Posted in writing advice

Getting Through A Writing Block

Hello family, friends, and fans! 

Can you tell that’s gonna be my new catchphrase? Anyway, on to the article. 

You’ve been writing consistently for a while now when suddenly, you open up your chosen writing tool and the words stare back at you laughing because your mind is blank. 

Where did the words go? How do you get them back? 

FIGURE OUT THE PROBLEM

First of all, you have to figure out what the problem is. Are the words hitting a little too close to home? Has something in your life taken over and drained you? Are you heading in the right direction, so resistance is trying to thwart you? Are you burnt out and need a recharge? It could be any of these and more. Figure out what is stalling the words and tackle that. 

WHAT TO DO?

If the words are hitting a little too close to home, you’ll have to do some soul searching and personal reflection to work through the block. Working on yourself will not only make you a better, stronger person, but it will also strengthen your writing. If you aren’t ready to face whatever it is, either work on something else or rewrite the story so you won’t have to face whatever it is.

If something in your life has taken over and drained you or you are experiencing burn out, it’s time to take a break from writing and do some self care. You can get some ideas from my article “How To Get Your Creativity Back On Track.”

If you’re getting resistance because your on the right track, it’s time to push through. Brainstorm, make promises to yourself, and keep yourself accountable. If it helps, ask friends or family to check in with you to make sure you were writing on the days you said you would. 

Whatever it is, you can keep yourself writing by journaling about your day and thoughts. It’s a good practice to have, even if it’s just a couple of lines like, I went to the grocery store today. Got chicken to make orange chicken for dinner and other assorted sale items. Grandma and I went out to lunch and had a great time. It felt good to get out of the house, but as soon as I was back it was back to reality and mental health issues. Even if it’s that short, or shorter, just recording the events of your day can be a good practice that can help you get through blocks in the future. 

Posted in Writing, writing advice

Writing Methods: Rituals

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Photo by Free-Photos via Pixabay

This is the third installment of my writing methods series. You can find the previous articles on outlining vs. pantsing and writing environments by clicking on the respective links.

Sometimes it’s hard to get into the right mindset to write. That’s where rituals come in.

How Will a Ritual Help?

For anyone who has taken a Psych 101 course, you may have heard of classical conditioning. That is, associating one unrelated stimulus with something else. But what does this have to do with writing or rituals?

If you do the same thing over and over before you write, you can trick your brain into the right mindset. Doing the same ritual and teaches your brain to associate it with writing. Ritual will make it easier to snap into writing mode and allow you to get into a flow more easily.

Kinds of Rituals

There are lots of kinds of rituals you can try. They can be certain smells, certain foods, putting on a particular genre of music or a certain piece of clothing, or a variety of other rituals. The trick here is to only use these when you are about to write, and not at other times.

Tastes and Smells

These are some of the strongest senses and will be the most effective in getting you into the writing mindset quickly.

Always have the same beverage before you write. Light a certain scented candle. Eat the same food, like a candy bar or other type of snack. Put on the same perfume before you write. Use a specific scent in an essential oil diffuser, but be careful if you have pets. Certain essential oils can be toxic to our furry friends.

Sound

Play a certain genre of music when you write. Do you have a… [Read More]

Posted in Writing, writing advice

Writing Methods: Environment

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Photo by StockSnap via Pixabay

This is the second article in the Writing Methods series. You can find the first article, about different outlining or pantsing methods, here.

Creativity can change. Things that worked for a long time might stop working. There are several things you can do to try and prevent this from happening, including controlling the environment you write in. It’s all about training your brain and finding out what works best for you.

Noise Level

Some writers work best with background noise, such as music or ambient noise. Others work best in complete quiet. If you are one of the former, experiment with listening to music while you write. Classical or instrumental might be a good place to start if you have never done this before. If you want to try something a little tougher, put on a playlist of familiar music with lyrics. The key here is it has to be familiar because anything new will draw your attention away from your writing.

If you don’t feel comfortable writing with music, you can go to a coffee shop, library, park, or other public place to work, depending on the level of ambient noise you prefer. Experiment with different places and times to see what level of ambient noise works best for you.

You can also experiment with ambient noise through headphones such as binaural beats (check out Brain.fm), nature sounds, or other ambient noise for creativity or studying from YouTube or websites like coffitivity.com, where they record ambient noise and play it back on an endless loop. You could also put on the radio or TV in the background, but this might be more distracting than helpful.

If you are a writer that likes silence, invest in a pair of noise-cancelling headphones or earplugs. Writing from home or in a familiar place where you aren’t likely to be interrupted is key for your writing methods.

Location

Some writers feel most comfortable at home, with fewer distractions. Others like being around people in public places so they can people-watch or eavesdrop to get story material.

If you feel most comfortable at home, you have several options. You can…[Read More]