Category Archives: Writer’s block

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your writing career struggle

Nix This Word and Watch Your Writing Career Skyrocket!

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Did you know you can change the course of your writing career by removing one word from your vocabulary? Sounds too good to be true, but it’s pinch-me-and-I’ll-feel-it real. And I promise if you’re willing to pay attention and eradicate this pesky career-stopper, then you’ll undoubtedly see progress toward reaching your writing goals.

What’s the magic word? Struggle.

If you’re located on planet Earth, you’ve heard it plenty. A common theme running through current books, memes, and talk shows is, ‘The Struggle is Real.’ The term can refer to weight loss, mental illness, menopause, unemployment, job changes, parenting and more–just about any topic under the sun. And there’s plenty of this struggle business directed with laser focus at writers. It’s on Buzzfeed, in writing blogs (this one is particularly rife with struggle, having posted an article detailing 11 Struggles of Being a Writer just two months after posting 10 Struggles of Being a Writer). This online magazine has an article about struggles only unpublished fiction writers can understand, while information marketer Jeff Goins chimes in with the 3 Struggles of Creative People.

What’s with all the struggling in your writing career?

Is this the perception you want to give, that you’re a struggling writer? If not, stop calling yourself one. Stop talking about what a struggle it is to get an idea, submit a query, get noticed, or get paid for your work. Quit the existential whining, pull up your big girl (or big boy) panties, and get to work. That’s all there is to it. Importantly, stopping the talk about ‘the struggle’ will stop any struggling going on in your writing life. Perhaps not today or tomorrow, but the longer you go without negative talk about your writing career, the more productive, profitable and gratifying it will be.

It’s magic, yes. But it’s also science, so it’ll work for you even if you don’t believe in rainbow unicorns.

Let me explain. Whatever you focus on becomes primary in your life. You attract the object of your focus and bring more of it into your sphere of consciousness. Think about what happens when you’re jonesing for a particular make of car, say, a BMW, and suddenly you see them all over town. Everyone seems to have one. Rest assured, the entire population hasn’t run out and purchased a Bimmer because they know you want one. What’s happening is that you’re paying attention. You’re now seeing all the BMWs that have always been tooling around your town, but you hadn’t noticed them because you didn’t care to.

Likewise, if you’re always noticing how much you struggle with writing, ipso facto, you’ll have more of it. You’ll start seeing difficulties everywhere, from dealing with writing software to finding time to fit writing into your day. Writing will become more and more of a struggle. Ugh.

This means in order to move your career along, you must stop struggling. Stop talking about struggling to others and to yourself. When someone asks you how the writing business is, tell them it’s fantastic. If they ask you about whether you’re published, tell them you’re in the process. It’s the truth, isn’t it? Even if you’ve received numerous rejections, you’re still moving forward. Hell, people are reading your manuscript or pitch and liking it enough to write back. That’s progress! Start noticing the things going right with your writing practice. Pay attention and before long there will be more and more of those right things populating your universe and your writing career will be on the move.

And here’s the science: this type of attention phenomenon is particularly useful when it’s directed at a specific task, goal, or thing (like that BMW). So, although being optimistic is great, directing your optimism at a very specific area of your life (like your writing practice) can work wonders. A study conducted over two years with input from more than 123 employers and published in the Journal of Positive Psychology underscores this paradox, showing that work-directed optimism impacted work engagement and career far more than simple positive thinking.

Remember, the struggle is real, but only if you make it so. And the choice is yours!

See you on the next page!

 

 


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boredom for a good idea

This Little-Known Trick Can Generate a Good Idea for Your Next Story

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Ever needed a good idea for a story and felt completely stumped? You know the feeling, that agonizing hum of dead air between the ears when you most need inspiration? If you’re a writer, this happens to you sometimes. There are lots of ways to jumpstart your idea factory (I’ve written about some here and here and even a few weeks ago, here), but there was one thing I’d neglected to try.

Boredom.

Ennui: The Surprising Catalyst for A Good Idea

Yep, good, old fashioned, bored-out-of-my-gourd tedium–the kind you may have experienced as a kid sitting at the grownups’ table. I say “may have” because if you’re young enough, you probably had an electronic device that countered any hint of lassitude — and possibly a good idea or two as well.

