Tuesday, April 12, 2016

8 Tips for Curing Writer’s Block (Elizabeth)




Fostering a creative lifestyle is easier said than done. In fact, you probably have a mile long list of things that need to be done after you read this. Maybe you’re a mom, have a part time job, or you’re a high school student—like me. It’s so easy to slip into stress, to let the busyness of life overwhelm you. And it’s in this environment that writer’s block festers. Some say that there’s no such thing as writer’s block. Since I’ve personally experienced it, I disagree. In a way, it’s like a disease. When you’re immune system is weak, you get sick. When stress leeches the creativity out of your life, you get writer’s block. If you’re caught in the throes of writer’s block, stress no more. The following tips will provide you with the tools you need to cure yourself. And if you haven’t caught writer’s block yet, it’d still encourage you to read through this. After all, prevention is the best cure.

It covers what sort of tasks you should be doing in the morning versus at night and what activities help you brainstorm.


Tip #2: Listen to Music
Some people work best in silence, while others write best when there’s some sort of music playing. Look up writing playlists or (insert mood/feeling) music, and see what’s out there.


Tip #3: Brainstorm
Just sit down, and write down whatever your brain regurgitates. You’re sure to find some interesting ideas. Also try brainstorming with someone else. They’ll think of things you’ve never considered. In fact, I’ve gotten my best plot twist from chatting with my mom.

Tip #4: Journal
And make sure to have it by your bed! If you’re like me, your creativity tends to ramble when you’re trying to sleep.

Tip #5: Sleep On It
Your subconscious will generally think of better ideas. No offense to your conscious mind. Sleep not only ties up the loose strands of the day and clears your mind, but can also give you story ideas, but make sure to capture those ideas on paper as soon as you wake up.

Tip #6: Do Something Else
If you need your subconscious to work on something while you’re awake, try doing something else. Take a walk. Take a break. Try meditating. I’ve found that being quiet for a bit can be very refreshing in the midst of a busy life. According to the infographic from Quick Sprout (Tip #1), the best way to get ideas is during dopamine-producing activities and when your conscious mind is distracted. Sometimes taking a while to step back from a story and breathe is the best thing you can do.

Read books. Lots of books. Any books. I’d recommend both fiction and a few non-fiction on writing.

Tip #8: Let Go and Let God
Strangely enough, I’ve found that at the source of my stress is a lack of faith. I’m preparing for my next speech and debate tournament, trying to keep up with my personal blog and this blog, trying to rewrite my manuscript, trying to get scholarships to go to an expensive college, and trying to get a driver’s license. Several times during the past year, I’ve wished that there were more than 24 hours in a day. Then I might have a teeny tiny chance of getting everything done. But God made 24 hours in a day for a reason. He does everything for a reason.

If God wants me to go to a particular college, then I don’t have to fret about getting enough scholarship money to go there. He has the right people and opportunities just waiting to meet me at the right time—His time.

During January, earlier this year, I hit a major writer’s block. I was completely burned out, stressed out, and freaking out. That happened for a reason. Writing is a gift, but I had begun to treat it like a burden, just something else to check off on my to-do list. God was slowing me down, reminding me that He assigned this task to me and that it was meant to be a joy, not a burden.

To this day, I still don’t get everything done on my checklist. But you know what? That’s okay. I’ve given my life over to God, so it’s no longer mine to worry about. God has a plan, and so long as I’m willing, that plan will come to pass. So what if I don’t meet a deadline? So what if I don’t get everything done today? God has a plan for all of that. He knows what we will do, what we won’t do, and it’s all a part of His plan. I think Tim Tebow said it best:

“I don’t know what my future holds,
but I do know Who holds my future.”

Now, don’t quit studying for your next test, because “Some Writer Named Elizabeth” told you that you don’t have to worry about anything. I’m not saying if you lie down like a slab of meat on a conveyor belt that God will do everything for you. God comes to us, but we have to meet him halfway. Yes, we can trust him with everything—our time, our strict schedules, our lives—but we have to contribute too.
So what’s my point?

Work hard. Pursue your God-given destiny with everything you’ve got. And most importantly: Remember to Let Go and Let God.

And now you know the 8 tips for curing writer’s block! Do you think there’s such thing as writer’s block? Have you ever experienced it? What’s causing you stress in your life? What do you do to foster a creative lifestyle?

Comment below and tell me what you think!


-Elizabeth

10 comments:

  1. Great tips, Liz! I think of these, reading, sleeping on it, and doing something else tend to help me the most - I often get some of my best ideas while I'm washing dishes of all things :) And I loved what you had to say under "Let Go and Let God" section. I feel like I've come close to letting my writing turn into a burden rather than a gift lately, so I really needed that reminder.

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    1. Lol! I've heard quite a few people get ideas while washing dishes ;) I usually get my best idea during non-writing activities too.
      Thank you! I'm glad that section helped you :D

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  2. Excellent post. I do believe in writer's block. I once read someone said "I don't think there's such a thing as writer's block, only fear of being creative." At once I thought: how unkind to tell all struggling writers "There's no real problem, you're just afraid to be creative!" Obviously, I disagree.

    Since I am unable to write every day- I try for 3-4 days a week- usually I get stuck when I don't give myself enough time to write on a particular day. I don't prioritize writing, or I let distractions get in the way, and find myself feeling rushed, stressed, and uninspired. I have to remind myself that writing takes time, and it is worth it!

    Also, another tip for getting your writing unstuck. I've learned this one the hard way, over and over. Don't check your email or do *anything* online right before you write.

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    1. Lol, same here! That would be rather discouraging.

      I can't write everyday either ;( *sigh* And I can totally relate to that. It's so hard to balance writing and school.

      That IS a good idea. The internet can be such a time and creativity sucker.

      Thank you so much for all of your support and comments :) I so appreciate it!

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  3. Oops, sorry, it's Brenna. :)

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  4. This is a fantastic post, Liz! Brainstorming and doing other things (particularly ones that make me think, but not in the same way writing does) tend to inspire me and help me get past tough spots. And I absolutely agree with Brenna: the internet steals time. All of it. I know I have a few things in particular I can't get away from once I start, and if I let myself do them before writing, I never write. Thanks for a fantastic topic!

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    1. My pleasure, Hannah :) So glad you liked it!

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  5. Thanks, Liz, for a great list! I've also found that staring at the screen until I start to type works. . . really. : ) Once I am sitting down for "writing time" I make myself write. It doesn't always end up pretty, but at least it gets the juices flowing. These are wonderful ideas. Thanks!

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    1. You're welcome :) And I know what you mean. If I have someone depending on me and encouraging me, I always manage to get my story out. Thank you for sharing!

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  6. Thank you, Liz! These are great and will be very helpful to keep in mind!

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