Your New Guide to Overcome Writer's Block

Is a looming deadline the only thing that seems to drag any kind of writing out of you these days? Are you feeling tired, uninspired and sick of your own words? Maybe you’ve even tried the unfailing ‘How to Get Over Writer’s Block’ search on Google but find that just taking a walk around the block or playing with a pet isn’t quite leaving you overwhelmed with the inspiration and desire to spill your heart on paper. 

via flickr

If any of these symptoms sound like you, keep on reading for some tried and tested (if unorthodox) ways of overcoming Writer’s Block.

 

1. Watch A Movie...that You Don’t Understand.

Cheat on your current marathon on Netflix and head out of your preferred genre for a bit. Pick a movie from a country you’ve never been to, or watch in a language you don’t understand (subtitles exist for this exact reason). This is our virtual version of taking a walk to restore your creative juices. Have you ever watched an Iranian sports flick? A Brazilian suspense drama? An Egyptian thriller? Learn how storytelling can drastically change from one culture to the next and observe how your unique background and values make you interpret the story differently form other viewers. Hopefully, this will stimulate alternate styles of thinking for those of you working on an academic paper. Go grab a bowl of buttery popcorn and take a well deserved break! In the name of academia, of course. 

 

2. Plan a Photo Shoot...Where You’re the Model!

Hold a blow-out photography session in the privacy of your room, your house, a secluded park (or hey, if you’re all right with a public shoot, that’s great!) The model? You, of course! Whether you just want to take a sweet and simple passport-sized photo that looks half decent or decide to go all out and pose as a socialite from Elizabethan England, the options are endless. Go wild with costumes, make-up, equipment, and maybe even try to ‘live’ as one of your characters if you’re experiencing trouble in fleshing out your fictional worlds and their residents. A little self-admiration in the name of art is never a bad thing!

 

3. Go on a Trip...and Wing It. 

We’re not suggesting that you stow away on a commercial airline, but rather just pick up your essentials and head out the door, letting the local train/bus/share van decide where you’ll be deposited. In a few hours, you’ve cast off your ‘urban/suburban resident’ label and are a traveler about to take in new sights, sounds (and hopefully tastes) in uncharted territory. For more impact, go wireless and keep your phone solely for some #aesthetic #wanderlust shots as you find your way around with only local maps. Extra credit if you get to your location by sleeping on the train and wake up disoriented and with no idea as to where you’ve ended up. This is a great exercise for aspiring fantasy writers who want to experience world building from a character's point of view.

via wallhere

 

4. Take up a Hobby...a Painful One

Sure, painting a picture is lovely and elegant and can help you get a feel for what you’re working on through better visualization of concepts and what not...but why not ice skating? We assure you, after half a dozen falls and slips and near misses on a freezing cold slab, you’ll be able to describe your latest fight scene and its aftereffects in graphic, visceral and eerily lifelike detail. And no one needs to know that that description of your still developing protagonist smashing to the ground on his face after a crushing defeat was inspired from your real life attempt at a figure eight. For that matter other strange, incompatible interests could help open your world view and make your writing richer, all the while helping to add a bit of eccentricity to your image. With that in mind, what kind of story are you writing? One that needs a bout of fencing? Computer Programming? Opera? Parkour? Slam Poetry? Cookery?  The possibilities go on...

 

5. Do Something New...that you Absolutely Hate

So maybe you know that a Calculus class isn’t for you. Or perhaps it’s a dance party. Cuddling reptiles? Growing a beard? Florescent pink dresses? Coffee? Tea? Doesn’t matter. Pick the thing you detest and make every effort to avoid in real life...but this time, throw yourself straight into it. It’s for the sake of your art, remember? After you’ve finished surviving that class, or stumble back home with more stubble you can handle, or in a headache inducing pink dress (or maybe all three), you’ll probably be more than just a little disconcerted. Pull out a sheet of paper, or power on your laptop and give way to all your hatred, opposition, ranting, complaining and hyperboles. This exercise is suitable for those writing political speeches, argumentative essays for class, satire, blog posts or personal editorials. 

 

6. Boost Your Self-Confidence...by Seeing True Mediocrity

Maybe not the most...dignified, shall we say, way of getting your writing back to form, but when your craft is in danger, you need to be ready to do anything to save it. In this case, we suggest soothing your bruised ego and battered spirits by sneering at some of the worst pieces of literature that not only saw the light of day but ran into thousands or even millions of copies. Where's the best place to get your fill of virtual bashing? Goodreads' one-star reviews, of course! Settle down with a beverage and go through some of the harshest, most caustic comments that indignant readers have left behind as a memorial to the novels they've loathed. Here is a particularly excellent specimen. 

Petty lightheartedness aside, this is an ideal way to take a mental break from your own writing whilst studying the errors and poor judgment calls of published authors, making sure not to repeat them in your own work. 

via Flickr Hive Mind

 

Good luck with all your projects and remember that after following through with each funky suggestion, you need one essential component to ensure its success:

You must write!