If you were lucky, as I was, to be born straddling the line between analog and digital worlds, then you had plenty of time to experience soul-sucking boredom. Doctors’ visits, grocery shopping with your mother, and (dare I say it) church services. During interminable drives to some unappreciated event, I’d look at the car window and imagine the other cars as horses in a race with ours. Ours was white with a black hard top — a beautiful steed. Or, I’d gaze up at the clots of cottony cumulonimbus and see what I could make of them. Sometimes, I’d have a good idea for a story, because even then I was a writer.

Then I grew up. I got an iPhone. An iPad. A computer. I have apps, games, and unlimited data — boredom doesn’t stand a chance. Unless, of course, I forget to take my digital nanny with me as I did last week.

I was invited to one of those long, dull, speech-giving, ceremony-having kind of events with lots of downtime between speakers. Out of politeness, I accepted, even though I didn’t know a single person there. I had a plan. I’d just mess with my phone during lulls. I got there on time, settled into a far corner, and waited for the evening to commence. Within minutes, tired of people-watching, I decided to check the news. In a moment the terrible truth dawned on me. Somehow, inexplicably, I’d left at home the one item that was as much a part of my daily outfit as shoes and underwear.

Not a good idea, I thought to myself as I slumped lower in the velvety grip of the auditorium chair. I sighed and stared at the ceiling, noticing the ceiling lights in their neat furrows. That wasn’t interesting. I gazed out at the night through the only window, watching the telephone lines holding back the encroaching roadside woods  like velvet ropes at a nightclub.  A coincidental line of red cars drove past slowly, like engine-stoked corpuscles meandering through a vein. Behind them, a sleek dark coupe with blacked-out windows followed, nose-to-tail with the last car.

I startled myself out of my reverie. I just had an idea for a story. Not just a good idea — a great one. I looked around to see if anyone noticed, but they were all sunk in their digital domains or chatting lightly with neighbors. I relaxed back into my slump and let boredom overtake me again. Three fully-fledged story ideas danced in my head by the end of the evening. Thank goodness I had a napkin and a pen in the car so I could write them down before I forgot them.

The moral of this story is that boredom is okay. In fact, it’s a good idea. I’ve found tapping back into that childhood fount of creativity produces more and better ideas than I’ve had in a long while. I still get inspiration online and from audiobooks and other sources, but I don’t rely upon it any longer.

Plus, I no longer dread those occasional device-less moments. In fact, I intentionally strand myself electronically at times when I’m feeling low on creativity to get back in the flow.

I challenge you to give boredom a try — it just might be the beginning of a beautiful new relationship with your creative self.

See you on the next page!


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what to write

What to Write in 2017

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New Year’s resolutions: Most are compounded in a surfeit of sparkly-eyed impulsiveness brought on by a combination of alcohol and hubris. What results from unattainable goal-setting is soul-sucking emptiness accompanied by a “why bother?” attitude. And, if you’re a writer, a few ill-chosen goals can completely derail you–heart, soul, and ambition. None of us wants to chase words around the page to end up with an unsellable article or unworkable storyline.

So forget resolutions for 2017. Instead, determine what to write. It’s not even a goal, really. It’s more of a quest–a bit of inner research to help organize the numinous threads of creative genius lurking beneath your surface.

Because it’s there, I promise. If you’ve got a passion for writing, that creative vortex is in there, churning with ideas for stories the rest of us can’t even begin to imagine. You only need to coax it out.

What to Write, Really

So let 2017 be the year you decide what to write. Do you have the makings of a non-fiction writer? Then choose your niche. Will you write about travel, finance, hearing loss, Komodo dragons, or how to get an automobile loan? What topics fire your passions? What subjects make you want to Google search until your fingertips bleed?

Feeling fictional? What’s your genre? Are you ready for romance or do you fancy a bit of post-apocalyptic drama? Some of you lean toward the cerebral buzz of a technological thriller while others feel more at home in worlds of swords and sorcery. Which are you?

Discovering what to write is as easy as getting a cup of coffee or tea (tot of whiskey optional) or other beverage of choice and spending a nice afternoon with your feet up thinking about it. Don’t stress. Don’t force it. Just daydream and write down the thoughts that float into the periphery of your mind.

You’re not searching for a specific idea, although one may come to you. Instead, you’re searching for the word to place on the blank line:              I write ________________.

Books for children under 8?

How-to articles on woodworking?

Historical romances?

