Every writer at some point or another will lack inspiration or ideas, this is called writer’s block. We will all come across times in our writing when the words get stuck, or the story we’re writing just lacks something which you can’t put your finger on. Sometimes, we will even sit at our desks and fail to get any ideas altogether. Below are 4 exercises you can try to overcome writer’s block.
1. Warm-up Paragraphs
In this exercise, you will let your mind wander and your creative juices flow. Forget about what you were previously writing and get a fresh piece of paper. Take a few deep breaths and then write for ten minutes straight. No correcting, no thinking, just writing. It doesn’t matter what you write, just anything that comes into your head.
After the ten minutes is up, have a look at your paragraph. You will probably find you’ve written some things you can use in the original work you were doing. This exercise will clear your head from frustration and take your focus off of trying to perfect your work, all while possibly giving you ideas whilst doing it. Cool hey!
2. Bullet Points
This one may seem obvious but is often overlooked. When writing a paragraph on any subject you will have a dozen words and ideas popping into your head all at one time. Your mind will become overworked and stressed and you will start forgetting important points, this can lead to the dreaded writer’s block. Making simple bullet points can help you massively!
You can try this as an exercise to practice: think of a subject and think of 4 short but significant points. As an example, you are writing about a day at the park:
- Children are playing
- People are feeding the ducks
- The sun is shining
- Several people are having picnics
From these short sentences, you can produce a paragraph, and from this paragraph, you can start adding in the little details that you were trying to remember, it really does work!
We all take inspiration from others, every idea essentially comes from another idea you have seen or read, whether consciously or not. So, why not take this piece of information and use it to your advantage?
Find a news article, a magazine piece or even a paragraph from your favourite book, give it a read and try to rewrite it in your own words. Maybe add some extra details or change the ending, anything to keep your mind active but away from your original piece.
Make sure not to publish any writing you do in this exercise though, that goes against copywriting rules, but using it as an exercise for dealing with writer’s block is a great tool!
4. Scatter Words
A fun exercise to try is something I like to call scatter words. This is essentially just writing down 10-20 random words, any words that come into your head, and turning them into a paragraph. The weirder the words, the better this exercise works.
Your paragraph doesn’t need to make logical sense, it can be funny, odd or anything you like! You can take this up a level by cutting 10 random sentences out of a newspaper or magazine and making those all fit into a piece of writing. You will be surprised at what you come up with.
The inability to focus when you are trying to write is frustrating and can be time-consuming; letting yourself clear your mind and drawing your attention to something else for a little while is the way to overcome this. Don’t stress, it happens to us all.
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