Tag Archive | writers

Stuck for your next story idea?

As probably all writers know, occasionally when you are plotting a new story or novel, you will get stuck.  Whether it’s the perfect character name, plot points or the words themselves that elude you, perhaps you just need a change of pace or a different perspective on things.

That is why as a writer it is so important to have other hobbies and activities to turn to when you need a break.  Some writers make the mistake of focusing exclusively on their writing, allowing all of their other interests to dwindle away.  Unfortunately, this kind of single-minded obsession can actually have a detrimental effect on your creativity.

So what kind of things can you do to recharge your batteries and give your muse the freedom to speak to you again?  Any kind of activity can be helpful if you enjoy it, but here are a few that I have found especially helpful to me, perhaps they can help you too!

  • Reading.  This one is a no-brainer.  Every writer needs to read broadly and frequently to be good at their job anyway.  However, when you are looking to distract yourself from your current writing block, perhaps you should consider looking to books entirely different from what you are writing.  For instance, if you are writing a romance story, sit down and enjoy a good horror story, children’s book, memoir or other non-fiction subject that interests you.  Thinking outside of  the “genre box” may be just what you need!
  • Going for a walk or exercising.  There is just something about physical activity that really clears the mind and refreshes us to return to the task at hand with renewed enthusiasm.  It doesn’t necessarily need to feel like a workout either.  Often I play Wii dance games or go roller skating because I really enjoy it.  Not only does it help my writing, but it keeps me in good shape as well!
  • Grab your partner and go have some wild, dirty sex.  If no partner is available, pleasure yourself.  I know it may sound funny, but having a few great orgasms can really enhance your creativity!  It’s no surprise this works for erotica/romance writers, but this has also helped me in other genres.
  • Be a kid again.  Pick up a coloring book and crayons.  Do a jigsaw puzzle.  Watch some cartoons.  Play with your kids.  Read some comic books.  Just do something that gets you in touch with your inner child.
  • Indulge your artistic side.  Draw, paint, sculpt, make jewelry, knit, etc.  We all have some kind of artistic talent, so use it!  Even if you are convinced you are hopefully inept with artistic stuff, you can visit the local art museum or gallery and appreciate the amazing creativity of others.  The same could be said of other art forms like music, poetry, drama, dance and cooking/baking.  You might be surprised how focusing on another area of creation will inspire new heights in your writing.

Well, I guess that is enough for tonight.  Do you have any special activities that really help you with writer’s block?  If so, please feel free to leave a comment below and share your ideas with us!

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The Writing Roller Coaster

I am currently reading “The Art of War for Writers” by James Scott Bell.  This book is filled with useful inspiration and straight shooting about what writing and living the author life are all about.  Today I read an entry that especially inspired me (and made me chuckle a bit).  Here is a short excerpt from that section, which was actually written by the successful novelist Terri Blackstock and was reprinted in “The Art of War for Writers” with her permission.

“I think one of the things unique to the writer’s life is that we do seem to be on a roller coaster…book comes out, good review, I dance again and sing for joy and write all my friends and make copies for my mother.  Then I go on Amazon and read one lousy review from some hostile reader, and I notice that I’m ranked 6,000,342,786, and I go around the house looking for my gun or the Valium I threw away when I was dancing for joy the last time.

But before I pull the trigger or toss those pills down my throat, I start thinking, ‘What if some guy had a gun and a bottle of anxiety pills and before he offs himself a shot rings out and he hits the floor and suddenly wants to live, only others want him dead,’ and woo-hoo, my spirits soar and my eyes glaze over, and like a homing robot (if there is such a thing) I stumble back to that keyboard and start typing.”

Is that the truth or what?  I could so relate to all the parts of this, the endless ecstasy and the bottomless pit of despair.  How about you?  Are you also on the writing roller coaster, trying to hold back your barf?