The crucial part of the formula is to be true to yourself. Don’t force yourself to write a certain type of article or story because you think it makes money. Good writing can make money. Stilted writing, even in a “money-making” genre or topic, makes none. So, if erotica is not your thing, do us all a favor and stick to a subject that is, even if it happens to be “steampunk vampire medical romances.” You’ll find your tribe, your niche, your avid readers, no matter how broad or narrow your genre. Same thing goes for you non-fiction writers. If writing about industrial laser diodes makes you want to poke yourself in the eye with a fork, then leave off and find something that will stimulate you to excel at your craft.

So, what kind of writer will you be in 2017? I can’t wait to find out!

 


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what if

What If? A Writing Exercise to Generate New Ideas

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What if you had a foolproof way of finding new and exciting ideas for stories? If you’re like me, sometimes ideas flow like water over the falls, tumbles and tangles of the beginnings, middles, or ends of workable storylines. Other times, though, not so much. When that mighty river trickles to a stop and I despair of ever having the makings of a good story again, there’s one writing exercise I return to consistently: The What If.

This exercise isn’t magic, but it can seem like it, particularly when you’re stumped for ideas.   While you can look online for writing prompts, finding one you like in your genre can be difficult. Because this exercise lends itself to any genre or story length, it’s perfect for any writer.

The “What If” in a Nutshell

This is so simple it’s gonna make you mad you didn’t think of it earlier. Let me walk you through it:

  • First of all, you’re at a loss for a story idea.  Zero. Zip. Nada.
  • You have a favorite genre. This isn’t necessary, but it is helpful. For the purposes of this example, I’ll choose horror.
  • Finally, start with a simple, everyday scenario — like this:

A girl is walking down the street.

Now add your “what if” magic (insert magic wand sound effect here).

  • What if the street is in a bad neighborhood?
  • What if the street is the mirror image of a street in the underworld that runs just beneath it?
  • What if the girl is a shapeshifter?
  • What if she spontaneously shifts shape when a cloud passes over the sun?

You get the idea (pun intended). You can add any “what if” element to your scenario, and I encourage you to do so. Add things even if they seem ridiculous. Since you never know how something, or combination of things, is going to trigger a phenomenal idea for a kick ass story, make sure you write each one down.

Let’s try another one, just for fun. Here’s your scenario:

An old man is drinking coffee at the kitchen table. The sun is shining through the curtains.

  • What if the old man is an alien?
  • What if nanobots have infected his coffee?
  • What if the sun is artificial and the man doesn’t realize he’s living in a simulation?
  • What if the coffee was grown by an enslaved population on the planet Valdez where 12 million die every week to harvest it?
  • What if the coffee is addictive and it’s made from the stomach acid of the deadly Vorblesnox ?
  • Finally, what if there’s only one Vorblesnox left in the world and the old man has it chained in his basement.

Now You Try!

Make your own magic. Get scenarios from real life, grab them off a television show, or enlist a friend to shoot you a sentence or two. Then, unleash the brainstorm that’s brewing just beneath your surface. Just utter those two simple words and turn the most innocuous of scenarios into the sweetest story concept yet.

Go on, I dare you!

See you on the next page!


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ink in the flow

Writing Interrupted? Get Back in the Flow!

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Life is busy, and full of responsibilities. Sometimes, this means having the flow of your writing interrupted by the daily deeds we all must do: full- or part-time jobs, family obligations, errands, home chores, and the ebb and flow of relationships. These common disruptions can throw writers into a spin if they happen when we’re in that productive, near-fugue state that creatives experience “in the flow.” Don’t worry, though. You can preserve your writing “flow” when real life infringes on your writing time.

How To Recapture The Flow State

First, let’s define that flow state. Hungarian psychologist Mihaly Csíkszentmihályi coined the term “flow” to describe a complete and total absorption with a particular activity back in 1975. In his book, Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience, Csíkszentmihályi reasons that people are happiest when they are in a state of flow. In this state, people are so involved in an activity that nothing else matters. They go through a period of absorption, engagement, fulfillment, and skill, during which concerns such as time, food, and other obligations are typically ignored.

Sounds like a definition of your best writing days, right?

