Fight that Writer’s Block: 10 Ways to Stimulate Creativity

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Staring at the blank screen of your computer as you get near your deadline can be pretty daunting for a writer. It can mean another sleepless night for you or be skipping your  favorite TV show  because it is crunch time once again.

Fortunately, writer’s block is only temporary.  You can cultivate habits that can help you overcome your inability to write.

Here are some fun and easy ways that you can do should you find yourself running out of words and ideas…

  1. Drink Coffee

Writing is one activity that requires pure focus. In most cases, you need a caffeine boost to turbo-charge your concentration.

Before writing, warm up with a cup of coffee or tea.  These beverages are laced with caffeine perfect to amp up your performance. Caffeine penetrates your brain and positively affects your neurons due to its stimulating properties.

Always remember to drink moderately. Caffeine overconsumption acclimatizes your body to higher caffeine dosages, making you respond less to its stimulating effects.

  1. Make a Short Trip

Meeting people can sometimes be rejuvenating.  Take a bus, train or plane and visit your cousin or granny in the countryside. Reunions provide a trip down the memory lane, which ignites  feel-good feelings and new ideas in your head.

Don’t drive so you can appreciate the sights around you.

Go old school by bringing a pen and paper with you instead of your laptop or iPad. The games and social networks you have downloaded on these devices can distract you from writing.

  1. Experiment Writing at Different Hours/Times

They said sticking to a routine helps you meet your deadline. However, there are instances that you need to break a monotony to have a breakthrough.

If you are used to jotting down your ideas at night, try writing early in the morning. Your mind is fresh and well-rested from last night’s sleep so you are more receptive to think of writing your new composition.

Or vice versa. You can try writing at night. The silence can leave your mind empty so you can generate new thoughts for your articles.

  1. Read

Reading articles and texts similar to the topic you are supposed to write can give you new views you have never considered before.

You can also put a new twist to an already-published content and make it your own.

Research and read on  experts in your field so you can get updated information and have a basis to churn down credible articles.

  1. Look at Pictures

They say a picture paints a thousand words.

This explains the reason for the  popularity of photo-sharing applications like Instagram and Flicker .  People like looking at images that make them laugh or curious. Colorful and detailed images can push you to start descriptive writing.

Looking at photos can evoke memories of events, things or people that have a strong impact on our lives.  You can source inspirations from these memories to motivate you to write again.

On the other hand, looking at beautiful pictures, like images of nature or sea, have calming effects, creating the mood for writing.

  1. Eat

Remember to eat before you write.

It’s difficult to do stuff when you are hungry. It’s hard to concentrate when you can feel your stomach grumbling.

Carbs are the brain food. It can provide you the mental energy to carry out the task of conjuring ideas in your head and writing them down. On the other hand, you need to chow down on meat and other protein foods to curb hunger pangs and fill you more.

  1. Talk to People

Like reading, talking to people can give you fresh ideas you have never know before.

Learning from someone’s opinion can broaden your horizons and understanding which can also improve your own knowledge that you can use to write your own material.

Or sometimes you just need to vent or air out your thoughts to someone to clear your head and prepare you for the writing task ahead.

  1. Listen to Music or Play Your Guitar

Like looking at pictures, tuning to our favorite sounds  makes us remember special people or significant events.

Whether it is  rock, EMD or classical music, listening to music enhances the mood, inviting you to be creative.

Sometimes it’s not the melody but the lyrics  that can inspire us to write. If you are alone, listening to the words in a song feels like you are talking to someone. It feels like talking to a friend who can provide you fresh insights into popular subjects to help you in your writing.

  1. Create A Mind Map

There are times that ideas are hard to come by, no matter how much effort you put into composing your articles.

You don’t need to start your writing with an introduction. More often than not, it is easier to write down  the important points that comprise the middle of your article or the conclusion, leaving the introduction as the final piece in your content.

This is where a mind map comes into the picture. The mind map is a process of jotting down ideas and structuring them to show their relationship to one another.

To elaborate, mind mapping encourages you to write freestyle, usually beginning with the main subject at the center of your mind  map area and then create branches of ideas to illustrate their relationship. The organization of ideas created by the mind map allows you to see the content in its ‘skeletal’ form and can assist  you in converting these ideas into a logical draft.

In the long run, mind maps can boost your writing skills. It can help you brainstorm for a potential topic, make researches and note making, create an outline for your article and gives a structure and overview while you are writing.

  1. Draft an Outline

Just  like mind maps, drafting an outline can help you write faster. Creating an outline can assist your writing in plenty of ways:

Creating an outline can help you flesh out the subject you want to cover your material by identifying which parts of your content you need to do research, illustrations (with charts or graphs) or conduct an interview with an expert.

Outlines can also  eliminate your writer’s block by  breaking down your topics into subtopics.

In addition, outlines aids you in seeing your content holistically and ensure that you strike a balance with all parts of your content: introduction, middle, conclusion.

Outlines are also useful when you create a calendar schedule for your future content. Since your content is in outline form, you can do your research new details and add them to beef up your material.

Writing is fun and enjoyable habit that you can do professionally.  And the world never runs out of topics to write about. Just in case you find yourself unable to write, you can do the above tips to be creative and start scribbling.

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As an online professional, Marilyn transitioned her way up to success by investing in the field of virtual assistance and web design. Networking with esteemed colleagues in the field, she co-founded Philippine Virtual Assistant Network (PVAN) , Philippines largest online virtual assistant community with over 20,000+ members and counting.

Marilyn is the Project Manager of Remote Virtual Assistant Agency, a virtual staffing agency based in New York, USA, as well as the trainer for Virtual Assistant Guide and Web Internship Program which helps aspiring work from home professionals.

As a serial entrepreneur, she's one of the managing partner of New York Sari-Sari Store Inc.- an eCommerce platform serving clients both in US & Philippines, St. Jeanne Beverly Learning Center & JM Property Rentals - a Pre-school Institution and a growing fleet of rental apartments together with her loving and very supportive husband.

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