You’re just not feeling it. Everything you write is crap, and you know when you say it out loud it’s not in the narcissistic way you go fishing for compliments on your literary genius. Perhaps you haven’t even gained the energy to sit in front of the laptop and create the crap worth moaning about. Maybe you call it writer’s block to its face, acknowledge that this too will pass, and cancel the search for your mojo — but now what? How do you shake that funk?
What follows is (brace yourself) the most outrageous and practical tips you’ll find on the internet. I know that’s setting a high bar, but these hacks actually worked for me in the past and they are my go-to solutions when I hit rough creative patches. But before I reveal the awesomeness (and don’t cheat by scrolling down!) allow me to play psychologist, sit on my imaginary couch, and let me assess the damage. ***Disclaimer: If I’m wrong, this was all Karina’s idea!***
Currently, your writing life may be affected by one or all of the scenarios below:
- You’re stressed out. Life has been more hectic than usual and you have not been sleeping, eating, or living healthily.
- You’re freaked out. There is a perceived or real expectation surrounding your writing that is causing fear. This may have to do with deadlines, your own self-imposed standards, or even a fear of success.
- You’re tapped out. All you’ve been doing is writing. Your lack of words seems tied to your recent production, as if there is a tangible limit you’ve surpassed.
True? Then lets dig into some solutions:
GO RUNNING – I don’t care if you’ve never worn sneakers in your life. Do it. When you crank up your endorphin levels you’re feeding candy to your creativity. Running’s not for you? Too bad. Wallow in your wordlessness. See if I care. JUST KIDDING! This tip is physical: revive your body, refresh your mind. Get your heart rate up and pumping and sit down to write as soon as you can after the cool-down.
SWITCH GEARS – Write something completely different from your WIP. Poetry. Erotica. A children’s fable. It doesn’t matter if it is of any quality, but this will stretch your imagination outside its usual confines. These welcome diversions start a spark that remind you why you love to write, and that inspiration triggers word flow.
STUDY CARTOONS – The story arc comes alive so clearly when you watch cartoons. This could apply to animated movies as well, but I’m talking a <30 minute episode of Foster’s Home for Imaginary Friends or Avatar: the Last Airbender or Legend of Korra or Adventure Time. The simplicity of a story well told is packed into these little gems and after watching them with a keen eye, you’ll be finger tapping your way from chapter to chapter again. Or you’ll get hooked on a new TV show…
So guinea pigs, if you’re stuck staring at the cursor, try the tips and leave a comment below to let me know if these work for you too. Have any suggestions to enlarge the list? Add those to a comment as well.