Creative writing, whether for online articles or your latest book project, is not always easy to achieve. People find themselves stuck, lacking words and failing to weave a good story, unable to produce that quality content that they know is in them. Here are the tips that I follow whenever I find myself falling into the pit of mediocrity and lose the creative bug that drives us all forward.
No matter how ridiculous it may sound at the first glance, you need to work your body in order to revitalize your brain. Numerous studies have shown the connection between physical exercise and increased mental activity, so I will sincerely advise you to pick up the habit of running early in the morning, go swimming or simply do half an hour of fitness exercises. It’s going to do you a world of good, both physically and mentally.
2. Reorganize your workspace
The vast majority of us usually sets up a workspace and hardly ever changes it. In order to change your own perspective of the world, just like Robin Williams when he got up on the table in the movie The Dead Poets Society, you need to change your surroundings. I find it very useful to change the order of my entire office at least once a year if possible. The change is the vital issue here; it will give you the feeling that you might as well be entering a new working space completely! Rest assured, you will sense the change in your writing attitude as well.
3. Get inspired
One cardinal rule of good writing is that a person who wants to write well also needs to read well – and read a lot. My advice is to read a good book every day, whenever you have time, while waiting in the post office or at your dentist. That way you will extend your horizon and get new ideas that you would not be otherwise able to access without reading. Go out for a walk and observe people. Check out social media outlets and follow specific topics, see what catches your fancy. Listen to what people are talking and discussing about and soak everything up, like a sponge. Let these ideas and notions mingle and season. You will be surprised with new and interesting ideas that will be coming from all this.
4. Make To-do lists
To-do lists can take a huge toll on people who don’t know how to handle them properly, and many of them find themselves adding far more to do items then they can actually resolve and finish within appointed time. The end result is that they are just find themselves overwhelmed and give up on scheduling entirely. While you need to take care that you do not push it too far, it is really important that you add a structure to your day. Regardless of whether you are doing copywriting for marketing purposes or working on your latest novel, you are not a writer unless you actually write words down! I would recommend you to use a fair assessment of your abilities and put up a task for yourself, saying “today I will write 1000, 2000 or even more words”, depending on your capacity. Only when you complete that task can you reward yourself with a beer and consider the task accomplished. A writer without a production goals and discipline is actually just another bum.
5. Turn off the distractions
I love to listening to music while I’m writing. In fact, I can hardly write anything without a specific sound background that is in theme with the topic I am writing about. But other than that, I want to turn everything else off. Turn off your social media notifications, turn off your phone, turn off your email notifications; in short, prevent all distractions that can pull your attention away from the task at hand, which is writing. As soon as you see an interesting post on Facebook, comment on a tweet, open up an email or something similar, you have stopped writing and have just started doing other things. You have interrupted a flow which is, as many writers can attest to, a very hard thing to get yourself into. Alas, if you want to be productive and creative in your writing, make sure you turn off all the possible distractions from the outside world.
6. Use proper tools
While some say all they need is a piece of paper and a pencil, I personally prefer employing tools that can help me in the writing process. One of those tools is for example the Evernote. It helps me organize my notes and projects, do research and gather valuable info material online, making it easy to access when needed. It can be used in its free version, but it is well worth setting a couple of dollars aside for the more advanced features. Another amazing program that I will always recommend to serious writers to use is Scrivener. This is an incredible writing program that enables the writer to organize the written content, do research and even compile entire books within the same software, ready for publishing. The only downside is that the program requires some time to master, but once you learn how to work it the sky itself becomes the limit.
These are just two of my favorite tools I keep recommending to everyone that wants to pick up writing seriously, and while there are others out there you might like better, I personally couldn’t cope without these anymore.
7. Take a break
Every now and then when you feel like you have exhausted all your reserves, put on your walking shoes and get out of the house. Walk through the neighborhood, through woods if possible, go to a park and simply enjoy strolling around. You’ll be surprised how often the mere act of walking will invigorate your brain, get the creative juices flowing and how often you will find solutions to barriers you can’t overcome while sitting at your desk.
And, finally, there is one advise and I can give you that will trump everything else and in consists from two activities; focus and write! Focus on the task that you are doing right now (nothing worse than jumping from one project to another while not finishing the prior one) and simply write. Whenever people are complaining to me about writer’s block, I just smile and tell them that the easiest solution to writer’s block is to write. Write one sentence, then another, and another. They will be horrible. You will be ashamed of them. But eventually, after writing many of these horrible sentences that make no sense and any style or beauty, you will write a sentence which is not all that bad. And the next one will be even better. Soon, you will find the way to embrace the creativity once again and actually love what comes from your mind. Remember, in order to overcome a writer’s block can best be defeated by a simple activity – writing.