Outstanding fiction and nonfiction writers have something in common: they have mastered the art of wordsmithing, the ability to choose just the right combination of words to exude the intended reaction from the reader. This is a skill that takes time to develop and can be especially difficult when faced with the dreaded writer’s block—the right idea is there, your mind reaches for it, but it’s just outside your conscious grasp. No matter how hard you try, you can not find the words. You keep trying and before long… you have no words. This is writer’s block. It’s real, and it’s something all writer’s face. The good news is that regular exercise of your creative muscles can ensure writer’s block visits you less often while helping develop the wordsmithing skills you need to keep your reader’s attention.
Here are a few suggestions to nurture your right brain and keep it churning out ideas:
Try Creative Writing Prompts
Writing prompts and story starters are short sentences or passages that can help you generate ideas for your writing. You can find these online or in books, magazines, and other literature. Pick writing prompts from these sources based on what you want to write about. If you are writing a technical or informational article, you might want to use sources like Wikipedia. If, on the other hand, you’re writing a creative story, you might want to use one of your favorite novels instead. Turn to a random page, pick a random line, and use it as the starting point. Or, put that line at the end of your story, and work your way backward!
Start a Blog
If you start a blog and write regular posts, you might be surprised how fast your writing skills improve! Blogging provides a channel for developing creative writing skills, but this development only happens when posts are made on a regular, frequent basis. Blog posts can be as long or as short as you want them to be. You can also start a blog without spending a single penny. WordPress, Wix, and Blogger are platforms that can get you started within a few hours.
Write Letters to Your Younger Self
Pick a time in your life when you were younger and write a letter to yourself as a creative writing exercise. Don’t hold back while doing this; let it all flow out. Writing to your younger self will trigger memories that might make you emotional, in good or bad ways, and this will immediately activate your creativity. For example, you could write to yourself about what you will be going through in the year 2020. Does the COVID-19 pandemic come to mind? Tell yourself all about what is happening and how you wouldn’t believe it if you hadn’t seen it for yourself.
Ideas come from creative thought and these exercises are designed to activate your creativity and avoid the paralysis of writer’s block. I hope they help you find your words!