Nearly every writer has experienced it at one time or another. There, right in front of you is that blank screen, staring laughingly back at you, mocking your lack of ideas. If your mind is simply out of ideas, and it feels like your creative juices are at a standstill, here are five easy-to-use tips that will help get things moving again.
Tip # 1: Change your Environment—Change Your Outlook
Believe it or not, the one thing that could be causing the most problems is the writing environment that you are in right now. Sure, it is conducive for writing once you have a hold of inspiration’s tail, but what about now? Take a few moments, take the dog for a walk, or go down to the corner market and buy a few odds and ends. Something as simple as a conversation with the fellow customer in the checkout line can be a great source of inspiration.
Tip # 2: Write, Write, Write
For some, getting the creative juices flowing isn’t about running out of fuel, it’s about priming the engine. Just as a person would hit a primer button on a lawn mower to get the fuel throughout the engine, so a writer will write to get the creative juices flowing to all parts of his mind. In the beginning it doesn’t really matter what you write about. It could be complete and utter nonsense. Sometimes the physical act of writing is enough to spark a connection within the mind and get things going again.
Tip # 3: Move to a Different Subject
Ever wonder why some writers have multiple projects going on at once? It isn’t because they are indecisive. For many writers, the easiest way to get the creative juice swirling in their body again is to move on to a different topic. Sometimes switching from a murder mystery to a topic like marine turtles can be a great way to get new ideas. The human mind is extremely good at forming relationships and connections between different ideas. It will look to make an association between nearly everything. This tip merely makes use of this innate ability.
Tip # 4: Take a Nap
Surprised? In truth, you really shouldn’t be. One of the most common reasons for a lack of creativity for a writer is exhaustion. How many times have you stayed awake into the wee hours of the morning to finish that last chapter? Think back to the day following that all night writing binge. How effective did you communicate, and how effective was your writing? Often a short nap can allow you to awaken refreshed, and able to look at your project with new eyes.
Tip # 5: Brainstorm!
Remember when you were a student and your teacher made you write down a list of topics, anything that would come into your mind? This technique is commonly called brainstorming, and it isn’t just for students. This technique is a great way for writers to get the creative juices flowing as well. So if you want to get things going, try breaking out a number two pencil and list the things traveling through your mind.
These are just a few of the tips that you can use to get the creative juices flowing in your mind. Using these techniques could very well mean that your bouts of creativity last for a very long time.
Do you have other ideas? Share them in the comments below!