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