, greeting cards, etc. They provide the items, you provide a few short words which is another way to combat writer's block. Plus, you actually might make a few dollars in the process.
TIP 9: READ, READ, READ!
This is one of the most fun ways to get rid of writer's block. Go to your local library or Barnes & Noble and select a book that you like and read it from cover to cover. I often find something in a book that I would like to know more about which leads me to research and eventually writing.
Also, try going to the library and selecting a book on a subject that you hate and write down why you hate it. When you do this you'll find that your writer's block has quickly disappeared.
TIP 10: JOIN A WRITER'S GROUP!
Whether it be a group that meets every Tuesday at the local roller rink or a group that you can join online, joining a writer's group can put you in an environment where you are around other people with your goals and dreams. You can hear stories of the triumphs and the heartaches of other writers which can also inspire you to put pen to paper and get rid of that writer's block.
Yahoo has an online group for just anything and Craigslist has a community section which often lists local writer's groups.
TIP 11: INVEST IN SOME NEW FANGLED EQUIPMENT!
Sometimes the latest hot thing in technology can inspire us to write as well. One of my favorite things is the Dana Wireless made by AlphaSmart. It is often called the ultimate palm-powered writing tool. A Dana Wireless is basically a portable word processing system with internet access. You can do alot of cool things on it like write a story or read an ebook. The Dana Wireless is a fun and useful thing for a writer to own. Writers consider making an investment in this new fangled contraption!
TIP 12: TAKE A CLASS, SEMINAR OR WORKSHOP!
As we all know, the learning process is a lifelong one. So continue to build on your knowledge by taking a class, seminar or workshop on any subject of your choice. For instance, I personally love comedy. One day in the future I am going to take a stand-up comedy workshop offered by the American Comedy Institute in New York.
Remember writers when we take classes in a subject that we are really interested in, it makes us happy and gives us the desire to want to learn. Often times, this can lead to writing about what we are learning.
TIP 13: DON'T WRITE, RECORD!
Sometimes, I just don't feel like writing but I want to write, if that makes any sense. To clarify, sometimes I don't feel like typing or writing with a pen and paper but I want to compose a story or a poem so i'll use either my microcassette recorder or the recording device on my phone to take down my words. Easy breezy! And yet another way to kiss writer's block goodbye forever!
Photo credits: Ilya Lobanov.