Five Tips For Curing Writer's Block
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Five Tips For Curing Writer's Block

I’m writing this because I have writer’s block. Sue me.

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Five Tips For Curing Writer's Block
Grant Faulkner

1. Exercise

This one’s pretty simple, but it definitely works. Go for a jog, hop on an elliptical, or lift some dumbbells and pretend that you know what you’re doing. Regardless of your exercise method, it will give you some alone time to just work out, clear your head, and hopefully release endorphins. There’s nothing that makes you feel like more of a go-getter than moving, sweating, and well… going!

I mean, I came up with this article idea on the treadmill. So...

2. Daydream

This is a bit similar to the exercise idea, in the respect that you get the chance to just think. But this method focuses solely on letting your mind wander and thinking about whatever your heart desires (without the added pressure of not falling off a weight-loss contraption).

In my opinion, the best daydreaming activities are showering and driving. Showering is pretty well known for being a time for thought and idea-producing. Have you ever heard of that waterproof paper meant for shower thoughts? The idea didn’t come from nowhere.

Going for a leisurely drive is also a solid method, just make sure you’re paying attention to the road! We don’t need to be going to traffic court instead of winning that Pulitzer Prize.

3. Immerse yourself in stories that are not yours

By this, I mean that you should listen to music, watch a movie or play, or read a book. Listen to, watch, or read whatever you find interesting, and allow yourself to draw inspiration from it and formulate your own ideas.

For listening to music, just listen to whatever artists you like, and whatever genres makes you feel and think. So if the country makes you think about love, or if alternative makes you think about death, or if punk rock makes you think about reggae, listen to it!

For watching a movie or reading a book, the same thing applies: whatever captivates and inspires you. Personally, I am not a fan of reading, so movies are usually the entertainment form of choice. And that’s the beauty of finding inspiration: it’s everywhere! Just look wherever you feel like looking.

4. Let yourself feel emotions

Louis C.K. wasn’t wrong when he argued that electronic devices and social media soften our emotions and suck a certain kind of reality out of our lives. He claims that we use them as a buffer to avoid true, genuine emotions, which as humans we need to feel. He once said to Conan O'Brien:

“Underneath everything in your life, there’s that thing. That ‘empty forever empty,’ you know what I’m talking about?... Sadness is poetic. You’re lucky to live sad moments.”

In the wake of modern devices, chances are you don’t experience all the emotions you are capable of feeling. So a good idea is to put the phone down (which is a fairly hypocritical statement on my part, as this is an incredibly difficult task. We love our phones.), and feel things that are real. Be up-front and honest with yourself, and simply let yourself feel sad, happy, or any other emotion that’s dying to flow through you.

An excellent way to channel these hidden emotions is by journaling (which is not a hypocritical statement on my part). Open a blank book, and write whatever comes to your mind. I personally love to take the Holden Caulfield (from Catcher in the Rye) approach, which is to start writing and never stop. Also known as free writing, this method allows whatever thoughts are on your mind – even if you don’t realize they’re there – to exit your mind and live on a page.

By journaling, you can allow your bottled-up emotions to come to life on paper, where you can actually see and understand them. And of course, by doing this, you clear your mind and allow space for new, creative ideas to enter! So harness those emotions - whatever they may be - into your writing and don’t hold back on letting the truth seep into your work.

5. Go out – anywhere

This is perhaps one of my favorites and can happen when you least expect it. It’s important to leave your house if you’re trying to find writing inspiration. Yes, your bed is comfy and warm. No, your comfy and warm bed is not the real world. So go somewhere besides your bedroom or the kitchen! Even if you just go to the local coffee shop and sit there and write, at least you’re out in public witnessing other people and things.

If you’re going out somewhere where you’d be talking to people (which is just about anywhere), try to meet people and be attentive to what they have to say (rather than what you have to say). You never know whom you’re going to meet, and you never know who’s going to have a unique story that inspires you. The way I look at it is: if you have the opportunity to talk to someone you don’t know, you have two options. The first is to stand there and talk about yourself and your experiences (which is tempting), or you can listen to them and only speak when necessary. If you only talk about yourself to a stranger, you walk away with just your story and no new knowledge. But if you listen to their story, whether you find it interesting or not, you walk away from the conversation with the knowledge of both your story and theirs. Listening is learning, in this respect.

6. BONUS: Just let it pass!

Just when you thought this god-awful article was over… surprise! I’ve got one more thing to say.

If time permitting (i.e. not having any deadlines), just let it pass. Writer’s block is not permanent, and it will run its course in due time. Chances are if the block clears up after a long period of time, your writing will only be better and filled with more ideas and passion.

Now let's get those creative juices flowing!

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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