So, it’s no wonder that having your writing interrupted is a bummer, to say the least. However, there are ways to preserve that flow state so you can step back into it more easily. Here are just two:

Re-creating the Scene

First, let’s take a look at the impact of your surroundings on writing flow. I’ve often extolled the virtues of having  a specific place for writing, and flow is one of the reasons why. When your flow state gets disturbed, it’s much easier to re-enter it if you can re-create, in detail, your surroundings at the time of your flow experience. This is simple when you’re “flowing” in a space dedicated to writing. And, in fact, a dedicated writing spot can help encourage more episodes of flow, just by association. If, however, you got into a writing groove one morning at the local Starbucks, you can try to regenerate that flow by going back to the same Starbucks, ordering what you ordered when you were in the flow, and sitting at the same table. If you were listening to your favorite tunes, pop your earbuds back in and choose the same (or similar) music.

Re-creating the Focus

One of the hallmarks of being in the flow is extreme focus. Focus, and a way to bring about focus, is different for every writer. In general, though, you need to remove all distraction from your writing area. Turn off cellphones and TVs. Tell other people to steer clear. Take care of any extraneous errands or chores that might be weighing on your mind, keeping you from focusing. Then, add in those elements that help you focus. For some, music is critical for focus; for others, it’s a distraction. Some focus well with bright lighting; others with low, ambient light. Time of day can be critical for focus, too. Some writers are night owls, feeling their best and brightest in the wee hours, while others can’t concentrate after 2 pm. Knowing yourself well, and knowing the things that help or detract from your ability to focus, is the key to recovering the flow after an interruption.

So, the next time your flow is disrupted by homework-laden children, a rambunctious pet, or an urgent phone call, don’t despair. Get that magnum opus flowing again with these simple adjustments!

See you on the next page!

 


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author struggling with writing process

The Book Starts Here: A (Simple) Writing Process That Works

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Want a writing process that will get your book written fast?

Don’t we all. And there are plenty of suggestions, programs, methods, and systems that claim to help you do this. But what if there was a simple way to get your book done that has actually been right in front of your nose all along? There is. And I’m gonna let you in on the secret.

The primary reason writers never get that book started is because many of us are held back by a (sometimes subconscious) fear of success. Or we are procrastinators. Or we think our writing can’t possibly be good enough. Or (fill in your reason here).

But there’s a cure:

In order to gather the courage to begin a daunting task, you need to prove to yourself that you can do it. Sometimes your logical mind says “Yes, I can,” but your subconscious editor says, “Oh no, you can’t.” What makes this little problem so difficult to overcome is the fact that half the time we don’t even recognize that we’re derailing ourselves this way.

Luckily, it’s easy to tweak your writing process to get the upper hand on this kind of self-defeating thinking. It’s easy. It works. It’s…

The Easiest Writing Process in the World

Here it is in a nutshell, and promise me, please, that you won’t get angry with me when you realize how darn easy and obvious this is:

If you want to write a book, write a page first. Even if that page sucks, it will prove to you (and your inner editor) that it can be done.

This is just the thing you need to propel you forward. No more whinging about needing creative inspiration. No more procrastinating until you have the perfect word processing software, the right number of minutes in the day to write, or an ergonomically correct desk chair.

What you really need to keep your writing flowing is not another writing process, but a boost of confidence. A goal like “writing a novel” is a daunting task, but the goal of “writing a page” is easily done, even by my son, who is as allergic to English as many children are to nuts. Once you have that page written, it’s easy to imagine yourself writing another. And another. And even more. The more pages you get written, the more easily you can see yourself with that rough draft, ready for editing, then a polished manuscript, nicely formatted and ready to present to agents, publishers, or the general public.

So then next time you find yourself in a procrastinating mood, stop and challenge yourself to write that page. Don’t worry about making it good — that’s not part of the protocol. Just get it written. Get it written, and more words will follow. Editing is so much easier than writing, so once you have a chapter or two written, give yourself a rest from writing if you wish and work on polishing your prose.

All of these tasks will help reinforce your ability to do all the things good writers do: write, edit, repeat. Once you get “in the flow” the flow will get in you, encouraging that inner editor to reach higher and higher goals.

So what are you waiting for? Write that page!

See you on the next page!

Nikki Bee


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fear of success

3 Ways Writers Can Conquer Fear of Success

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Fear of success is rampant amongst writers, a group famous for derailing their own goals and wishes in a morbid cloud of creative angst. Step away from the hemlock, people! Don’t let that niggling little inner editor keep you from writing that book, article, or essay and by all means, don’t let it keep you from publishing!

