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

 

 

Writing Tips – What To Do When Your Brain Says Go Away!

Brain

Annette Young - Authorby Annette Young

I love writing for a living. It’s not always the easiest job, but for me, it is the most satisfying. Even on those days when the words fail to come, I know it’s just a temporary lull in my creativity. There are days though when you may start to wonder whether a stick of dynamite might be the only thing that will explode your brain into operating again. I know from experience that there are a number of things that can stop productivity – too much stress, too much alcohol, not enough sleep, and, perhaps surprisingly, a lack of deadlines nipping at the heels.

There have been times when I have pinned myself to the chair, gazed in desperation at my blank screen, rubbed my head furiously, and even growled at myself a few times, all to no avail. Eventually, I have moved away from my desk, resorting to a last method, relinquishing the hoover from its cupboard prison, preferring the mundane action of cleaning, to the desperation of trying to write.

So sitting down waiting for the words to come, is not really the answer. It’s not writers block per se, it’s as if the brain is taking time off, but often when you need your creativity the most. Like today, I knew today was going to be tough. I woke up with a headache, I didn’t feel energetic or creative but I had so much work to get on with it, I wasn’t even sure where to start. I hate days like this when even the slightest task is like climbing a mountain.  Annoyingly, I even turned down the chance for a day out in the French countryside because I  needed to get my head down and to get on with it. In reality, the day out would have probably done the trick, but I knew that I couldn’t spare the time.

My tricks of the trade to overcome that fuzzy, foggy headed feeling include this selection of writing tips:

  • Switch projects, choose a different writing task and this will free those words.
  • Write a to-do list. Works well if you are overwhelmed with the workload.
  • Edit. If you are writing a book this is easy. Spend time editing a previous chapter and this will have you buzzing with ideas in no time.
  • Drink water. You might be dehydrated and fuzzy minded as a result. Have a bottle of water next to you on your desk.
  • Get outside. Just a change of scenery can click your brain into gear, breathe in some fresh air and let the oxygen revitalise your brain.
  • Exercise. When I can’t think, I go out onto my terrace and practise my yoga and switch off the creative process, when finished, I feel better, more in control.
  • Pick up the hoover, nothing will make you want to write more than having to do a bout of cleaning.
  • Read. Flick through a magazine, look at the reader’s letters, imagine writing a reply or actually do so if it gets those words onto paper.
  • Write down all the reasons why you love to write. By the end of your list, you will at least have remembered your attachment to the written word and feel more motivated.
  • Watch the news. Write a torrent of words that describe how you feel about the latest atrocity.
  • Visualise.  Think about your story, your article or your book, try to bring it all to life, but don’t think about writing.

You will find that once you have stopped the, ‘ I can’t think’ thought process, the words will come. Sometimes, the brain just needs oiling so that you can get those words out. Your brain might say go away, but you need to try to trick it to make it perform.

You may  have many more tricks to overcome those stagnant writing moments, feel free to share them in the comments section.