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Creative ways to deal with writer's block
by TeenHelp September 9th 2016, 01:41 PM

Creative ways to deal with writer's block
By Cassie (Cassado)

Writer's block is when a writer feels like they cannot write a new piece or continue something they're already working on. It can be discouraging, frustrating, and for many, a lengthy process that leaves writers feeling like their writing may never continue. This article will talk about a few ways for you to exercise your mind while on the journey to beat writer's block. Everyone's writing process is different, so what works for one writer may not work for another. It might take a few tries for you to figure out what approach works for you.

Do not force yourself to write. While any writing is good practice, forcing yourself to write when you're not in the right mindset can hinder your end results. Instead, wait for the right mood to strike. You may feel impatient while waiting, but your later results will be worth it.

Go to your favorite place. What about your surroundings makes you most comfortable to write? Do you like silence to concentrate, or background noise to help the creative process? Maybe you have a calming place by a creek, or you like to sit at the dining room table with your home's noise humming around you. Make your surroundings to your liking to make yourself more comfortable.

Carry a writer's notebook (or electronic device) around in your purse or backpack. Write notes about how you're feeling, what you're thinking, or what's happening during the day. Take notes about your friends, strangers, the scenery, and the weather. Keeping a notebook benefits many writers because a lot of them come up with ideas while they're in the middle of something, and they need to write them down before they lose them. Sometimes the best writing can come to you while you're grocery shopping or at a school event.

Read your old work or observe the work of others. What were you feeling or thinking when you wrote a particular piece? How did you develop it the way you did? In addition to reading your own work, read the work of someone else, whether it is crafted by a established author or one of your peers. You can listen to your favorite music or new music to gather ideas or access your feelings as well. Bear in mind that the work you're viewing doesn't have to be written. You can watch television shows, movies, or the storytelling of a video game. Think about why you like what you're looking at and think about how you can apply that to your own work. Feel free to respond to the work of your choice with your own writing. However, remember not to plagiarize someone's work.

Try something new. It can be easy to forget that there are other creative outlets in addition to writing. Give your brain a rest (and some different inspiration) by trying a new hobby. Try singing, photography, scrap booking, or drawing to see if that helps you gather new ideas. If you find it unhelpful, you have at least gained a new hobby!

Go people watching. Sit on a park bench, look around the grocery store, or your school, and make up stories about people. Where are they headed to, and where did they come from? What's their world like? What are their thoughts or feelings right now? You can also practice describing them by writing about their appearance or creating a personality for them.

Write with someone. Brainstorm ideas, or write a piece with a good friend or trusted family member. You can brainstorm ideas for new or existing pieces. You can also develop ideas for something you don't intend to write. This can take the pressure off and allow you to think more freely. Writing can be difficult and sometimes lonely on your own. Brainstorming or writing with someone else could help your future writing and your mental health.

Try changing your perspective. What perspective do you usually write from? If you write from a human point of view, for instance, try writing from an inanimate object's point of view. You might decide to write from a welcome mat's point of view and describe how it feels to be walked on, or maybe you can write from money's point of view and talk about the positive and negative influences money has on people.

Think about similes, metaphors, and personification (or other literary devices) and write them down. What can you say about the objects or people around you? For example, you could say that the ceiling fan above you is whispering to you and everyone else in the room. You could say that your cat walks as gracefully as a ballerina does. Keep these ideas for future inspiration.

Think back to an emotional time. Not only can emotions help your writing, but writing about them can benefit your mental health. Think back to a time when you felt happy, sad, angry, or embarrassed, and describe why you felt that way. Maybe you felt sad enough to not want to see another day, or happy enough to feel like you were walking on the clouds.

Try writing prompts. Go online, or read through a writing book and pick a prompt you're interested in, or choose one at random and begin writing. This will allow you to explore other feelings and genres you may not have written about before. You can ask someone to select a prompt or you can pull one from a hat.

Write about writer's block! How does it make you feel? Is it frustrating, discouraging, or upsetting to you? Do you have any ideas as to why you can't write, or are you unsure? What do you do to help yourself write again? How long does it take for you to get in the right mindset?

Write whatever comes to mind. Write about how you're feeling or what you're thinking about. Write a few words, sentences, household objects, colors, names, etc. Look at an object or a person and write the first word or sentence you think of. Don't worry about neatness; it doesn't have to be pretty. You can string together sentences and full paragraphs later, but all you need to start or continue a piece are a few words or sentences.

Bear in mind that there is no right or wrong way to write, which is one of the most amazing things about writing. You have the freedom to write whatever you want, in whichever form or perspective you'd like to write it in. The possibilities are endless!

Writer's block can sometimes make people feel like they won't be able to write again, and that can be really hard when it's such a big outlet. Just remember that you've written before and you'll be able to write again in time. You still have it in you, you just need to believe in yourself.
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