It’s morning – again. You’re at your writing desk. You’ve just opened your laptop. The blank screen faces you like a hangman’s shroud; the cursor blinks with metronomic impatience.
You’re on your third cup of coffee and still the creativity won’t come. What do you do?
Try these three tricks:
1. Suess it up.
Warm up your writing muscles with a silly poem or story. Try Dr Suess. ‘Oh the things you will write, what wondrous prose will come alive – when you write in colour and not in black and white!’
You can write a haiku or a rap-style verse, as long as it loosens those stiff creative muscles and makes you smile.
2. Rewind and review.
Print out the last few pages you wrote. Grab a pencil and read the pages, making a gentle deletion or two, adding in a new word and phrase.
Editing is often a less dramatic way to kick-start your week. Of course, don’t get so lost in the editing process that you forget to start writing.
3. Dear Me.
Grab a note pad or your journal. In long hand, write down everything on your mind – in other words, a bit of a ‘brain dump’. In this way, you get rid of all the inhibiting blockers.
Sometimes even doodling, scribbling or drawing on a blank page can get us going again. If your day allows it, go for a brisk walk and talk about what is on your mind. (Simply ignore the curious stares.)
And, finally, give yourself a time limit. I have found that this often helps me the most. ‘OK, I’m giving myself 15 minutes to do a warm up writing exercise and then I’m going to start writing.’
In this way, you can create a ritual and get your writing muscles supple and warm before you start a marathon of writing.
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