Written by A Guest Author June 25th, 2020

9 Ways to Break Through Writer’s Block

By Chikodi Adeola Olasode

When you hit writer’s block, you’ll sit for hours in frustration, fiddling with your pen, and no ideas will come through.

I know how helpless I feel when my creative well hits an inspiration brick. But there are always ways through and around writer’s block to generate new ideas for short stories and books.

1. Make stories from your busy life

There’s no easy way to say this, but there’s a story in everything that takes most of your time and blocks your inspiration. It doesn’t matter if you work nine to five doing three shifts or have have three kids to raise. There are lots of stories hidden in that very busy life.

2. Get away from it all

Although a busy life can lead to story ideas, sometimes – of often- there’s need to get away from the daily hustle to have your ‘writer’s-time’.

Different strokes work for different folks, and I know how creative I get when alone. Start by locating a space that’s secluded and experience tons of inspirations bombard your senses. Make that get-away house, the garage, tree house or even the library become your haven to get away from it all and be inspired.

3.  Embrace nature

Nature is therapeutic and reinvigorating. There’s an awesome calm and awareness that comes with being around nature. Go on a trip to the beach, ride a bicycle through the woods, drive through the mountains and allow that keen boost to your senses. Let a downpour remind you of ‘a stormy night’ where two ships sail into a town carrying monkeys infected with Ebola. An idea can arise by just watching fishes swim in a large lake while you imagine mermaids among them.

4. Pitch yourself a story everyday

This may sound strange but you can get inspired by pitching yourself a story every day. Just write five to ten lines about anything that crosses your mind and watch those creative muscles come alive. It can dwell on online catering classes, the nosy neighbor and the awful smelling flower on the window sill. Experiment with ideas until a thought catches your fancy and voila!

5. Have a social life

Here’s a simple fact, as a writer you need to relate with people. Remember, socializing does have its perks which is why mingling on social media and other platforms is necessary. Cormac McCarthy gets inspired by talking to people. His book The Road actually started out as a conversation with his son.

6. Let the power of music

Music fuels your creative core and imagination in an amazing way. Just identify a song that appeals to you then let the lyrics and rhythm become an inspiration.  Great writers attest to music as an ultimate creative fix. Let good music serenade you and pulverize that writer’s block.

7. Learn a new word everyday

There’s no better time to explore a thesaurus than when you have the writer’s block. It adds to your vocabulary base and also helps in idea creation. Try toying with the word ‘abate’ and imagine a family trapped on an island waiting for the storm to abate. Ideas erupt from mere words which shows how easy it is for new words to inspire your next story idea.

8. Distill a sad experience

It is not always easy to write about a sad experience, but it can be powerful if distilled into writing. There is great tragedy is the death of a loved one, and the loss of a huge investment is devastating. Harness those emotions, maybe transform them into an idea for your next book. ‘Who knows, you may stumble on a story as awesome as The Titanic.

9. Darkness [HOW ABOUT: ‘Let darkness work’ OR ‘…work its magic’ OR SIMILAR?]

Imagine the powerful thoughts that race through your mind when sitting alone in the dark. It ignites my creative nerves and works for me every time I need an inspirational refill. Just turn off the light in a quiet room and watch the ideas pour in. It’s magical. 

You can look up sites like  Seventh Sanctum and Springhole for creative prompts to get past writer’s block if none of these work for you.

Bio: Chikodi Adeola Olasode is a freelance writer, content creator and a poet. You can read her poems at  http://www.novawriteinc.blogspot.com/. She lives with her husband and daughter in Ibadan. 


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