As a writer, I can honestly say that the hardest part of writing is writing. A blank sheet of paper or a blank computer screen can be very intimidating. You may have something started already, but sometimes developing an idea can be just as daunting. There are many different ways to overcome writer’s block and here are some of my favorites:
- Listen. The everyday conversations of people can be not only thought provoking, but also quite humorous. Listen to the woman in front of you in the supermarket who is complaining about her day to someone over her cell phone. Listen to a new father who is trying to calm his wailing child on the plane while passengers glare. Listen to a student talking about how their science teacher obviously hates them because the teacher gave them a seven out of fifteen on the last test. People say interesting things that just might resonate in your mind and spark an idea.
- Take a hike. Whether you write poetry or murder mysteries, going on a walk can clear your mind. You’re not required to pack up and head to the trails (although you can if you want!), just give yourself a change of scenery. Walk the dog, visit the neighbors, or even take a lap around your house. A new environment will stimulate your brain and before you know it you’ll be running back to your notebook.
- Write. Don’t think. Flip to a new page or open up a new document and write down everything that you think of. Don’t be afraid to stop in the middle of sentences if you think of something you’d rather be writing about. Just stop and go to the next line or press ‘enter.’ Your brain is constantly making connections and although you may start off with something as simple as describing a glass of water, you could eventually come up with the crazy plot twist you’ve been trying to think of for weeks. If you don’t get any useful new ideas, don’t fret. Your brain will now be more alert and ready for whatever challenges you present.