Tuesday, August 18, 2009
Overcoming Writer's Block
Several writers have written me asking how to overcome writer's block.
If you're struggling with writer's block, don't get discouraged. I get stuck many times in the middle of a book and don't feel like writing. I'm not always in the creative flow, but I make myself write anyway. Here are a few ways I get back into the creative flow of writing:
1.) Do anything that's creative. Paint pictures, write poetry, work in Photoshop, make a scrapbook, edit a video. Then go back to writing. When I'm stuck, I paint paintings on canvass. It really activates my creativity. The key is to keep exercising the creative part of your brain.
2). Do freewriting. This is where you spend 15 minutes or more a day writing whatever comes off the top of your head. Ignore punctuation. Just write freely. Allow it to be totally random. You might change subjects many times. You might mix fiction with journalling or vent frustrations. The process trains your brain to tap into the words inside your head and gives them a place to live on your computer screen.
3.) Get your body into flow. Dance or do yoga. This may sound funny, but when you get your body into flow, your mind follows. Meditate and take long, deep breaths. A relaxed mind is more open. An open mind is more imaginative. And you can focus longer when you are in a peaceful state.
4.) Carve out some time in your schedule just for writing. At least 3 to 4 hours. Turn off the phone. Tell your loved ones to honor your space so you can write without distractions. Clean up your work space. A cluttered desk puts the mind in a state of confusion.
5.) Write really early in the morning. When you first wake up, your brain is still in Theta mode, the brainwave pattern that you are in when you have dreams. Some of my best writing happens at 4 or 5 a.m. when I'm still half asleep.
6.) The Glass-of-Water Technique. This is my best technique for overcoming writer's block. Before bed, fill up a glass of water. Hold it up and speak an intention. (Example: My intent is to tap into my creative source and write brilliantly tomorrow). Then drink half the water and set the other half on your nightstand. Go to sleep. When you wake up the next morning drink the rest of the water immediately. Then go straight to your computer and write at least an hour without distraction. This may seem a bit woo-woo, but give it a try. Do this technique for three nights straight. It gets me out of my writer's block every time.
I offer coaching and consulting to writers. To see my coaching packages visit: http://brianmoreland.com/coachingforwriters/coachingpackages.html: