Trying to write something and feel stuck? Have a gap in your creativity that coffee won’t fill? Have you been watching daytime TV for inspiration and find yourself losing writing time because you need to know the results of the next DNA test?
Writers can fall into the traps of writer’s block very easily. The best way to bust through that blockage is to continue being creativity. That’s right. Creativity is like a disease. It will spread throughout your consciousness the more you tap into those brain centers which let you come up with amazing ideas. These exercises are designed to help provide your creativity the fuel it needs for you to write something amazing.
Now here’s the best part: you can do all of these creative writing exercises right now. Well… not simultaneously, of course. Maybe choose your favorite option and then go from there.
#1. Set a realistic goal for yourself. Did you know that most writer’s block occurs because writers feel like they’re not being productive? That’s right – you’re not writing, so you feel bad about that, which stops you from writing any more. Instead of focusing on this negative, practice setting realistic goals for yourself. Trying writing 3 times per week instead of 6. Focus on developing a specific character instead of an entire novel outline. Even if all you do is set a definitive deadline, you’re doing something that can inspire creativity.
#2. Stop writing. That’s right. Sometimes the best way to find your creative juices is to go do something else. Take a walk on the beach. Grab a camera and go take some pictures. Sit at a piano and work out a new melody. The reason why this helps with your creative writing is because you’re gaining real-world experiences that you can begin adding to your stories. Your observations or other creative efforts add fuel to your creative writing fire.
#3. Create backstories for your characters. If you’re struggling to move a plot point forward, then it might be because you haven’t developed one of your characters enough to do so. Consider creating a backstory for your character by creating their childhood memories. Create a job application for your character. Discuss the emotions that your characters are feeling outside of the context of the story. This will add new life to your story because you’ve added new life to the characters involved.
#4. Find that one big secret no one should know about. This is another way to add some depth to a character. Think about a secret that they wouldn’t reveal to anyone – not even their reflection. How does keeping that secret make your character feel? What would happen to your character if they blurted out this secret in the middle of class or at work one day? You don’t have to include these scenarios in your final draft, but this exercise is a great way of exploring the good vs. bad dynamic in some way.
#5. Put some tension into your writing. When was the last time you encountered a perfect family that never fought, always ate the right things, and was never late to school or work? Yeah. They don’t exist. Far too often, we writers tend to make perfect characters that lead perfect lives and this creates writer’s block because people aren’t perfect. Add some tension to your story. Let your characters argue about pork chops. Decide to have the kids run away. Have a teacher try to have an affair with the spouse of your character. Stuff happens. It’s smelly. It’s also real-life and readers can relate to that.
#6. Map out your scene. Every story has at least one location to it. If you’re struggling to write, then consider creating a map of your setting instead. Create landmarks where your people can visit. Describe the homes of your characters, the boutique stores they visit downtown, or what your character’s most treasured possession happens to be. From here, you can then begin to plot out specific scenes or events that can happen within your story so you can further the plot.
#7. Take the one paragraph challenge. Write out one highly descriptive paragraph. Make it vivid through the words that you use. Let your sunsets roar with pink and orange. Have a character’s heart pound to the rhythmic beat of the butterflies in their gut. Let your adjectives flow and who knows where your creativity might go.