The Life of Bon: 14 Cures for Writer's Block

Sunday, June 09, 2013

14 Cures for Writer's Block


I still have a couple of seats left for our blogging/writing roundtable on Wednesday.  It's the roundtable to beat all roundtables!  Email me at thelifeofbon@gmail.com if you want in.  It will be held at a public place in Orem.  I am beyond excited.

Speaking of writing.  Tonight I had writer's block.

I knew I should write because I always write on Sunday nights.

But even more than that I knew I needed to write for me.  To clear my head, to let thoughts rest, to make sense of the whirlwind that is my constant brain.  Writing gives me purpose and fulfillment.  It is a need that is real and pressing for me.  It never goes away.  It is by writing that I make sense of my life and my experiences.  Often times I won't even know how I felt about something until I have written it.  "Ah... so that's how I felt when that happened..."  I'll realize...

And yet, tonight I had not one idea of what to write about.  Just a need.

So then here's the question.  What do you do when you need to write, and you know you need to write, but you have no idea what to write about?  No ideas, no thoughts, just that pressing need?

I ain't no professional, so I get stuck a lot.  But I also get unstuck a lot.  So here's some ideas that have helped me when my fingers beg to write, but my brain comes up with nothing.

14 IDEAS FOR CURING WRITER'S BLOCK



1.  Look at old pictures.
2.  Read other blogs (Interestingly enough I find reading old blog posts of mine doesn't help with this- I    almost get overwhelmed like "Freak!  I already wrote everything there is to write!"  Others' blogs does miracles for me.)
3.  Take the dog for a walk- get outside!
4.  Go somewhere public and people watch.  The mall is always a great target.  In the summer, the water park or pool works absolute magic.
5.  Read about current hot topics- something from Time magazine (which lead me to write this post on breast feeding) or Huffington post.
6.  Take a bubble bath.
7.  Carry a notebook with me as I run errands for a couple of hours, and write down thoughts or ideas as they come to me.
8.  Go to the gym or play tennis. (Interestingly enough when I'm engaged in physical activity is when I have lots of my inspiration.)
9.  Get out of the house.  I go somewhere- anywhere- and my mind starts to turn ideas like crazy.
10.  Write everything that comes to your mind the moment it comes to your mind (As seen here and here.)  It ain't no beautiful writing, but many times an idea will emerge.
11. Google "Cure writer's block."  Kidding.  Kind of.
12. Call and talk to a friend that you haven't talked to for a long time.
13. Write consistently.  The less you write the less material you feel like you have to write about, interestingly enough.  By writing consistently (for me, I write five times a week) we keep the gears and ideas turning in our heads.  (I once talked to a friend who hadn't blogged for six months because she said she had nothing going on in her life.  Not one thing in six months?  It's just because she wasn't practicing writing, but certainly there was something worthy or writing.)
14. Write somewhere totally different for a day- a new coffee shop, a park, a library...

That's all I got people.  You got some ideas to add to the pot?  List them in the comments and my favorites will be posted with a link to your blog on Wednesday.

Related:  Eight things I do for my blog that have nothing to do with blogging, So you wanna be a blogger part one and part two 

13 comments:

  1. I love this blog. Writers block is the worst. I had a blog last year that I consistently wrote in and I never felt like I was lacking inspiration. Then I decided to take some time off and coming back to blogging was such a struggle. It really does feel like you have nothing going on when your mind isn't in the right mindset. You just have to stick to it!

    When I struggle with writers block, I turn to some old favorites. I keep a stack of my favorite books right next to my bed and when I can't write, I look to the masters for some inspiration. Reading the beautiful words of others makes me want to create more beautiful words of my own.

    I also bought a notebook recently that has first lines of books as micro-text lining the pages instead of just regular lines. I can get inspiration from the classics as I write. It also kind of looks like their words are supporting mine, holding them up and telling my words they can do it! I found that at outofprintclothing.com


    I love this blog. :)

    Emma
    www.emmajphelps.blogspot.com

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  2. Loved this post. When I get writer's block, I start writing lists of things. Just random lists. Things I want for my birthday, moments I'd like to forget, things I would show you if you came to visit my city for the day. That usually gets the creative juices flowing.

