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6 Ways to Knock Your Block Off

Writer's Block

Image Source: storystarpublishing.com

I think I am the odd woman out when it comes to “writer’s block“. I’ve never had it. Never. I have been writing for decades and it has never materialized. Knock on wood (a wooden writer’s block maybe?).

Whether I am assigned a topic or pluck one from my mind I never seem to run out of ideas. I do however, run out of time to do something with all of the ideas I have. That being said, I do realize other writers experience this often otherwise I wouldn’t feel compelled to share some ideas on how to “Knock Your Block Off”.

1. Do a random image search on Google or cruise around Pinterest. Use colors or odd words in your search and see what pops up. Save the images that visually stimulate you. Many of my pieces started from a thought-provoking, humorous, or inspiring image. I should mention, oddly enough images that have stirred ideas for writing are not always the same images I use in the piece they provoked.

2. Every time I think of something that interests me I write it down. Sometimes it is just a single word that somehow I had gotten tongue-tied over, or heard said differently. Sometimes it’s a sentence or even a whole thought. It doesn’t matter, if seeing someone eat cheesecake made my mouth water to the extent I thought about it through out the day I am going to write it down. Surely there are countless angles I can take writing a piece about cheesecake ..or drool…or secretly watching someone eat and coveting their desert…

3. Interview someone. Really. It can be anyone. Every single one of us has a story to tell, we just do not all have the gift to put it on paper. Be a good Samaritan and tell someone else’s  tale.

4. Try the “Letter to a Ghost” approach as an exercise. It will definitely get your mind working overtime and your fingers hammering away at those keys. Choose someone who is no longer living — whether you had ever met them or not, and write them a letter. Maybe writing a letter to Julius Caesar…or Gandhi…or Jesus himself will be cathartic and send you on a wild thoughtful posting spree.

5. Sometimes we forget other people do not know what we know. This does not mean that we know everything, just that we do know things worth sharing that may be helpful to others.  I get asked how to do this or that all of the time so one day I thought, why not write a “how-to” on this or that?

6. This one is my favorite . Every time I log into WordPress I open my dashboard and a new post (often times several new posts). In the Title area I insert each random thought or idea I had that day. If I found a great, weird, cool image I insert the image. Each image or thought is its own new post. And then…drum roll please…I hit “save draft”. If you looked in my drafts you would see a couple of pages of unwritten ideas. I save these for the days I wake up unsure of what I want to write about, or days I know I won’t have a lot of writing time on, or days when I’m writing on a heavy topic and need to switch gears for a little while. When you have dozens of drafts that are nothing more than your brilliant epiphany of an idea it’s easy to just start typing. Many of my articles have started that way.

I hope these ideas help. And, as always, if you see something I do and you want to see more like it or want to know how I did it, just ask. I’m listening!

beat writers block

Image Source: ramagazine.com

What tricks do you use to overcome writer’s block? What causes writer’s block for you in the first place?

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30 comments on “6 Ways to Knock Your Block Off

  1. slepsnor
    February 18, 2013

    Good advice. I have to admit to never having it either. At least, I don’t think I have.

    Like

    • C. R.
      February 18, 2013

      I know a lot of people do get it. Writer’s Block is the least of my worries…I either don’t have enough time, I get distracted, or I procrastinate.

      Like

      • slepsnor
        February 18, 2013

        I suffer from limited time and distractions. Occasionally, the procrastination.

        Like

      • C. R.
        February 18, 2013

        Right now is a great “for instance” moment…I am supposed to be finishing my book proposal :p

        Like

      • slepsnor
        February 18, 2013

        I’m supposed to be editing, but I got caught up with two new blogger award nominations. 🙂 One for aspiring authors, which is what has my attention.

        Like

      • C. R.
        February 18, 2013

        Congrats and good luck 😉
        My book is non-fiction, about marketing…do you have any idea how involved a non-fiction book proposal is? OMG! I think it’s harder than actually writing the book LOL!

        Like

      • slepsnor
        February 18, 2013

        I think the book proposal/query letters are always harder because you have to be so much more concise. Though that could just be my problem.

        Like

      • C. R.
        February 18, 2013

        Concise? Holy cow dude, for non-fiction it is IN DEPTH!!! You have to query with a proposal plus first three chapter. Proposal has to include all kinds of stuff.