Since the first step to any cure is to admit you have a problem, I challenge you to take a good, hard look at your attitude toward your writing. Do see any of the following characteristics in the way you approach your career as a wordsmith?

  • You don’t tell others about your writing accomplishments.
  • You procrastinate working on writing projects, especially ones that could lead to recognition.
  • You adopt a “why bother?” mentality when it comes to writing query letters, seeking agents, finishing manuscripts, or completing other tasks that will further your career.
  • You refuse to believe your writing is worthy, even if you have beta readers telling you it is!
  • You compromise your writing time or spending money advancing your writing career to avoid conflict within your family.
  • You keep up a negative mental chatter about your inability to achieve your writing goals so much that you convince yourself to quit working on writing.
  • Even when you have some success as a writer (a published article or story, for example) you feel like it’s a “one-off” event. Eventually you’ll fail, and, having spent time and money on your failed writing career, you’ll end up in a worse place than where you started.

If you answered “yes” to two or more, you may have a bona fide fear of success as it pertains to your writing. Don’t freak out — instead, learn to redirect your fear into power. Here’s how:

making things possible by removing fear of successFear of Success Power Training

  1. Get rid of overwhelm. Take your writing one step at a time so you can be in PFM©(Perpetual Forward Motion). If you need a refresher course on this, check out this post.
  2. Conquer fear of success with the “do it first, ask questions later” philosophy. In a nutshell, keep your eyes on the prize and don’t worry about the details. When you find yourself thinking about if/then scenarios, refocus yourself ONLY on your task: finishing that story, nailing that query letter, or completing that rough draft.
  3. Keep a success journal and write every single thing you are successful doing in your writing career. Every. Single. Thing. With a list like this, you won’t be able to fool yourself into “why bother?” thinking. Your list might include things like:
    1. Finished two query letters.
    2. Worked up a new idea for a novella.
    3. Researched article ideas for a new online consumer magazine I want to query.
    4. Posted writing-related stuff on Twitter.
    5. Worked on my author bio.

Once you give yourself enough proof of your ability to get things done, your fear of success will be relegated to a small, dark cubby at the very back your inner editor’s desk.  So add these simple tools to your daily routine and get your writing career off to a fresh, new, fabulous start.

See you on the next page!

Nikki Bee


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this 70s sitcom will help you be a better writer

How This 70s Sitcom Can Make You A Better Writer

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You remember Oscar Madison, the lovable lummox from Neil Simon’s “The Odd Couple”? Always pushing socks, dirty underwear, and food-laden dishes out of his way to scribble a few notes down on a pad of paper, Oscar epitomized a disorganized writer. Despite his casual approach to life and work his sports column thrived, but he didn’t worry much about being a better writer. He simply wrote.

Enter his roommate: uptight, obsessive-compulsive Felix Unger, a newswriter and germophobe who worries excessively about organization and feels the need to point out all of Oscar’s failings. He may have irritated people with his criticism, but he got things done and got all of his facts straight. The friends’ clashing styles cause them to have a tumultuous relationship, but each grudgingly admits the other was good for them.

Unwittingly, this 70s sitcom provided the perfect formula for you to be a better writer. It solves the problem of getting your writing out of your head and on paper and then gives you the tools to make that writing world-class. Let’s look at how it’s done.

jack klugmanWrite Like A Slob

You heard me. Go ahead, slump down in your chair, put your feet up on the table, eat some Cheetos, channel Oscar Madison and veg out. Just make sure that you write while you’re doing it. Oscar was on to something with his lackadaisical approach; he knew that sometimes inspiration needs a bit of space. I don’t mean that you should put off writing until you “feel it” — I am saying you write whenever, whatever, even if you don’t feel it! Write on the backs of bill envelopes, the cover of the phone book (if you still have one!), or on an app on your phone. If an idea strikes, just stop and get it down. Laundry will wait. Dinner can wait. Even most errands can wait. Take advantage of those lightening strikes of brilliance when the universe offers them up to you. The first step to becoming a better writer is to start writing.

Don’t force it. Be casual and know that it will come in its own good time. Stressing over whether or not you have an idea is not going to make matters better and may, in fact, make them much worse! When you write, just let the words flow. Don’t worry about whether they make sense or not. Don’t worry about punctuation, phrasing, dialogue, or story line. Just write!

