Monday, November 28, 2011

4 Tips To Push Through Writer's Block

Sometimes I feel like this. 
Here's some writing tips to get your feet back on the ground and get you moving again.

If you are one of those ambitious writers that took on NaNoWriMo (writing a book in a month), I sympathize with you. I know first hand the unmistakable feeling that your brain is leaking our your ear. Forcing creativity day after day until there is nothing left inside that hollow shell we call a skull. Have you ever written so much that you feel like you need a month to recover and rebuild your lost gray matter? It doesn't have to be that way. We can refresh in a short amount of time and keep on writing. I came across an article recently that describes 4 things you can do to reboot yourself. Here's what I learned:

1) Channel Your Flow. 
The frontal lobe of our brain is a big control center; one that needs to be quieted in order to let our creative energy flow. Try this simple exercise to channel it's energy in the right direction: Take several minutes before you start writing to reflect. You know--get in the zone. I would add here that deep breathing also helps to calm and focus your thought process. It's during this reflection time that you set parameters for your brain. Think about what the subject of your piece is and what is the main idea that you want to convey. A few minutes of this exercise before writing will help glean some "Aha!" moments.

2) Cultivate Mindlessness
Schedule at least 30 minutes a day to not think. That's right. Don't think about anything--especially your current work in progress. Completely zone out. Do some yoga, stare at the sky, take a hot shower, or do some "mindless" work like gardening or sorting mail. Do whatever as long as it relaxes you and doesn't require any thinking.

3) Change Your Scene
I'm not talking about the scenes in your manuscript. I'm talking about you. Go somewhere new. Exposing yourself to a different environment forces your brain to reprocess stored content. In other words, it can give a new prospective to your original ideas which can inspire creative breakthroughs. So go somewhere new. Try writing outside, go visit a new bookstore or coffee (hot chocolate) house, spend some time in a park, library, or restaurant. Or you can be freakishly weird like me--I like to spend time in graveyards.

4) Nudge Your Muse
This is a hands-on approach to inspire you. Take a paper and list some key ideas from your story, jot down characters, and phrases. Now look for new connections between these elements. What does your protagonist’s secret mean for her enemy? How does the war-torn setting color your character’s first romance? The more connections you make--the more ideas you can add into your story. Personally, I like to find something that connects to several things and make it an underlying theme throughout the book. It's fun.

If you want more than a summery on this article, you can check it out here:
http://www.writersdigest.com/whats-new/4-ways-inspiration-helps-you-beat-writers-block?et_mid=526100&rid=3088815

Now go write!

1 comment:

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