        Like

      • slepsnor
        February 18, 2013

        Wow. That’s insane. I hope you get it down. Uh . . . that being said I nominated you for the REALITY Award because you’ve given me so much help with my own blog. You’ve also inspired me to pass what you’ve taught me on to younger bloggers who I have been running into. You don’t have to participate, but I couldn’t think of nominating people without putting you on my list:

        http://legendsofwindemere.com/2013/02/18/reality-award/

        Like

      • C. R.
        February 18, 2013

        Aww thank you very much. The nomination/award is appreciated because I know you do read my blog, re-blog my work, and comment often. I appreciate you. If it’s ok I will participate, but I need a few days to wrap up other stuff, like this proposal. When all is said and done it will be about 25-30 pages long.

        Like

      • slepsnor
        February 18, 2013

        That’s both impressive and scary-sounding. I could never do anything like that in terms of non-fiction. As for the award, there’s no rush. I think somebody I nominated a month ago finally posted one last week. I’m more interested in directing people to blogs that I think are worth reading.

        Like

      • slepsnor
        February 18, 2013

        That’s both impressive and scary-sounding. I could never do anything like that in terms of non-fiction. As for the award, there’s no rush. I think somebody I nominated a month ago finally posted one last week. I’m more interested in directing people to blogs that I think are worth reading.

        Like

      • C. R.
        February 18, 2013

        LOL sure you could!

        Like

  2. slepsnor
    February 18, 2013

    Reblogged this on Legends of Windemere and commented:
    Great advice for anyone fighting with writer’s block.

    Like

  3. Useful article, thank you Cheri, and I do share the same ideas you post here. Another inspiration idea is to read books, reading books makes me full of information that I do like to write about and share with others. Books make my imagination on fire, and I admit that reading helps me a lot in writing in a better way with terminology…
    I have never face writing’s block, thanks God :), but I like to confirm your idea about images, images inspired me for unlimited ideas and topics. Minutes ago I published a post inspired me by an image, the topic is in Arabic but it is based on an English language image, if you like I can pass the link for you here…

    Like

    • C. R.
      February 18, 2013

      Hello and thank you. I am happy to have you ping your link here so my readers and I can “see” how you used an image to generate a post.

      Like

  4. my pleasure… http://wp.me/pCNXO-1cR
    the article is somehow about being different and special, not just being a “copy”

    Like

    • C. R.
      February 18, 2013

      I wish I could read it lol. I LOVE the title and premise and totally agree! You could double your readership on that post by re-posting in English!!

      Like

  5. diannegray
    February 19, 2013

    Great article, Cheri. I’ve never had ‘the block’ but I do suffer from procrastination and total lack of hours in the day 😀

    Like

    • C. R.
      February 19, 2013

      LOL yes exactly. That is my problem as well! hahahaha

      Like

  6. E A M Harris
    February 20, 2013

    I like the idea of writing to someone who’s dead. I think I’ll try it sometime. One could also write to someone in the future, e.g. whoever is prime minister at the turn of the next century.

    Like

    • C. R.
      February 20, 2013

      OOoooh I LOVE that idea!!! OMG may I steel it and use it??

      Like

      • E A M Harris
        February 20, 2013

        Of course you may. I’m sure your letter to the future will be interesting.

        Like

      • C. R.
        February 20, 2013

        LOl I hope so!!! Thank you 🙂

        Like

  7. Pingback: The Idea Factory « Cheri Speak

  8. christopherkokoski
    March 22, 2013

    Great article with helpfull tips on bearing writer’s block. I’ve personally never had it either, but have experienced challenges and slower than normal creativity (writer’s clog?)

    Like

  9. Pingback: The First Time I Participated in the WordPress Daily Prompt | Cheri Speak

  10. OrganicWhisperer
    March 6, 2014

    As an instructor with students who are constantly lost and confused, I have never lacked anything non-fictional to write about. I always get inspiration from teaching because they are a constant source of things I didn’t understand were difficult. Funny thing is added a blog to my site, and just writing about random things…is a whole different story. Great article.

    Like

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This entry was posted on February 18, 2013 by in Advice, Blogging, Cheri Speak Blog, How To, Lists, Publishing, WordPress, Writing and tagged , , , , , , , , .

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