How to Find Inspiration and Begin the Writing Process?
As a writer, you have probably experienced moments where you couldn’t proceed with your writing because it was challenging coming up with new ideas. Or those moments you were unable to start writing a new piece altogether due to lack of creativity. It happens a lot to writers, especially if one has been writing for extended periods.
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The main cause of writer’s block remains unknown, but research traces it to various feelings of discontent with your creative writing aspect. These feelings you need to bring back if you ever want to win against writer’s block.
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So, how can you fight writer’s block and find inspiration to begin writing again? Let’s find out below.
Understanding and Fighting Writer’s Block
Before you engage in fighting writer’s block, it is important to understand what causes it first. According to research done by two clinical psychologists in the 1970s, writer’s block can occur due to the following four broad causes:
- Harsh self-criticism
- The fear of ranking against other writers
- Insufficient external motivation
- Lack of internal motivation
When you overcome all or any of these causes, you will be on your way to winning the fight against writer’s block. Here’s how to overcome these four causes.
- Build a Writing Routine
The saying, “Practice makes perfect,” not only supports the idea of building a writing routine but also agrees with author Twyla Tharp’s statement: “Creativity is a habit, and the best creativity is a result of good work habits.” When you maintain a writing routine, there are high chances that you will beat the writer’s block since your mind becomes naturally accustomed to the flow of ideas.
Building a writing routine helps you to give your creativity a natural flow to avoid the idea of only writing when you feel creative. Once you have found out the right schedule to follow, remember to stick to it all through.
You have the topic, the concluding idea, but you can’t make your way through the introduction; what do you do? Get right to the conclusion and write it well. Once done, you will have revived your creativity, and it will be easier to craft the introduction of the article.
Writing the conclusion first helps you determine the outcome you intend to achieve, which can also help you shape the body of your article. And when you finally come to write out the introduction, it becomes easier since you already know what the story is about.
- Use Writing Prompts
Writing prompts like “I can’t forget the day I…” or “I have always desired to…” can work magic with unlocking your writer’s block innuendos. They force you to create words and get into what you intend to tell the reader.
You are not only confined to choosing writing prompts that lie within the topic you need to cover. You can adjust it to something that is outside the topic and later shape it in. Doing this will have your creative power revived again without even you knowing it.
If you were asked to write about “How to Overcome Financial Challenges,” instead of beginning with “When I first applied for a long-term loan…” you can choose to go for, “The first time I visited his place…”
Doing this helps your mind wander and find ways to link the topic and the opening sentence you have chosen.
- Engage in Non-Writing Activities
You could be lacking motivation to write because your mind is overwhelmed with the normal writing routine you are exposing it to. But how do you revive your motivation to start writing again?
Maria Tunney, a children’s book editor, suggests taking yourself out of your normal writing routine to go and visit someone else’s work. She suggests that visiting a play, cinema, or a gig can help you get rid of your writer’s block.
After a long day of refreshing and experiencing a different world of events, you can come back to your writing desk more equipped to write than when you left.
- Exercise Freewriting
Freewriting is when you write without any rules or pressure affecting your writing. You achieve it by setting a fixed amount of time within which you will write without pausing and without considering your grammar, topic, or spelling. You write about anything, and anyhow it comes into your mind. You only stop when the time is elapsed.
Freewriting is important because it gives you the ability to write without judging your grammar or your prowess. You don’t stop to second-guess or doubt yourself as these lead to writer’s block.
To get started and succeed with freewriting, you will have to do the following:
- Get the right environment – Since you have a timeline to stick to, you will need an environment free of external disturbance. Settle somewhere you can go for the set time without interruption.
- Get your Writing tools – Freewriting is best done using a pen and paper. A computer is great, but the chances of you getting distracted when with one or hitting the ‘delete’ button are very high. Choose wisely!
- Start with lower time limits – You can begin with just about ten minutes for your first-time limit. Once you successfully write without distraction in the first limit, you can gradually increase the limits until you acquire the results you are looking for.
When you follow the above steps diligently, you will be out of writer’s block sooner than you imagined. You will be able to create easy-flowing content without the self-judging and doubt feelings coming to you.
- Take a Break for a Shower
Showering amid your writing duties is more for refreshing your mind than it is for your hygiene. This means, even if you had showered some hours ago, you shouldn’t brush off the thought of taking a shower when you feel fatigued to continue writing.
It is also common to have random but great ideas while in the shower or doing a task where your subconscious brain is actively involved. This is no mere coincidence. The scientific reason behind this explains that when you are engaged in a monotonous activity like showering, your mind runs on autopilot, allowing your unconscious self to wander without any restrictions.
Showering allows you to easily enter into a beneficial daydream and creation of creative connections. So, when the block comes knocking, knock it out by that cold shower.
- Try a Different Point of View
It could be the angle you started your story with is leading you to a dead-end, an end where you cannot think creatively past. Changing your point of view could be the breakthrough you need for your inspiration. While this might mean starting the story or write-up repeatedly, it is better than remaining stuck and worried without significant progress.
Changing your point of view doesn’t necessarily mean changing the entire article’s idea. It could be that you ran out of ideas for a given topic in the article. Viewing it from a different angle could give you the insight to explain it much easier and faster.
- Have Some Meditation Sessions
Meditation works magic on your mind’s health and peace. It is highly possible to lose your creativity touch due to an unsettled mind that keeps wandering around. However, with meditation, you can master the art of controlling your mind and focusing on what you want it to achieve.
In the same way, you can also train your mind on losing focus on things that don’t matter to you when writing. If you have done a messy initial draft, tell your mind to stay off the draft and focus on something new you are creating. Doing this repeatedly, either twice or thrice, will help you to revive your creative thinking abilities.
- How About Cool Low Music?
The best choice would be instrumental music, no lyrics. Music has a way of building a creative process of thinking, and that is why you most often lose yourself when listening to your favorite jam. Music helps to calm anxiety and neural activity to improve your productivity.
People who have worked with music on, especially low to moderate music, had recorded better performance at work than when they worked without music. Whenever you feel ‘dry’ and out of ideas, you can always switch to a short music session and, if possible, dance a little!
The first step to acquiring a solution to writer’s block is identifying how you got there first. If you can trace what led you into stagnating in your writing, you can always pick a solution that counters it. For instance, if you started stagnating after getting distracted with a random thought, you can choose meditation as your way out and so on.