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