Writer’s block is a nightmare. It’s a hurdle that we always seem to face, especially in times of stress. Creativity does not always lend itself when you’re having a bad day or your mind is focussed elsewhere. I’ve constructed this blog to suggest five ways of increasing creativity (the five ‘Rs’), which I hope will be useful. Please feel free to contribute your own ideas.
- Read. When not writing, I turn to pursuing materials published by published authors. I read anything I can get my hands on – fiction and non-fiction. Not only does this help my understanding of the craft of writing, but it nudges me to enter the ‘what if’ process. I engage with the books I read and I question aspects of the story. Other materials can inspire an author onto their own unique path. The bible has been a powerful driver of many novels pursuing religious themes on the idea of the apocalypse, while the current events happening in the news may stir a passionate desire to write.
- Roam. You can’t expect inspiration to hit if you sit in the same spot all day, every day, chasing your elusive characters. Why not sit in a café to write? How about going to a forest retreat for a few days? Or, you can think about what your characters are doing. If you’re writing a scene in a club and you’re struggling for ideas, why not visit a club and take in the vibe, the scents and the sounds. Word of caution – carrying a notepad to a club to take notes may get you noticed for all the wrong reasons.
- Repeat. Get into the habit of writing and stick to it. Like anything, repetition is key and inspiration sometimes needs to be chased. If you’re struggling with ideas on your story, why not engage with something else that will get the creativity flowing? That might mean writing a blog, or a poem, or whatever you feel like expressing at the time.
- Revisit. If inspiration floods my mind, I follow it, completely at its mercy. This means that, yes, I often write out of order and revisit the previous chapters when I feel like it. If you feel in the mood to write chapter ten, but you’re only up to chapter three, you shouldn’t necessarily be deterred from pursuing a non-linear writing pattern. Please note that this depends on you as an individual – disorganised chaos can be great for some people, but it can cause confusion and dismay for others.
- Relax. This is number five, but by no means is it the least important suggestion. Relaxing is vital to capturing inspiration. So do what you can to shrug away the daily stress. Engage in breathing exercises – take up yoga, or go for a walk in the fresh breeze. Also consider your writing position. A lot of people enjoy writing in bed in a reclined position, which tricks the body into a relaxed state (makes sense, given that a lot of writers get ideas haunting them through the night!)
Thanks for reading and happy writing!