Inspiration for Winter Break's Writer's Block

Winter break is the perfect opportunity to pursue creative writing free from the bounds of college writing prompts and research papers. I’m sure you already know, but Oxford has high expectations for us. I wanted to participate in NaNoWriMo, writing a whole novel during the month of November, as I’m other Oxfordians did too. But with finals approaching and all of the last-minute tests, papers, and projects, we were swamped with work, leaving no time for NaNoWriMo. The perfect replacement is writing during winter break with the fuzzy blanket and a cup of hot cocoa at hand. ​

Want to write over break, but don’t know where to start? Here are some ideas to cure your writer’s block whether you are writing a novel, a poem, or whatever else you may want to write!

  1. Free write. Free writing is a great way to start a story. Just put your pen to the page and write whatever comes to mind first. Not only may you stumble across a cool story, but this is also a great outlet for stress relief.
  2. Go people watching! Go to a local café, bookshop, or other busy location with a notebook and pen or your laptop and sit down. People can be entertaining, surprising, and inspiring. Humanity is a great place to pull inspiration from.
  3. Keep a journal. Keeping a journal or diary of your day to day life will highlight what is important to you. This journey will help you write more and learn more about yourself and others. It’s the little things that count! 
  4. Check out your Pinterest feed. Seriously, looking at art and analyzing it can lead to new creative ideas. Even the angles from which photos are taken can cause you to think of concepts in new ways. Still stumped? Type in "writer’s block inspiration" on Pinterest. Voila! So many inspirational writing ideas.
  5. Write about a day in the life of your pet. How would you feel as your beta, a housecat, or your favorite golden retriever? If you don’t have a pet, go outside and look at animals in the wild (or on your block). Write from the perspective of the first animal that catches your eye even if that animal is a simple earthworm.
  6. Switch things up! Do you usually write in prose? Try writing in poetry. Do you usually write poetry? Try writing in prose. Sometimes when we get in a rut the best way to get out is to change our routines.
  7. Get to know your characters. Not all writing has to have characters, but if your writing does, maybe you are stumped because you need to develop your characters more. Do some brainstorming. Start a new Word document. What are your characters’ hobbies, favorite foods, favorite colors, favorite TV shows? What are their opinions on particular topics? What do they wear? How do they carry themselves?
  8. Google. Do some research. What interests you that you don’t know much about? Now’s the time to find out more about something you like. Who knows where research will lead you?
  9. Be a kid! Kids are amazing. They have a fresh and to the point outlook on life. At college, we are basically still kids, but sometimes we get to serious when we are blinded by our classes and trying to prepare for the real world. Refresh yourself with how it is to be a kid. Did your aunt or your neighbor request a babysitter? Take them up on the offer. Do you have a younger sibling? Play with them for a day.

While your writing, keep calm, write on, and remember, don't quit your daydream!

Image Credits: Darya Farrokhi