    I also find that reading the comments on my blog posts helps a lot. People often leave suggestions about what they would love to read. "Oh I would love to read a part 2 of this!" Sometimes you have to read in between the lines though. Ex: "Whatever happened to that old guy you mentioned in the story anyways?"

    I live abroad, so I cheat a lot and just talk about how weird French people are. :)

    Patricia
    http://www.kissesandcroissants.com/

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  3. Great tips. When I get an idea for a post, I try to memo it in my phone.

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  4. Great tips. My ideas always come to me when I am driving LOL!

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  5. Loved this! I find I have writers block pretty rarely (thank Goodness!), but agree with all the tips you gave. Inspiration is everywhere! Hot topics, general life issues, mental angst...there is always something:) I also agree with writing consistently. The more I write the more I find phrases in my head that "have to get out." Blogging rocks, huh? The ability to write daily makes me happy.

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  6. Writers block gets me all the time! I like to read other peoples blogs for inspiration or change it up and watch videos on youtube the people on youtube can be inspiring xx

    http://blueeyedb.blogspot.co.uk/

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  7. One of my favorite ways to cure writer's block is to attack some crazy housewife project like I'm about to get fired if I don't: whether it's cooking, de-cluttering, or wiping out the grime that's gotten in the grout (again), housewife-type duties always get my gears going.

    Maybe it's cuz I hate doing them so much that my brain immediately crafts an escape.

    My brain's kinda awesome like that.

    http://autodidacticambitions.blogspot.com

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  8. I have some blog series that I started way back in the day, ones that I only update periodically. If I really feel like blogging, but I don't have any special inspiration, then I just add a post to one of the series I've already started. (Specifically, addressing virginity myths, explaining my feminism, sharing my adventures with online dating, and talking about consent).

    Sometimes when I'm blogging, I'll write out a paragraph or two that I really like, but I'll realize it's a crazy tangent from my post. I keep a word document for these snippets, and when I have writer's block, I just pull up the word document and choose a topic. In the same document, I keep a list of blog ideas too.

    Finding a link-up to join is another source of inspiration. My book reviews are often scheduled in advance. I write them when I have the time, which isn't always on Friday when the link-up occurs. Doing the "Blog Every Day in May" challenge really encouraged my writing with all the different prompts. When I had extra time, I just went through the list, found a prompt that spoke to me in the moment, and wrote that blog post in advance. I will definitely turn to prompt lists again in the future.

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  9. writers block is the worst! now if only I will remember to come here when I have writers block!

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  10. I've definitely been there before and with my horrible memory I am always forgetting about awesome ideas I have for posts. I will wake up in the middle of the night and remember and quickly jot it down. I've found that I have a day where I think about 7 different posts. Sometimes I can write it all in one sitting, but I occasionally have to drag it out for a few days to get my thoughts straightened out.

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  11. Great ideas. I also keep a list of prompts or google "writer's prompts" and just start jotting things down. That has never become a post, but it's given birth to one for sure.

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  12. I had a quote on my classroom wall by Terry Pratchett : “There's no such thing as writer's block. That was invented by people in California who couldn't write.”

    It was mainly a joke, because obviously writers block exists-- but in my classroom, and in my life, we just pretend it doesn't and we write anyway.

    [One thing I do though that can usually help me out of a slump is to mix up my medium: just like artists who change from oil to watercolors, I have found that switching from computer and keyboard to pencil and paper not only helps me write more freely, it changes my writing voice as well. I used this practice with my students as well, and told them to get out of their desks and lay on the floor or stand by the window or turn their notebook sideways. When your body is being creative, a lot of times your mind with follow! :)]

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  13. as you know i mostly blog from my phone. whenever i have an idea, i start a draft post on my phone. on days i have nothing to say/no time to post, i go back to one of those drafts. i also take the majority of pictures on my phone. if i don't already have a post in mind, i look through the pictures on my phone. i usually come up with something to say pretty quickly after that

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