Edit Like A Neat Freaktony randall

Remember, Felix did have a point about Oscar’s laziness. Sometimes his laxity led to messed up finances, toxic living spaces, and disappointed friends and employers. To try and counter his friend’s casual approach to life, Felix danced in the other direction. He tidied up behind Oscar at warp speed, micromanaged his tasks and to-do list, and worried about every sniffle and sneeze. This is exactly the tact a writer needs to take when editing the works produced in a frenzy of Oscar-like creativity.

When you put your editing cap on, channel Felix’s unrestrained nit-pickery. Go over every word, every sentence, every phrase like your life depends upon it. To be a better writer, scrutinize your storyline, check your facts, and brutally remove any words that don’t add value to your writing. Clean it up until it sparkles! Obsess over verb tense and adverb use. Get psycho over subplots. Do whatever it takes to make your writing as polished as possible. If you use Felix’s attention to detail, you can’t help but be a better writer by the end of your editing session!

Felix: Ah… you “assumed”. My dear, you should never “assume”. You see, when you “assume”

[writes the word “assume” on a blackboard]

Felix: you make an “ass”… out of “you”… and “me”.

Using both Oscar and Felix’s strategies at the appropriate times allows you to channel what’s good about their approaches while eliminating the drawbacks. Loosening up to let creativity flow then tightening your scope during editing is the perfect mix to take your writing to the next level.

See you on the next page!

Nikki Bee

 


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time for writing blurb

The Writing Jar — VIDEO

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If you don’t have time to read the blog post, take a minute and get an overview here and kick your writing into high gear!


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no more writer's block

The Writing Jar – Conquer Writer’s Block by Preserving Ideas for Later

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Jar of writing ideas to help with writer's block

Here’s my jar! Who knows what incredible stories it holds?

We’ve all experienced writer’s block—that sudden chasm that opens up between you and your next good idea.

You stand next to the yawning abyss looking forlornly at the other side, knowing that the idea for a best-selling novel, or a salable short story, or an article pitch is waiting if you could just get over there somehow.

But the bridge is down, the winds are high, and you don’t have a plane. So you put away your writing tools and head out to the grocery store or the hardware store or even the back yard where, by God, at least you’ll accomplish something today.

And what you do then is not nearly as important as what you’re not doing. You’re not writing, you’re not practicing your craft and, ergo, you’re not getting better at it. 

Don’t let an imagined dearth of ideas serve as an excuse to “do something else productive.”

Hit back at writer’s block by doing this instead:

Step One:  Move. 

I walk (almost) every morning and listen to an audiobook. Sometimes it’s about writing or language, but sometimes it’s other self-improvement topics or just plain escapist literature—whatever is floating my boat that day. Maybe you’ll run, or dust, or do laundry. But move and pay attention to something— it gets the creative juices flowing and helps remove idea stuckages (yep, I just made that up) that contribute to writer’s block.

Step Two: Record. 

I carry my phone everywhere because it has a handy-dandy “notes” app that I can use to jot things down that come into my head on the spur of the moment. Most of us have TONS of good ideas and we say “Oh, I’ll remember that,” and then we Don’t. Ever. Find. It. Again. So write it down or speak it into a voice memo app. Sometimes you don’t really have writer’s block — you have just managed to forget your best ideas!

Step Three: Collect. 

I am amazed at the kinds of things that spark an idea. Sometimes it’s a phrase —

“inter-cranial jewelry making”

from Elizabeth Gilbert’s “Big Magic” comes to mind. I wrote it down after hearing it on her audiobook, placed it in my jar and, in due time, it metamorphosed into a short story. Sometime’s it’s a scene: One morning I was walking in a (literal) fog and it was wreaking havoc with my hairstyle. This sentence popped into my head:

“Bits of cloud stuck to her hair, reducing it to sopping tangles.”

Or how about this partial sentence pulled from the scent of the neighborhood bakery early one morning:

“…the sweet, sugary weight of doughnuts in the air…”

Or, when I was walking around the lake on a calm, windless morning:

“The placid water spurled toward the shore, the ripples erasing themselves on the sand in quiet desperation.”

I don’t usually know what I am going to do with these bright and shinies when they first come to me. But I know I will need them later, and I know they are going to grow into something beautiful. So when I get home from my walk, I transcribe each onto a colorful piece of paper and place it in a jar that I keep on a shelf in my office. When I am feeling empty and uninspired, I reach in, grab one, and let my imagination fly. Something fascinating always emerges!

See you on the next page!

Nikki Bee

 


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