EPISODE 15: 10 WAYS TO UNLOCK CREATIVE WRITING IDEAS AND OVERCOME WRITER’S BLOCK
by Simone Sauter
Imagine if you could just sit down and allow all your creative content ideas to flow out of you with ease…
You’d simply get that flash of inspiration and then effortlessly express your unique message with your intended audience in the medium you choose: blogs, podcasts, videos, photography…
You could wave goodbye to struggles.
To staring at the blank screen.
To feeling so frustrated that you just want to tear your hair out.
You could just create awesome content that would allow you to connect with your audience, solve their problems and encourage them to follow you.
But we all know what the reality looks like…
There are days when it’s a struggle to get your brain to function. Ideas get stuck somehow in your head and never make it onto the page. Or worse still, your mind goes blank and you feel like you have nothing of value to offer the world.
Yes, we’ve all been there. Say hello to writer’s block.
However, there’s no reason why you have to stay stuck forever or let your skills and talent go to waste. Here are ten tips on how you can overcome writer’s block (or creative block) and create some awesome content.
Click on play and listen to this episode:
#1: GET UP AND MOVE AROUND
There’s nothing worse than staring at a blank page and wishing you could come up with an inspiring idea for content. It seems that the more you try to force ideas to come through, the further away they get!
Instead of driving yourself crazy like this, I recommend that you get up from your laptop and do something else instead. This will help ease the pressure a bit, free up your brain and give those creative ideas chance to come through when they’re good and ready. Besides, it doesn’t help when you just sit there wasting your time, scrolling Facebook or Instagram and getting mad with yourself for not creating anything.
Get up and move your body instead.
#2: GET OUT INTO NATURE
Another great way to de-stress, get away from your desk and to allow those creative ideas to flow is to get out into nature, allowing yourself to be fully present.
Getting out of your head, into the fresh air and into nature can really help you relax and think about something else for a change, which can work wonders when it comes to getting inspired.
Just be there and don’t push yourself to do anything, to think anything or to create anything.
#3: DANCE AND SING!
This is my favourite way to overcome writer’s block or creative block. When I’m feeling stuck, I just get up, I put in my earbuds and I dance and sing as much as I want to. Doing this helps blow away the cobwebs, lifts my mood and gets me out of that frustrating place.
Yes, at times it can be challenging to get up, dance and sing and to be in a good mood, especially when you secretly want to scream and throw your computer at the wall. But it will really help you in the end.
You see, when we dance and sing, when we move our bodies and we think of something else, we connect both sides of our brain and allow it to work better.
What music could help you break out of that funk, have some fun and get creative next time you’re suffering from writer’s block? Have a think then make an uplifting ‘creative party’ playlist and enjoy!
#4: TALK TO SOMEONE
Another great way to overcome that writer’s block is simply to talk to yourself or someone else about it. There’s a certain kind of magic that comes when you express yourself verbally that allows everything to flow naturally and somehow make better sense.
I’ve mentioned this trick in the past when it comes to creating content because it really works.
When I do my brainstorming during the planning stages, I usually talk to myself as if you, the reader, was standing right in front of me. Then I just see what’s naturally coming out of me without forcing myself to put everything into words.
For example, I can imagine you standing there right now, asking me, “What can I do when I hit writer’s block?’ Then I just allow the answer to come naturally and intuitively. Once I’ve done this, I can write it down and start shaping it into the perfect podcast or blog post.
If you have people around you when you’re creating, then you can ask them to be your ‘sounding board’. Tell them what you want to share about this topic and allow the conversation to flow. Most of the time you’ll find new ideas coming up and new angles that you can write about. Then you just have to make notes and you’ll hopefully have captured something wonderful.
If you can, I’d highly recommend you record your conversation. Yes, it does sound funny and you might not feel comfortable about hearing the sound of your own voice. But it’s a great way to keep track of what you were talking about, and you can easily refer to it if you have problems remembering any of your ideas.
#5: SLEEP ON IT
Your grandparents’ advice was right – if you’re ever struggling to find a solution to a problem, it’s always a good idea to just sleep on it.
