It’s not quite writer’s block. Writer’s block is usually a lot more severe. But we have all had those mornings, when you sit at your computer, with all you can think of to do is ANYTHING but write. But the clock is tick, tick, ticking your workday away from you one tiny beat at a time. Every muscle in your body tenses, and you force yourself to type. You type two sentences, and it’s terrible. Just terrible, and you wonder who in their right mind hired you to write.Calm down. This happens to everyone. For those days, when you just can’t get it going, here are few things you can do to get your writing groove back.
- Art Therapy
Many times your creative blockage is because you’re trying too hard and damming up the creative flow. If you switch to another art form, your brain will relax, and the pent up creativity will come rushing out so fast you won’t even be able to tame it.
Adult coloring books are all the rage, and maybe a bit cliché, but they work at relaxing the brain. Set a timer so that you don’t get lost. Twenty minutes is a good rule. It’s just enough to relax your brain, but not enough that you can get lost wasting time.
Have fun building a stock of markers, and spice it up with a cup of hot tea. Then, turn an instrumental playlist. Experiment with different music types—celtic music can make you feel energized. Piano music can soothe frayed nerves. Classical music can make you feel pensive. Then, there are nature soundtracks that can various effects as well. Turn the music as loud as you dare, and let loose. Don’t think about work or writing, just color.
Change of Environment
Creativity is a fickle mistress to serve. We who make our livings on it, only do so because we understand enough about it to know how to handle and respect its power. As such, there are a few somewhat hooey-gooey concepts that all artistic types must acknowledge at some point or another. You can call it, if you will, The Principle of Creative Energies. The concept is that the creative energy in any given space, is finite. Every time you create in that space, you draw upon that creative energy, until it is depleted. Fortunately, it is a renewable source. It just has to have time. In the meantime, you can write at coffee shops, libraries, parks, wherever. So, if the creative energies in your space are depleted, write somewhere else for a few days.
There is a link to physical activity and the brain. It gets your blood moving, pumping and feeds your brain cells. We writers spend a lot of time sitting at our computers. The human body wasn’t made to be in any one position for too long. It was made to move and change. A jog around the neighborhood can get your serotonin levels up, some fresh air, and the sights and sounds of the street can give you inspiration as well.
If you’re alone, the power of plugging in your earbuds and busting out your dance moves hardcore Napolean Dynamite style should never be underestimated.
It gets your blood moving, and gives you enough distance to open those creative portals. Plus, consuming an art like music, can unconsciously jumpstart your creativity.
Get off the Computer
Modern writers are trained to compose on their laptops. But, sometimes, our digital lifestyle can work against us. The familiarity can lock our brains up, or we can overthink the piece. Sometimes we are so passionate about the piece, or we have so much riding on it, our need for perfection throws us completely out of the game.
To beat this, try writing in a different medium. Raw drafting in a leather journal, for example, can help. It tells your brain, “This is not the final draft,” and releases you from the paralyzing pressure of “writing the piece.” With a simple pen and paper, just tell the story, or explain the concept. No big deal, just you and the reader. Once you build momentum, then move to the computer.
This also works with dry erase boards, and you can have fun experimenting with windows and mirrors. You can even enjoy creating your own drafting space by staking out a wall area to cover with chalkboard paint or dry erase laminate. Typewriters are trendy these days, but if you’re blocked on a deadline, they may just slow you down.
- Watch a Well-Written Show
Reality shows and formula genre movies aside, there are some really well-written shows out there. BBC’s Sherlock, Arrested Development, Downtown Abbey, among many others. Watching those shows from a writer’s perspective can actually be really good for your writing.
Try to figure out what the scriptwriters are doing. Listen to the dialogue and watch the plot devices they are using, just like in English class. Imagine the scriptwriters, and think about how they aren’t that much different than you. Think about how really, with some more practice, you do the same things they are doing. Then turn off the TV, and decide that you can.