Luckily, I rarely suffer from writer’s block, (I usually have its exact opposite which one could call a Writer’s flood or a writer’s overflow), but over the years I’ve discovered some creative and fun ways to get the writing juices flowing and the ideas coming.
- 10 song challenge
Put all the songs on your Mp3 player/phone/computer/Spotify etc. on random play. When you hear the first beat of the song, start writing. Don’t think, just write. Try to catch the mood of the song or the feelings it inspires in you. I find it a very good way to let your subconscious take over and show you glimpses of a story. This is of course best for new idea generation, but you can also use it to sprint through scenes in your work-in-progress.
I’ll show you one of the pieces I wrote, it’s not perfect, there are some mistakes of grammar and tense for sure, but it got the job done. In three minutes I got myself a character and a situation. We even have some back story:
A lonely September
He was sitting in his room, staring at the worn out grey sock he glued on the mantelpiece with a piece of blue tac. It was so ridiculously disgusting that he burst out laughing and fell on the bed. He was alone in the dorm, all of his roommates went home for the holidays, leaving him behind like a yellowed Christmas tree after Twelfth Night. He took Jim’s guitar out of its case. He was not there and what he didn’t know couldn’t hurt him, right? He got a cigarette out of his pocket and had it hanging from his mouth as though he was Bob Dylan. He looked around for a place to sit and look cool, finally decided for the rim of their window and tried to play songs he once heard in the radio. Girls were passing below in the park, chatting and laughing. Some of them looked up at him, shadowing their eyes with colourful mittens, then they walked on. Of course, none of them was her.
Here is the song.
- Dixit challenge
It’s something I like to do with writing friends, but it can be fun alone as well. Dixit is an inspiring and fun board game, using creativity, free association and our knowledge of the other players. It uses cards with wonderful and slightly surrealistic pictures. Of course, one can always find ample sources of inspiration on the Internet, I have a whole Pinterest board full of inspiring pictures, but I like the randomness of the card draw and the rich details of the Dixit images. If you ever feel like, doing a one week challenge with me, feel free to comment 🙂
- Hashtag games
I found hashtag games a playful way to think about your story. It’s also a great way to connect with like minded people. There are different games every month, but #authorconfession and #WIPjoy are a good point to start.
I find constraints strangely inspiring; if I can write anything, I end up writing nothing. However, if I have set criteria, my brain swings into action and I try to connect the dots. I’ve written a zombie haiku or a Japanese zombie story just to mention a few examples. The site I check most often is Dark Markets and I also find a lot of call for submissions on Twitter, thanks to Free Writing events.
What do you do to fight writer’s block? Feel free to comment and share your ideas!
This post is part of the #AuthorToolboxbloghop, a blog hop for authors on the second Wednesday of every month. I’ve been participating in three different blog hops thanks to the wonderful list of Raimey Gallant, feel free to check out all of them.
#Authortoolboxbloghop by Raimey Gallant
#8sunday by Weekend Writing Warriors and
#storytimeblog hop by Juneta Key
14 thoughts on “How to cut through Writer’s block? #AuthorToolboxbloghop”
Hi Fanni! Great post. I love hashtag games as well, though I really should play them more. There are so many that it’s hard to keep up! Just a note that in order for the other hop participants to find this post, I advice including #AuthorToolboxBlogHop in your post’s title. You should be able to go in and make the change, so that you get lots of comments. 🙂
Thank you for your comment and thank you also for the email reminder, it helped me to be more organised 🙂 Thank you for the tip, I added the hashtag to the title!
I’m a planner, so I usually have a folder full of ideas for blog posts, and a backlog of book reviews I have to write. I usually find something that strikes my fancy, and away I go.
My problem is actually at the planning stage, especially with my fiction. What does my character want?
I’ve never heard of Dixit, but I’m going to look that up. It sounds like a fun game to play with my teens.
I envy planners 🙂 I’m very emotional and impulsive, so that makes life a bit difficult when it comes to writing steadily.
Dixit is really good for families and friends. There is also Mysterium which is similar but there is an investigation/haunting element to it. Sorry, I’m a board game buff 😀
I’m addicted to #games, they really are inspiring.
#FlashFicHive has been amazing for ideas this month. I’ve had 7 new short story ideas and one larger idea. Definitely a case of too many ideas here too! I love board games, so I’ll have to check out Dixit 🙂
Usually if i hit a block it’s because I dont’ kmow what a character wants at a certain point. Once I’ve identified the character’s goals for a scene, things seem to lock into place.
Thanks for sharing the tips
All excellent ideas to get things moving again. Thanks so much. 🙂
Anna from elements of emaginette
I’ve never heard of Dixit either. I’ll have to check it out. Great post today!
Thanks for the shout-out to Free Writing Events! I also have a list of the hashtag games too (bit.ly/dailyevents) if that might be helpful.
Speaking of Dixit, I use something similar: Story Cubes. They are dice with images on them intended to help you build stories. I love using them for one-Tweet stories but they can generate something of any size, too!
Oh yes I know Story cubes, they’re quite fun! I bought them for my little sister too, she is quite the story teller and I want to make a writer out of her too. :3
Like you I really don’t suffer from writer’s block, but I love looking for inspiration everywhere. Any thing I read, watch, see, smell, or even eat can become the spark of something to write about. One of my most recent was from some haiku I read.
I love constraints as well. I think that is why I spend time building characters and the world before I really get into planning the story beyond a vague notion.
Thanks for sharing your tips on writing inspiration!
Thanks for sharing your tips 🙂 I had to split my Pinterest board of inspirational pics into four… it was getting just too large to load!
Being originally from England almost 30 years ago, it made me laugh to see the words, “blue tac”. A staple for the Brits, I grant you, but the Americans are much more sophisticated!
I still have some of the stuff, and apparently it has a very long shelf life because it still works!
Loved this post!