6 Ways To Cure Writer's Block

6 Ways To Cure Writer's Block

It's absolutely curable, I promise!
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You've come up with a groundbreaking idea for a story and excitedly convert your thoughts into ink, blown away by your own brilliance and innovation. Everything is moving along wonderfully: your plot is dripping with detail and unexpected twists and turns; your characters are believable and fascinating; you want to live in the world you're creating. Suddenly, you reach a pivotal moment in your story and stop. You've hit a mental block and you can feel your initial inspiration leaving you. With great frustration and impatience you realize that you've become afflicted with the author's mortal enemy: writer's block.

But don't give up hope just yet, you promising young writer! Like most afflictions, writer's block is curable, and luckily for you, I've complied a list of methods which will bring the color back to your imagination!

1. Keep a writing prompt journal.

This is actually an exercise that I started using myself this summer, and I cannot testify enough that practicing with writing prompts will increase the flow of your creative ideas. Writing prompts offer you a suggestion or topic to run with, and all the rest–tone, theme, character, mood, plot, and focus–depend entirely on your imagination. You can pull prompts from other people or you can craft your own, but be wary about which prompts you choose. You don't want prompts that are too simplistic (i.e. "describe the best day ever") because you might not feel inspired enough to write; likewise, you don't want prompts that are too complicated (i.e. "write a story about a stranger who's put on trial for kidnapping, found guilty, and left to rot in jail even though he's innocent") because then you don't have as much opportunity to take the story where you want it to go. The key is finding a happy medium (i.e. "your phone rings at 3:00 a.m. and a voice tells you they know what you did; what happens next?") and going from there.

2. Sketch a character, scene, or location.

Even if you wouldn't consider yourself particularly artistic (as far as drawing is concerned), sketching one of your characters or a part of the world inside your head can be extremely helpful when combatting writer's block. Not only are you telling your story in a different, visual medium, but you're also benefitting from the scientific perks of art including heightened attention to detail, increased emotional intelligence, and improved problem solving skills like thinking-outside-of-the-box. If you're struggling with conveying emotion or eliminating plot holes, sketching is definitely a must. Even J.K. Rowling did it!

3. Listen to music.

Listening to music while you write is an excellent way to increase your focus and enhance your mood. Studies show that music influences our emotions (if we listen to slower music we might feel more melancholy; if we listen to frantic music we might feel more excited or stressed) and helps us stay concentrated on the task at hand. If you're struggling with writer's block, putting on some tunes might create the right ambience for you to feel inspired and motivated to continue writing.

4. Edit your old writing.

Sometimes writer's block hits us in the middle of our work and we're stuck at a crossroads, contemplating what action we want our characters to take. At these times, it's always a great idea to go back and reread what you've written so that you can get reacquainted with your characters and plot. This is also an opportunity to begin the editing process since you're going to have to edit your story at some point anyway. After all, your first draft shouldn't be your final draft.

5. Find enchanted places.

What I mean by "enchanted places" is to find a secluded, quiet place that inspires you outside of the comfort and monotony of your home. Your enchanted place could be a hidden garden on a building rooftop in the city, a woodland glade or meadow, a pebbled beach–anywhere that puts your mind at ease and gives your heart insight. Use your time in your enchanted place to mediate or write and you'll leave feeling more inspired than when you arrived.

6. Read.

If all else fails, reading is guaranteed to cure your writer's block. In fact, you should never stop reading while you're writing. By exposing yourself to various great works of literature and published authors, you'll expand your vocabulary, increase your analytical ability, and improve your own writing as you pick up on the prose techniques of others. Besides, who wouldn't want to claim reading as part of their "research" when pestered by non-readers?

Cover Image Credit: www.biographywritingservices.com

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What Your Hogwarts House Says About You

Get yourself sorted and find out where you belong in the world of witchcraft and wizardry.
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Sorting at Hogwarts is a big deal. Being sorted into a house is essentially being placed into a family while you are away from home learning about witchcraft and wizardry. Your house is made up of the people you will live with, go to classes with, play Quidditch with and everything in between. You basically spend 24/7 with them. Your Hogwarts house is your home away from home.

When you get sorted into a house, it is based on your personality traits. The people in your house are typically like-minded people who display the same characteristics as you.

When you’re a first year at Hogwarts, the minute you set foot in the castle you are swept into the Great Hall to have the ancient Sorting Hat placed on your head. This Sorting Hat decides which “family” you’ll be spending your seven years with.

For some, it is very obvious which house they will be in, due to certain personality traits they possess. For others, they may exemplify traits that fit a multitude of houses and are uncertain where they may end up.

