What is writer’s block?
It’s that inexplicable dead silence in your brain when you fire up the laptop to work on a novel, a chapter, a short story… a blog post. It’s that debilitating feeling of utter emptiness where a story should be. You know its there, just moments ago while driving home you had a great idea but now you’re at your laptop and it’s nothing but crickets. Right?
Of course it is, you’re reading a “how to beat writers block” post instead of writing.
But fear not my friend, because I’m going to tell you how to beat it. For good. It’s easy. All you have to do is buy my special Writer’s Block-Away soap, made with only the finest of unicorn dreams, wash twice a day and poof… you’re on the New York Times Bestsellers list.
Yeah right, I wish it were that easy. We’d all be James Patterson.
But since Mr. Patterson seems to have the only magical bar of unicorn soap in existence, here’s five ways us regular folk can kick writer’s block:
1. Create a writing oasis.
It doesn’t have to be elaborate or a big office, just someplace that you can call your own. One that is strictly dedicated to writing. This is not a place to pay bills, check your emails and social media feeds, or mindlessly scroll through Pinterest. It’s also not a place for kids to play in or to be used as a clutter catcher.
This is a sacred spot—be it a cubicle in the basement, a converted master bedroom closet, or even an actual office. This is where you and your Muses come to write. Write your blog posts here, your short stores, your novel chapters, even your journal entries. Any time you need to write something aside from an email, write it in your oasis.
After awhile, you will start to subconsciously associate this place as a place of peace and creativity. Eventually words will flow like water just from simply sitting down in here.
2. Put your laptop away and grab a pen.
Studies have shown the creativity centers in our brains light up like Christmas trees when we use a real pen and paper. The same centers barely spark when we use electronics. There is a reason people have been spinning epic tales with ink and parchment for centuries. That’s the beauty of using a pen. Your hand has muscle memory for forming letters and words, so it’s like a bridge from your thoughts to the page. Your imagination simply can manifests itself in front of you.
3. Set a timer and write whatever comes to mind (yes with a pen).
Seriously. Whatever comes to mind no matter how random or unrelated it may seem, for ten minutes. Doesn’t matter if it’s fleeting thoughts, a grocery list, notes to self, or a string of cursive E’s. Just keep the pen moving across the paper until the timer goes off. Something is bound to spark.
4. Talk to yourself with pen and paper.
Write down some questions you have about your current work in progress, then answer them. And don’t worry about rambling or going off track, everything is plausible and useable. As questions like: What if this character was suddenly struck by lightening? How would they and the other characters deal with it? What is the worst thing that can possible happen now?
Then answer them and pick your five favorites and there you have a plot line. And you’re on your way to kicking that writer’s block for good.
5. Forget everything else and just write.
That’s it. Put pen to paper, one word after another. Words create more words, more words create ideas, ideas create stories, and stories create authors.
Never be afraid of your talent, you have all of the words you will ever need to tell your story. Someday you will be someone’s favorite author… but only if you don’t quit writing.
Bren Kyveli is a stay at home mom of a spirited three year old little girl and a couple of rescued mutts. She’s been happily married to her high school sweetheart since 2005. She’s had a deep love for the written word since she was a toddler; reading everything she could get her hands on and always writing in a fancy journals with a pretty pens. Bren writes contemporary Romance, Erotica and Drama in the hours left at the end of the day when her house has gone to sleep.