So you’re trying to write more often, or finish that book you started, or write for the first time. That’s great! You know we love reading and writing over here!
We also know that sitting down and looking at a blank page can sometimes feel preeeeeeetty daunting. One day the words pour out, and the next, that blank page is your worst nightmare. Like most things, creativity can come in waves. We’re here to offer some tips for when you feel like your wellspring of inspiration has dried up:
1. Commit to writing at the same time every day.
When you are working on a story, one of the hardest parts is actually sitting down to write it. A great tip is to write at the same time every day and to commit to writing daily! We know some days will feel better than others, but once you get this routine down, you’ll more easily shift into the process as it becomes habit. It also reduces stress because you know you have time set aside to write.
2. Keep an inspiration book.
You never know when inspiration will hit! Keep a little notebook (if you’re old-school like me) or a note on your phone with any ideas that pop up. When you sit down to write, especially on days you’re feeling stuck, you can take the lead from your own musings. Plus, this helps you to see that everything can be inspiring, from the way the rain drips down the window to that quirky lady on the train who will inspire your next character!
3. Create a writer’s ritual.
Similar to how a person might light a candle before meditation or put on pump-up music before working out, what can you do to signify that your “writing cap” is on? Do something to mark the transition into your writing headspace. Heck, you can even buy a writing cap! Above all, try a few different things until something fits, and make it your own. Maybe you always play the same song or always make yourself a cup of coffee in the same mug. It might sound silly, but it will ritualize your process and help shift your body and mind into a creative space more easily.
4. Try some writing prompts.
If you’re staring at an unrelenting blank page, try some writing prompts! The prompt could be a single word, a short phrase, a complete paragraph, or even a picture—the idea is to give you something to focus on as you write. They can be used to inspire self-reflection or creativity. Either way, they will help you get some words on the page, which is the goal, right? Try some of the prompts here.
5. Clear your mind with stream-of-consciousness writing.
A cluttered mind is a total creative buzzkill, man, and we all have lots of reasons to be cluttered! School, friends, crushes, parents, work, social media, politics, cute puppy memes, you name it! We know you have a lot on your mind. Try releasing some of it into stream-of-consciousness writing. That literally means you write exactly what you are thinking, even if what you are thinking is “I have no idea what to write down.” The trick is to stick with it, and fill up two or three pages. Some folks feel this kind of writing is best when you’re writing by hand, and three seems to be the magic number of handwritten pages. But if that’s not your deal, typing also works! You may be surprised by what you discover when you write whatever comes up. There might be some hidden gems in there!
6. Take a break!
This might sound counterintuitive, but sometimes the writing won’t come because there’s too much pressure. Try taking a walk, watching an inspiring movie, enjoying a great meal, or calling a friend. When you allow yourself some space, you might be surprised how naturally inspiration can strike! It is also helpful to take a break from one project to work on another. If you can’t seem to write any more lines of that fanfic, try working on the poem you started months ago to refresh and reset yourself.
7. Mimic your faves.
A great way to explore your own writing voice is to write like one of your favorite authors. Take a topic of your choice, and try someone else’s voice on for size. This is a technique poets use when learning how to improve their writing. For example, even though I might like writing poems that don’t rhyme, I could try to write a poem in the style of Dr. Seuss to test out my rhyming skills. These kinds of exercises can really help you figure out what feels natural to you and find a voice that might surprise you!
8. Read something inspiring.
Sometimes the easiest way to start writing is to read. It’s likely that your desire to write was born from appreciating someone else’s writing. Reading great stories can help you feel inspired again to write your own. You know we’ve got some suggestions for you! Click Here