How to beat writer's block
Do you ever feel stuck in your creative process?
Most creators stumble into uncreative prisons. They are unable to manifest original ideas and continue to produce new work. For writers, this is called writer’s block. Writer’s block can be a frightening and equally frustrating experience. But it can be beaten.
As a frequent writer, I am forced to overcome creative stagnation regularly. Here are two exercises that pull me back into the flow of creativity:
1. Write a shit-list
One form of writer’s block is the inability to produce new ideas or topics of discussion. This lack of ideas transpires from mental borders that you impose on yourself. For example, you’ve always written about mental health, so you “aren’t allowed” to write about climate change. But when you realize that you are the only one who is stopping you from writing outside of the “normal”, you can begin to expand your creative horizons.
Expansion of ideas can take form in what I call the “shit-list.” To begin, grab your paper or open a new document. Now start listing every writing idea that comes to you, the more awful the idea, the better. The goal is to create a list of the shittiest ideas possible. The crafting of a shit-list is simply an exercise that allows you to tear down self-imposed borders by giving you the freedom to generate horrible ideas.
Once you complete your list, step away for a few hours or days. When you return to your list, you might be surprised. More often than not, there will be a quality idea mixed in with all the bad.
2. Drink from a fire hydrant
Ever heard of the phrase “You are what you eat”?
It’s by Anthelme Brillat-Savarin, and it speaks to the idea that to create content, you must immerse yourself in content consumption. When you lack ideas or the ability to write the concluding paragraph, consume content relentlessly. To produce, you must feed your brain consistently. In actionable terms, listen to a podcast, read a book, indulge in online articles daily. Drink from the fire hydrant of ideas, overflow your mind with the creations of others. The result is a surplus of inspiration.
Are you stuck? Try the above exercises. Return to the flow of creativity.