Frustrating is too small a word for the feeling of being stuck, creatively. You’re happily writing along and then suddenly all of the words are missing from your brain. You’ve forgotten where your story was heading. Where you were heading. And who put that semicolon there?
I don’t presume to have the keys to some mysterious world where prose flows like hot lava, but here are three tips that often work for me.
- Hug a tree. Not literally, unless you’re into that kind of thing, but going for a walk, particularly in nature, can release the creativity kraken.
- Massage your melon. I like to think of this as actually dislodging the blockage in your creativity cortex (which I’m pretty sure is not a thing), but head massages can help. Recruit a nice friend, or go pay your favorite hair salon to give you a massage-shampoo situation. Take a shower with a particularly strong stream. Or, in a pinch, just hang upside down a while. I didn’t go to medical school, but I’m pretty sure that increased blood flow to your noodle is a good thing. Noodle being the technical term, of course.
- Write something else. But, Cat, I want to finish this story/book/poem/tweet! Yes, I know, it’s the one you want, but is it the one you need right now? The best advice I’ve ever been given is, when really stuck, focus elsewhere. If you tell your piece you want to go on a break – It’s not you, it’s me. – she’ll look prettier when you return.
- Think of the worst idea, and do the opposite. I love this advice from a friend. When you think of the silliest/most ridiculous/downright worst idea for your next move, then think of the opposite (aka potentially better idea), you can strike gold. Or hot lava.
Check out my Just Say No To Writer’s Block board on Pinterest.
What tips do you have for getting over writer’s block?