The same goes whether it’s a challenge in your life or a creative block that keeps you going around in circles.
So, before you go to bed, think about what you want to write about, what you want to create and what’s blocking you. Ask yourself, “What could I write about this topic? What problems could I solve with this content? What unique angle can I offer to my audience that will make a difference to their lives?”
Then relax and allow your subconscious to work through it whilst you sleep. More times than not, you’ll wake up feeling refreshed, recharged and feeling much more inspired.
You see, the problem isn’t that we don’t have a solution. We already do. It’s right there inside our hearts and minds. The only issue is that we can’t reach it. We’re asking the wrong questions and walking down the wrong pathways trying to work out where it is.
By allowing your subconscious to do the work, you start asking the right questions and help those subconscious solutions to become conscious creative thoughts and ideas.
Think of it, fall asleep, and then see how it goes the next day.
#6: BRAINSTORM AND DO SOME FREEWRITING
If you still feel like you can’t get your thoughts together and find the right content to make sense for a blog post, podcast, YouTube video or whatever, then don’t panic.
Instead pick up a pen and start brainstorming your ideas (even if you’ve already done it several times already). Create bullet-points, doodle, write randomly and see what emerges at the end.
Resist the urge to correct your grammar or spelling mistakes, censor your thoughts or tell yourself that your ideas aren’t good enough. There’s plenty of time to do that later. For now, just let it all pour out of you and onto that page.
#7: USE THE POWER OF PLAY
Play is a very important part of creativity for both kids and for adults.
It helps to channel and develop your self-expression, to try out new ideas in a safe way, and to expand and develop your problem-solving skills. All of which are vital when it comes to creating new blog posts, podcasts or being creative in any other part of your life.
If you have kids around then you can play with Lego, do a puzzle, play a game or simply hang out with them and see what happens.
Otherwise, you could do adult colouring books, do crafting, sew, knit, bake your favourite foods, dance, sing, run, or find something that makes you feel happy and creative.
When you come back to creating your content, you’ll notice a massive difference.
#8: READ AN INSPIRING ARTICLE OR BOOK
When you’re feeling stuck, it can be really useful to take a break and read something inspiring to help lift your spirits and get those creative juices flowing.
If you can, avoid reading books or articles on the topic you want to write about so you can avoid putting extra pressure on yourself, avoid comparing yourself to others or borrowing their ideas.
Otherwise, consider reading different articles, books or magazines around this piece of content that you want to create. Then make notes and put it together at the end with your own ideas, with your own character, with your own personality and your own ideas and opinions.
Always resist the urge to ‘copy and paste’.
#9: LISTEN TO BRAIN.FM
There’s an amazing website and app called Brain.fm which can help you to focus, relax, recharge your batteries, study, sleep or simply stimulate your brain to perform at its very best.
So, if I’m struggling with content ideas, I often go to a cafe, sit there and allow myself to be surrounded by people. The movement, sights, sounds and energy of the room really helps to inspire me.
If I also listen to Brain.fm, I can enjoy this energy without being distracted. I can simply focus on what I want to create and I can allow it all to flow.
Getting into a cafe is also very freeing for me because I’m also getting away from my desk, getting outside, walking between the car and the cafe and experiencing many of the stimuli the world has to offer.
#10: WALK AWAY…(JUST FOR NOW)
You know, sometimes you have days when nothing seems to work.
No matter what you do, you’re still struggling to get something decent to come out of your brain and onto the page.
If this happens, I suggest you just leave it for a day or two. That doesn’t mean that you need to forget the whole idea and just quit. If it works, just set yourself the intention that you want to create this piece of content and keep it in the back of your mind.
Allow yourself to do something else. Don’t try to force yourself to create this piece of content just now because forcing yourself to be creative never ever works.
If this still doesn’t do the trick, you can always save the idea somewhere for another day and shift your focus to something that does get you feeling inspired immediately.
Creative block (or writer’s block) happens to everyone. It’s all part of the journey to create awesome content that your audience will love. Follow these ten tips and you’ll soon shake yourself out of your creative ‘funk’ and allow those ideas to start flowing.
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