When you’re on a roll as a writer, sometimes the ideas flow so fast your fingers start to cramp on the keyboard. Other times, however, the creativity comes to a standstill. The following are 5 tips that will give even the most stubborn writer’s block a nudge.
Old Fashioned Brainstorming
Years ago elementary teachers would tell their students to get out a piece of paper and write a topic, even just a single word, in the center of the paper and circle it. Then the kids were to write down every word or thought that came to mind no matter how silly or disconnected to the main topic it seemed. This old fashioned method of brainstorming is still incredibly powerful when it comes to generating ideas. Sure, most of the words won’t be useful, but there’s almost always a few nuggets that will get a fantastic piece of writing started. McKinsey & Company describes the best methods for brainstorming effectively at the corporate level.
Watch the News
Yes, the news can be depressing, but it’s a solid source for finding trending topics and fresh ideas. Watching a news source that a person wouldn’t normally tune into can actually help generate new ideas since different sources and anchors often present material in different ways. The local news can also be a good source of ideas when trying to write for a niche audience.
John Steinbeck reportedly told a friend who was suffering from writer’s block to pretend that he wasn’t writing for an audience or an editor, but for someone close, such as a mother or sister. Going from the cerebral to the emotional opens up a whole new way of thinking. An example could be writing a letter to a significant other regarding a new car that just came on the market. Picturing a romantic drive with a loved one is one way to spice up something as potentially dry as an automotive piece.
Choose an Opposing Viewpoint
This can get tricky in the age of political correctness, online anonymity, and polarizing opinions. But if approached correctly, a differing and even an unpopular point of view will draw in the curious and spark a healthy debate. For those who don’t want to delve into an overly intense, hot-button issue, thinking outside the box could include fairly benign topics such as new ways to serve Thanksgiving dinner or offbeat decorating ideas.
Do Something Else
Sometimes doing something else, anything else, will get the brain revived and thinking in different ways. Fantastic ideas often pop in our heads when we least expect them. Studies have shown that exercise, in particular, can get the blood flowing and boost creativity. A Stanford study found that even walking can get the creative juices flowing.
These are just a few ways to get the words and phrases flowing out of the gray matter and through the fingertips. When trying to come up with new ways to write and promote engaging content, check out our Content Marketing Academy. This information explains what good content can do for a company when marketed properly.
Media Shower writer Stasia Decker-Ahmed is a former elementary teacher, published children’s author, and freelance writer specializing in education, health, and medical writing.