Nothing is more frustrating when you go about your daily life and suddenly inspiration strikes. Bam! You walk around with your head in the clouds; plotting out a whole story, characters’ motivations, setting and everything in between. Excited? Duh. Thrilled? Definitely. And there you were, frolicking in imaginary meadows, waiting for the time when you can finally transform that idea into reality. But of course, things never go the way you plan them. Once you put your pen to paper or open a Word document, every little detail you were ready to throw up disappears. And instead of immersing yourself in your make-believe world, you’re left with a blank page. I’m pretty sure everyone can relate to this at any point in their lives, heck I’m currently in this situation and I’ve been staring at blank pages for so long, I forgot what words look like on a white background. So how does one get out of this rut? I can’t say for all of you but here are a few tips I practise to escape the dreaded writer’s block.
1. Read, read, and read.
A common tip, I’m sure. Reading is not only therapeutic but opens your world to greater possibilities. Think of it as watching a movie, except in words. Delve into the author’s imagination, and let their words wash over you. Not only can reading provide inspiration or motivation, but it can also be a form of escapism for a lot of us.
2. Write. Like literally every day.
Okay, I admit. I skim over this tip all the time. How do you expect me to write every day if I’m drained of ideas? But no, seriously. One of my favourite authors is Stephen King and one of the things he shared about being a writer, is to write, every day without fail. I know, must be easy for a man who can come up with 2,000 words a day whilst we all struggle to finish a 2,000-word essay but what I’m trying to get at is to just write. If you can manage 50 words, that’s good enough. Keep at it, and soon the words will flow out naturally.
3. Create an ideal setting for you to write.
Letting yourself be immersed in your world won’t work if you’re constantly bombarded by distractions (unless that’s your preference then good for you). Personally, whenever I want to get in the mood for writing, I have to make sure my room is extra cold, with only one light switched on and my Bath and Body Works wallflower emitting some tropical scent. And of course, I will play one song on repeat for the next four hours if I have to.
4. Inspiration is everywhere.
The way the sunlight filters through the trees, the dream you just had, that song played during a particular scene, everything can be an inspiration. Even your interests are a form of inspiration. The great J.R.R. Tolkien is a lover of language and he drew on that and created new languages and cultures around it. I mean can you even come up with something like this? “Ash nazg durbatulûk, ash nazg gimbatul, ash nazg thrakatulûk agh burzum-ishi krimpatul.” Yeah, that’s a definite no from me. What I’m trying to say is, the world around you is beautiful and you can find inspiration in even the littlest of things.
5. Believe in yourself.
If you don’t believe in yourself then who will? Even if you’re writing for your enjoyment or the masses, criticisms and comments are bound to happen, be it from yourself or other people. Doubt is inevitable and usually, this is the make-or-break deal but oftentimes you must continue writing no matter how difficult it is. In the words of Marilyn Monroe, “just because you fail once, doesn’t mean you’re gonna fail at everything. Keep trying, hold on, and always, always, always believe in yourself, because if you don’t, then who will?”