Overcoming writer’s block is always a challenge when you have taken a long hiatus from the world of writing. Here are five tips and strategies that I have found helpful when overcoming writer’s block.
Carry a Pocket Journal
This is a fun and easy way to jot down ideas while you are on the go. I carry a small one in my purse at all times. These are great for when you get a brilliant idea at work or stuck at a stoplight, just whip out the ‘ole pocket journal and you have it for later. I also like to tape or glue little trinkets in mine (business cards, stickers, etc.) as these can provide inspiration as well.
Keep a Brainstorming Journal
This goes back to your creative writing course in high school. Remember when the teacher would have you list random words and do brainstorming exercises? That is the purpose of a brainstorming journal. I found this most helpful in overcoming writer’s block. For instance, if I am at a complete loss for ideas or inspiration, I will just write down a random word such as ‘detective’. From there, I will brainstorm for 4 or 5 other words relating to ‘detective’ such as ‘sleuthing’, ‘crime’, ‘trench coat’, or ‘clues.’ From there, you can brainstorm the other four words and eventually have some sort of idea. There are all kinds of ways to brainstorm, and I find that once I get going, the creative juices start flowing.
Read, Read, Read
Anything you can get your hands on. Don’t use the “I have no time” excuse either. Carry a small book, magazine, or your Nook or Kindle with you wherever you go and just take at lease 5 minutes to do some reading. I always find inspiration in other authors’ works, be it a stay at home mom who blogs or the works of Shakespeare.
Step out of Your Comfort Zone
I’ve often found that when I write on a topic that I am not very familiar with, the results turn out to be some of my best work. On Yahoo Contributor, I specialize in fashion and style related articles since that is what I am passionate about. When I get those days where I cannot focus on fashion, I usually look at the assignment desk or read on a topic that I am not very familiar with and challenge myself. This is an excellent way to not only broaden your horizons, but to be a more well rounded writer. If you are a writer who specializes in fantasy stories, try writing a news article. If you are into politics, try to branch out by writing on scientific topics. This can enhance your genre of choice in the long run.