Occasionally, I find myself lacking inspiration, as we all do. Last night, it led me to make this list.
For those who want to read just the text, here’s my list without the pretty picture:
25 Things to Do When You Have Writer’s Block
- Read poetry and pull the first line that inspires you to begin the next page or next story.
- Browse a food blog (or another type of blog that corresponds with a theme from your story).
- Put on your favorite musical artist and sing along.
- Write a bio for your “bad guy” or an unlikeable character.
- Grab a “brain food” snack: almonds, dark chocolate, etc.
- Look out the window and find a way to incorporate an element of what you see into what you’re writing. It’s raining? Add it. You see a fire escape? Add it. There’s an interesting looking old woman? Add her. Add one or all.
- Go for a quick walk and try to clear your head completely.
- Make a list of as many odd or off-putting characteristics as you can, and then choose your favorites to round out your characters.
- Take a 15-minute nap (guaranteed, you’ll have some great ideas while trying to fall asleep).
- Sketch one of your characters, even if you are a terrible artist.
- If you have a pet, indulge in some endorphin-releasing snuggles.
- Open another Word document or turn the page (if you’re using a notebook) and free-write. Whatever comes into your head, write it down.
- Change your position. Lie down or change rooms—don’t get too comfortable.
- Listen to an informative podcast. My suggestions include Stuff You Should Know and The Dinner Party.
- You’ll start writing again just to get away from it. Unless you’re like me and strangely enjoy cleaning…
- Do a Sudoku or crossword puzzle.
- Walk away and tell yourself you’re not allowed to touch what you’re writing for (insert time here).
- Go to a yoga class with a friend.
- Make a list of things you could do to literally put yourself in your character’s shoes. Are you the type of businessman to carry a briefcase? Do you wear glasses? Do you adore rosy lipstick? You don’t have to actually dress up like them, but it’s a good way to make yourself imagine these details.
- Have a glass (or two) of wine (or whatever else you fancy).
- Research an aspect of the story you don’t understand well: sword fighting (check). The lifecycle of snails (check).
- Get dirty. Plant something, lie in the grass—connect with the earth in whatever way you can.
- Call a friend or family member just to chat.
- Take a character you’re not “feeling” and rebirth them as another, keeping some of the characteristics. Make a list if you need to so you know what you’re keeping and what you’re ditching.
- Write a list of things to do when you have writer’s block.
Now tell me, dear friends, what are your tried and true methods? Let me know in the comments below!