Send the Dreaded Creative Block Packing

Annette Youngby Annette Young

It’s impossible to prevent the brain from spiralling into the doom and gloom of the dreaded writers block at times and yes, when it occurs, it’s dire. The last time I truly had a bout of the block was when I was in my early 20’s and the block lasted far more than the anticipated few days or months, it was actually a couple of years before I really got back into my writing. This, in the main, was due to my marriage break-up and the subsequent emotional events that occurred and, it wouldn’t happen the same these days because I have taught myself how to kick-start creativity more readily.

If my brain feels a little sluggish,  I tend to go for a walk in the first instance as just being out of the house for a while enables me to switch off from the frustrations and to absorb nature or life as it goes on around me. I may take my laptop or iPad and then work for a while in a cafe. But, there are other ways to combat the curse of the creative block and you need to try different solutions to find out what works for you.

Here are some suggestions:

Re-read your last piece of writing and spend time editing it if necessary. This can be sufficient to free up your creativity.

Collaborate with another writer on a new project. The interaction of another creative soul can kick-start your imagination. Sometimes, just switching to a different creative project can free the mind.

Write down a list of reasons as to why you started writing in the first place. This will gently remind you of your desire to enjoy creativity.

Have you had a rejection letter? These can be creatively debilitating and make you want to throw in the towel but, don’t let it ruin your creativity. Instead, use it to fuel your determination to succeed.

Are you putting too much pressure on yourself to succeed? It’s important to play to your strengths and to nurture the aspects of creative self that needs a little understanding. If you are trying to take the leap from hobby writer to serious writer, then sometimes, self-imposed pressure can be enough to shut down the flood gates of creativity. Take a step back and just breathe. It’s okay to have some time out but make sure you get back on with your writing as soon as you can and, try out some of the other anti-block tips.

Creative Writing

Don’t wait for the block to lift. Sit down for twenty minutes and just write anything. Just let the words come – in any sort of order. It doesn’t matter if your output makes little sense, this is a great way to loosen the grip of the block.

If your brain has well and truly frozen, go and take a luxurious hot shower and relax. This can somehow stimulate your creativity. You can also use essential oils i.e. rosemary to help clear the foggy mindset.

Set yourself some goals i.e. you will have completed the current project in one week, three weeks or two months- choose a time to suit. Don’t make the goal too tight  but ensure that it is not too flexible either.

Struggling to keep going with a project? Perhaps you need to hone your technique a little more? Try out some of our creative writing courses right HERE

Let us know whether you have any success with these block-banishing tips or, if you have any suggestions of your own.  Message us: contact@creative1publishing.com

 

 

Keep Those Ideas Coming

Annette Youngby Annette Young

I am constantly asked how to keep creative ideas flowing and yes,  this can be difficult if you feel overwhelmed by the day to day problems in life, feel tired or, just low in spirits. The trick I have found at those times is to take myself out of the office and go for a walk. It may not be a high-tech answer but for me, it clears the cobwebs from my brain.

A change of scenery, a cup of strong coffee and a chance to observe life from your chosen spot is often all you need.

It can help if you can train your brain to respond creatively on demand though. The trick here is to force yourself to write even if you don’t want to. Yes, it’s the last thing you will feel like doing but, once you get past the first stages of, ‘I hate this,’ you’ll find your brain starts to respond. The more you do this, the easier it gets to tap into creativity.

Start to think and feel like a writer. I’ve always said that I live and breathe the written word and if you are writer through and through, you’ll do the same. Even when you are not writing, you are observing life and there can be no better way to get ideas by the masses. Fiction and non-fiction requires the experiences and observations of life. I’ve always said, no experience is ever wasted. At the very least, it becomes fodder for your writing.

If you really want to write with heart and with conviction, go and live a little. It will freshen up your ideas and your abilities no end.

 

Daydream Believer

By Joy DeKok

 

With the recent death of teen idol, Davy Jones, the words to Daydream Believer have been running through my mind more often. It’s been a favorite of mine for a very long time.

 

When I was in grade school, my teachers sometimes had to pull me back from my daydreams to the classroom, and they did this with varying degrees of patience. Okay, so math was enough to cause my brain to freeze and science put me into a deep trance; I tried hard to concentrate. When numbers and science came together, I closed my eyes to hold back the tears. Really.

 

My parents were told I was a daydreamer as if that was a dirty word. Here’s the truth about all of this: I didn’t waste a lot of school time on daydreams. They were fragile, beautiful things that might get damaged or ruined. It’s probable when I was starring off into space, they’d simply lost me, again, and it’s highly likely I was hoping when I looked back at the blackboard, I’d finally get it. It never happened.

 

After a negative moment in the sixth grade (Yes, I was starring at the door, wondering if I could get a hall pass to get a drink), I tried really hard not to let my mind wander. It didn’t go well, and I gave up. I welcomed daydreaming into chemistry class and algebra. I wasn’t going to understand either of them, and was likely to get accused of daydreaming, so why not?

 

Slipping away in my mind was easy. I could be wearing the coolest of the cool hip-huggers with elephant bells, and dating either Davy Jones or Donny Osmond. I never entered the teen magazine contests, but I could win in my imagination.

 

But you know what? I knew none of those dreams would come true. It was the other daydream that mattered; the one where I was a writer with readers. Words filled my heart, my head, and my notebooks. Poetry flowed, and stories danced in my dreams. My mind was at home in these misty moments. It felt good and right. It still does.

 

I don’t know anyone who doesn’t indulge in a little daydreaming from time to time. We writers dream about what our words will look like on the pages, our names boldly printed on book covers, our characters, our reader take-aways, and emails from people who bought, read, and love our books.

 

Some experts call this visualization. This simple terminology switch, transforms daydreaming into a healthy exercise.

 

Now when I get time to stare off into space or close my eyes and go deep in a daydream, it counts as writing. Forget the hip-huggers; this is the coolest of the cool.

 

There has always been a difference between my teen idol infatuations and my writing daydreams; I believed writing was a part of who I am and what I was created to do.

 

That makes me a daydream believer.

 

Is there a daydream you’ve put off? If you dare to believe in it, you might get to live it.

 

Joy DeKok is a published author, speaker, and author coach. Because Joy is living out her dreams, she knows others can too. This is one of the driving factors in her writing, coaching, mentoring, and speaking.

 

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