The Writing Life: Breaking Out of Writer’s Block
Get into a routine. This is very much as “Do as I Say Not As I Do,” piece of advice, but it works for some people. Like the unpalatable notion that diet and exercise will keep you healthy, scheduling a specific time to write can produce results. I recently asked Tim Cahill, a very successful adventure/travel writer, if he keeps to a schedule. (How could he? I thought. He’s always stomping through the jungle in
Listen to music. The right piece of music can produce a Pavlovian effect. I hear, ergo I write. Enya once got me through an entire rewrite of a novel. Will the people around you get sick of your inspirational music? Yup. Invest in some headphones.
Read something dreadful. We’ve all done it: picked up a published book and read something so flawed you’re seized by the desire to fling the thing into a fire. Don’t get mad. Get even. A good dose of, “I can do better than that” will get your keyboard humming again.
Eavesdrop. I figure there’s no expectation of privacy when you’re shouting into a cell phone. The conversations of strangers sometimes yield glittering nuggets of inspiration. Just be sure to change the names to protect the guilty.
Have some other ways to kick-start creativity? Share them here. What helps you might help someone else.