To find out where you belong, you can take the official "Harry Potter" Sorting Hat quiz at Pottermore.com. For all you muggles out there, these are the characteristics that the houses possess and what your house says about you:

Gryffindor: The house of the brave, loyal, courageous, adventurous, daring and chivalrous. Those who stand up for others are typically Gryffindors. Brave-hearted is the most well-known Gryffindor characteristic, and Gryffindors are also known for having a lot of nerve.

Gryffindors are people who hold a multitude of qualities alongside the ones listed, making them a very well-rounded house. People who are Gryffindors are often people who could fit nicely into another house but choose to tell the sorting hat they want Gryffindor (there's that bravery). "Do what is right" is the motto Gryffindors go by.

Being a Gryffindor means that you're probably the adventurous and courageous friend, and you are usually known for doing what is right.

Ravenclaw: The house is known for their wisdom, intelligence, creativity, cleverness and knowledge. Those who value brains over brawn can be found here. Ravenclaws often tend to be quite quirky as well. "Do what is wise" is the motto they strive to follow.

Though Ravenclaws can be know-it-alls sometimes, they most likely do know what the wisest decision is.

If you are known for being the quirky friend, the smartest in the group or just great at making wise decisions, you're definitely a Ravenclaw.

Hufflepuff: This house values hard work, dedication, fair play, patience, and loyalty. Hufflepuff’s are known for being just and true. "Do what is nice" is their motto.

Hufflepuff is known as the “nice house” and believes strongly in sparing peoples feelings and being kind. This is not to say that Hufflepuffs aren't smart or courageous. Hufflepuffs just enjoy making others happy and tend to be more patient towards people.

If you ever find that you are too nice for your own good and cannot bear to hurt someone’s feelings, congratulations, you are a Hufflepuff.

Slytherin: This is the house of the cunning, prideful, resourceful, ambitious, intelligent, and determined. Slytherin's love to be in charge and crave leadership. "Do what is necessary" is the motto of this house.

Slytherin is a fairly well-rounded house, similar to the other houses. They are loyal to those that are loyal to them just as Gryffindors are and are intelligent as Ravenclaws.

Slytherin house as a whole is not evil, despite how many dark wizards come out of this house. That is merely based on the choices of those wizards (so if your friend is a Slytherin, don’t judge, it doesn’t mean they are mean people). Slytherins do, however, have a tendency to be arrogant or prideful. This is most likely due to the fact that everyone in Slytherin is exceedingly proud to be there.

What Hogwarts house you’re in says a lot about the person you are, the traits you possess and how you may act in some situations. But in the end, your house is really just your home that is always there for you. Always.


Cover Image Credit: Warner Bros Pictures

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Forget Halloween Costumes And Trick Or Treating, Inktober Has My Full Attention This Year

Inktober dares artists to push some time for themselves to draw at least one drawing each day in their October schedules.

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Besides waiting for October to celebrate Halloween, artists look forward to something else in October, which is Inktober.

Inktober means artists can draw things each day according to the month of October, under the requirement that they must be drawn in ink. Often times, many people will think it is a waste of time to draw during the month of October, but it's not for artists. Other than putting up costumes and preparing Halloween decorations, artists can try out ink for the first time if they have not done so already during this time of the year when drawing. Also, for ink, artists do not have to use expensive or any fancy ink at all, it can just be simply drawing with pens that have ink. And of course, artists need to draw on a paper to do Inktober as well.

In addition, this does not only challenge artists in drawing in ink but also their consistency and time management. Inktober is more fun if you actually do create one ink drawing each day in October. However, many people who are so busy with their lives, have the tendency of not able to have time to draw. Therefore, Inktober dares artists to push some time for themselves to draw at least one drawing each day in their October schedules.

Besides challenging artists for time management and consistency, it is also a time for artists to see and view other artists' Inktober drawings. This is also the best part. Artists will then can see many unique and beautiful Inktober drawings posted on social media such as Tumblr, Twitter, and Instagram. Then, all the inspiration will be overflowing within the artists during the month of October. This is the perfect time to do Inktober because this October is a big hype for many Halloween festivities and film anniversaries. Artists will then be in touch with their creativity and imagination this October.

Furthermore, this year is the first time that I have tried Inktober, which is great to do in an hour or so. Although I was cluttered with lots of work and homework, I decided to take a little time off from them and give myself some time to draw a little to celebrate October. It is a perfect way to cope with stress. As I was drawing for Inktober, I already forgot what I was stressing about. Then, I was amazed by what I could draw with ink. After, when I am done with an Inktober, I will have the confidence to finish up my homework. Other than that, you will also be amazed by how your Inktober drawing turns out at the end and the reaction you will get after seeing the finished product of your Inktober drawing.

It's another fun activity that I insist artists should do this October because it's another way for artists to express themselves through drawing. I also encourage artists to hurry to do some of the Inktober because it only lasts only in October, which means one month. Overall, I am excited to see what kind of Inktober drawings there'll be for this year!

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