Isn’t there anything clinking around inside your head? A blank stare searches the wide gap on the page and for one brief moment the flippant motion of fingers dance on the keyboard. No, no, no. It’s all wrong. And then a quick staccato hop jumps all over the delete key. Delete, delete, delete… repeat.
Come on. What’s up with the muse today? (And yesterday and the day before?)
Not that you expect the heavens to open and dump a clump of ideas into your brain but a little inspiration would be nice. You’ve hashed, thrashed, and trashed all of your ideas over the last month. Though you remain consistent at the writers life- dedicating time and attention to your passion- you are coming up empty.
It sounds like you need a break. Your brain’s parched from over fired neurons. The thinking well is dry. All your writing needs is a little water. It’s hard for anyone to drink from your writing well when it’s spit empty dry. It’s time to pave some new pathways in your brain.
5 Writing Tips
That Will Fill Your Writing Bucket
Soon your writing will pour out. Take a day off or take a week and refill your thinking. Our brains need something different to focus on. When you step away from your “problem” the answers come. Remember the acronym “WATER” when you just can’t seem to get over that writers block.
Here’s a few tips I’ve discovered that work for me:
Work on your yard, your house, whatever. Move that body. Find that project that you have been avoiding and tackle it. Use new tools or new methods to recharge your thinking. As you push yourself to new limits your mind will open up to new possibilities and you will be amazed at the insight gained from pushing yourself physically. Also it will build confidence of accomplishing something hard. You’ve been pushing yourself too much, mentally. It’s time to rework those deteriorating dinky muscles.
Make a date with yourself to get away. Step away from your computer desk and think. Solve life’s problems, but not your writing problems. Maybe you need to clear out the clouded over areas in your life that are interfering with the muse. It’s time for a little brain bushwacking. What’s the big thing in life (not your writing) that is bothering you? Go for a walk, grab a journal, drive to a remote location and think, whatever. Clear some things out of your head. You will see all of your paths a little better when you remove some of the roughage that’s interfering.
Go somewhere new. You don’t have to go far. Take a new route home, use a new method of travel to take your kids to school, have you tried a scooter? Visit your local cemetery. Doing something new will open your mind to discovery. Haven’t you been trying to discover something in your writing? Well, if you haven’t discovered it in real life your writing will go flat. Splat.
Watch movies, smack a racket ball, attempt bowling (I can throw some wicked gutter balls), go swimming, etc. Think like a kid. What did you love doing as a kid? Try it again. Swing at the park, roller skate, play Nertz (if you can remember the rules), make a prank call, or invent a crazy sandwich. A flood of memories may trigger your writing block. Just play. And don’t do your regular go-to play moments. Stretch yourself.
Read (or Remember).
Most writers read so I don’t really have to remind you of that but try a new genre. The fast hard rule is to read what you write. But your brain is seriously parched from overdrawing from that well. It’s time to try a fresh, new spring. Read one of those books your kids rave about but you never cared for. Try sci-fi, non-fiction, or romance. (Unless, of course, that combination is your current twisted mix of writing style… yikes.)
Remember. Read old journals or look through faded family pictures. Scroll through, organize, remember, laugh, cry, hide or delete pictures. Slide through and take a mental vacation to a time in your life. Dipping in the past will retrigger some thoughts and emotions. It will help you to feel something and open up your writing to deeper meaning.
Pour Out Your Ideas on Paper
So now that you have new ideas floating in your thinking bucket it’s time to get busy and write. Let the ideas pour out. I never take longer than a week vacation from writing but I have needed the week get away a time or two. It has had great benefits. Try it, you won’t regret it.
Christie Perkins is a survivor of boy humor, chemo, and faulty recipes. She loves freelance writing and is a nonfiction junkie. A couple of national magazines have paid her for her work but her biggest paycheck is her incredible family. Christie hates spiders, the dark, and Shepherd’s Pie. Bleh. Mood boosters: white daisies, playing basketball, and peanut butter M&M’s. You can find out more about her at howperkyworks.com.