We’ve all been there. The cold, cold glare of a computer screen as we return the look blankly.
Our hands to the keyboard, poised and ready to type. But nothing comes.
We exchange our blank stare for that of fierce determination. “C’mon, thoughts!” we call out. “Let’s go!” Still nothing.
I don’t want to quite call it writer’s block because I believe that a block is not a block unless we allow it to be so. If you are of a creative nature, you are gifted and packed with so many ideas and talents just waiting to bubble to the surface. That insatiable originality never leaves us. It is always right there just waiting to be tapped.
So, I find it more appropriate to say that our perceived lack of inspiration is just a smokescreen. Sometimes the cause is simply due to lack of ambition. Other times, the writing is of a personal nature and, even under the guise of fiction, hits a little too close to home. Whatever the case, with the right environment, mindset, and a little ingenuity, we can break through.
Here are some tips to getting back on the writing track:
#1. Atmosphere is everything.
Have you ever tried to write surrounded by chaos? Maybe in an airport waiting at the gate for your flight, while crackly announcements on very loud speakers disrupt your thought process. Doesn’t work very well, does it? Or maybe you keep getting distracted by the clutter in your office.
Aesthetics are so terribly important to the creative process. Find a space that is comfortable for you. Something in which you feel at home and relaxed. A clean and organized space does wonders for our mentality even if we aren’t aware of it. Try painting the walls of your writing space in a soothing color or a tone that refreshes, revives, or inspires you. If your space is inspiring, so it will trigger you.
#2. Set the mood.
Our deepest, most abundant thoughts can usually only rise to the surface when we are in a place of peace. I can usually never work on things when other people are talking around me. I have to find my reprieve in order for anything good to come forth. If you live with others, you can request that they refrain from disturbing you while you are in your “writing place” even if that space is fluid.
Music also does wonders for the creative process because it engages both the right (creative) and left (analytical) side of the brain simultaneously. You can find great playlists for writing on most platforms such as Amazon Music, iTunes, and Spotify. Just makes sure you don’t choose one that puts you to sleep! Your best choices are invigorating enough to keep things interesting, but gentle enough not to jar you from your thoughts.
#3. Make peace with your story.
Okay, so you can’t write your story if you hate it, right? I’ve had times where I could not bear to open the document because I knew it would be painful and did not want to go there again. I’d lived it in real life, the last thing I wanted to do was relive it. But I knew I would have to get past the pain if I ever hoped to finish a work that I’d put so much time and effort into. Not to mention my heart and soul.
Step outside of yourself. Step outside of the story. Look at it objectively. Sometimes when we are too close to the story, we can’t see clearly. The same concept applies when we can see so clearly and speak with fluidity into someone else’s life. We are not in that person’s shoes. Try the same approach with your work.
#4. Don’t force it.
If you’ve done all of the above and still nothing is coming, let it go for a bit and give it time. Perhaps it is not quite time to finish the story. Work on something else for a little while. You’ll know when it’s time to come back to it. And when that time comes and the inspiration flows freely, it will make for an even more beautiful ending.