Any writer will have been there. The cursor blinking expectedly as you struggle for the inspiration that will get your creative juices flowing. The deadline approaching. The word count far from being met.
Stuck for inspiration?
The dreaded “writers’ block” manifests itself in different guises due to a number of factors. Perfectionism plays a large role in this. Before we start writing, we try to have it perfectly set out in our heads – sound familiar? Another cause is a lack of confidence. The lack of confidence to put your ideas, and therefore yourself, into the spotlight.
Regardless the reason for your writers’ block, here are some tips for combating a blockage in your creativity.
- Use a mind map.
Sometimes, I find that visually organizing information can help to develop ideas. Starting with a broad concept in the middle of a blank page, draw branches outwards. This helps to make links between ideas and can even be used with words. Using a thesaurus and finding synonyms is a great way of creating the ‘skeleton’ of a post, which is then ready to be fleshed out and elaborated on. Getting some vague direction can help. Think of it as a blueprint!
- Find a fresh pair of eyes.
The internet has made the world a smaller place. Use this to your advantage! There are a number of resources out there designed to facilitate collaborative working between writers. This means that you can receive useful feedback and help in developing ideas from a fellow writer, who you could then help in return. An example of one of these sites is Critique Circle, an online community to test out your ideas.
- Work on something else.
A lot of people will tell you to focus on one thing. However, if you have multiple projects on the go, it can really help to move onto something else when you feel that you are stuck in a rut. By moving on to a different theme, you will come back to the piece you are struggling with feeling re-motivated and more confident. By giving your mind a rest, you might find that the problems you were having vanish!
If all else fails…just write!
“Write as if nobody is going to read and throw your work into the public dustbin. Somebody may find it and consider it treasure.”
― Bangambiki Habyarimana
Just put pen to paper!
Start anywhere. Even if you just manage to type a few words which you can then tweak and embellish. Write about something fun – a holiday you went on, what you did at the weekend. You don’t have to write something that is being published but you can find something that is easier to put to paper. Set aside time to write, keep journals of your experiences and look back at comments you have posted on other blogs. All of this can lead to new posts and ideas. Not writing at all leads to nothing, but free-writing can lead to anything! Use this as your inspiration and motivation to continue writing great content.
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Media Shower writer Chris Walker specializes in travel, careers, and education.