Weird Ways to Beat Writer’s Block

Hint: they don’t involve writing

Ryan Doskocil

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Photo by Vinicius “amnx” Amano on Unsplash

Creativity is fickle. It requires a combination of motivation and inspiration, and sometimes the weather has to be just right or the stars aligned, or it strikes at 2am when you have to get the kiddos to school the next day, or sometimes when you’re in the shower or on the toilet.

But sometimes creativity doesn’t strike at all. It gets stuck in the big muddy bog of your personal ennui, self-doubt, mental fatigue, or lack of inspiration. We’ve all been there. When creativity derails, no amount of force will make it better, which you’ll discover quickly if you try to bulldoze through it.

So how do you shake it? For starters, leaving your comfort zone is a great way to loosen up stagnant energy and shift your mind back toward creativity, and to rediscover what keeps you motivated and inspired. Here’s how to do that.

How to Get Your Flow Going

Get In the Kitchen

Cooking and baking aren’t for everyone, I get it, but you can’t deny that food is a universal source of pleasure and inspiration. Consider the elements that parallel writing, such as the smell of food (hooking your reader), the variable list of ingredients (characters), the mixing and combining (sentence structures), the baking or cooking process (revision), savoring the finished product (manuscript publication), or even burning the crap out of it and having to scrap it and start again. Often a few days in the kitchen is enough to flip that stuck switch in your brain, allowing your mind to feel the spoils of successful creation.

Get Outside

Writing is so sedentary and internal it can reduce you to zombie status in no time. Getting outdoors is one of the simplest ways to combat this. Go for a hike and absorb the drool-inducing beauty of nature, and while you’re moving, start to imagine how a story might develop in your surroundings. What kind of historical fiction might take place there? What sort of fantastical creatures could lurk in the trees? What might it look like far in the future? If hiking isn’t an option, stroll around the block and imagine the people who live in the houses around you. Get in the garden and spend time noticing the birds…

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Ryan Doskocil

Ryan Doskocil is a fiction author specializing in speculative fiction and magical realism. Visit his website at ryandoskocil.com.