Were you an imaginative child growing up? The one always sitting off on your own in fields of flowers dreaming your life away while the other kids were playing together nicely, perhaps. You could get lost for days in your minds’ imaginary worlds. Most kids have wild imaginations, but the super creative ones are different, and many artists, creators, and writers are amongst that crew. If your imagination has always overflowed, then staring at the blank page on a computer screen leaves you with little to no anxiety. Instead, you likely feel a great sense of excitement and freedom, knowing you have all the space in the world to create a most spectacular story.
Then there are the other children who just aren’t quite as imaginative or curious. It’s not that they lack intelligence or are any less creative, but something in their environment or social upbringing or maybe their mind (I’m no scientist) keeps imagination at bay.
I was not one of those kids, and maybe you weren’t either. Spoiler Alert: it doesn’t matter, and keep reading. It’s not that I wasn’t imaginative or lacked curiosity or creativity – it’s just that no one taught me how to express these gifts fully, so I had to cultivate them on my own much later in life. Some days the blank page brings about all sorts of emotions from fear, doubt, dread, to general disinterest, although I can admit today are much more infrequent than earlier years in my writing career.
If your imagination isn’t kicking into full throttle every single moment of every day, and you need support and inspiration about how to beat writer’s block, read on.
Overcoming Writer’s Block
Today I am not talking about what helped shape you into the great writer or blogger you are today. I am speaking about how to overcome writer’s block for even the most imaginative of the bunch.
- Confront the Blank Page Myth
Every writer fears the blank page, particularly those of us who have NO IDEA WHAT WE ARE GOING TO WRITE TODAY OR ANY OTHER DAY FOR THE PAST DAYS AND MONTHS. Experts call this writer’s block; you probably have a more appropriate diagnosis for yourself as to why you are having difficulty putting pen to paper, so-to-speak. The page does not hold your childhood fears, your painful lack of motivation or your Daily To Do List that is too long to bear. The secret of the Blank Page = it is a mirror for what is going on inside of you right at that very moment, which provides a powerful and cathartic opportunity for you as the writer to face your inner self. Once you can do this, allow everything to flow onto the page, and you will find more power than ever before in your writing, your writer’s block, and the infamous blank page.
- Use different senses to insight imagination
Sometimes sitting down to write can be a daunting task because we rely on only one technique: thought. What about integrating different senses into your writing repertoire? You’d be surprised how many new topic ideas you can generate through your sight, hearing, touch, and sometimes even taste and smell. Specific ways to break free of writer’s block using different sense:
- Look at random images or photos. Review images to see what kinds of topic ideas come to you when you see individual images. It helps to look at pictures within your topic, or somewhat related, but they can also be completely unrelated for this activity to work efficiently.
- Art store galore. Visit your local craft store and peruse the aisles. The potential sitting on shelves can inspire a lot of times. Sure, this applies a lot to painting and drawing, but this practice can also extend to writing as well.
- Daily Journaling (aka Morning Pages). Per Julia Cameron’s recommendation, the author of The Artist’s Way, if you are stuck, it’s time to start what are called “Morning Pages.”
“Morning Pages are three pages of longhand, stream of consciousness writing,
done first thing in the morning. *There is no wrong way to do Morning Pages*–
they are not high art. They are not even “writing.” They are about
anything and everything that crosses your mind– and they are for your eyes
only. Morning Pages provoke, clarify, comfort, cajole, prioritize and
synchronize the day at hand. Do not over-think Morning Pages: just put
three pages of anything on the page…and then do three more pages tomorrow.”
- When all else fails, turn to the stars.
I mean movie stars, not stars in the sky, stars. Take a look at this excellent list, “7 Must-See Movies About Writers.” Maybe one of these movies won’t help you come up with the title of your next novel, but you just might be ready to write the first page of your novel’s introduction.