So you can’t write. :-/ You sat down at the keyboard, saw the blank page, and did one of the following:
- You FREAKED out and got scared that you didn’t really have anything to say. So you ran away from the keyboard and got busy with something else.
- You started typing and then started criticizing your words until you were too badgered to continue. You got up from your computer and limped away with your tail between your legs. (Been here too!)
- You typed and typed and then looked at the word count and was like… “THAT’S ALL?! WELP…”
- Or, you started typing, were on a roll, and then realized that your story was going straight to Nowhere’sville at 1000 mph, and you got frazzled and stopped.
Yes, I know your pain, boo. Because I’ve been to ALL these dark and terrible places. But I’ve also found my way back out of these places, and I’m here to help you do the same. Introducing my fantastical, fool-proof ways to crush the F*CK out of writer’s block!!
I’m going to give you the first 5 tips today, and then next week, we’re going to get more intense with the remaining 5 tips.
(Notice, though, this post gives you a light and airy, #chill way to crush writer’s block. Meaning, that you don’t have to actually do any hardcore writing. For now.)
So what’s the first #chill way to crush the F*CK out of writer’s block?
1. THE “SOMETHING NEW” METHOD
Go do something fun, new, and / or scary. And then write a quick (or not-so-quick) journal about it.
As the delightfully infamous Shonda Rhimes tends to say: “Say YES to doing something that scares you.”
And I can’t agree more.
Some of the most exhilarating and emotionally powerful experiences come from trying new things and facing our fears! From flirting with that cute barista to starting a blog, from traveling abroad alone to even taking a swimming lesson, every single one of us has a fear (or multiple fears) that we avoid on a daily basis to maintain our comfort zones. But by challenging our comfort zones and pushing boundaries, we invite ourselves into a new threshold of emotional experiences.
And as we experience new emotional arcs, growth, and depth it becomes way easier to transfer those experiences to our characters. Our experiences make their experiences more real.
2. FIND THE MUSE IN THE MUSIC
Music is one of the quickest routes to the soul and to human experience. Use it to your advantage.
I have to tell you, when I hear Sam Smith’s “Writing’s on the Wall”, my heart is literally rendered in two. Every time. I LOVE that frickin’ song. The music is dramatic and soul-wrenching. The lyrics are poignant. And Smith’s singing literally lifts you into another world. “Writing’s on the Wall” makes me think of two people, standing back-to-back, literally fighting the entire world to win, for each other.
I wrote some of my best scenes in my The Books of Ezekiel series while listening to this very song (and if you read up to book #7 (The Final Descent) when it comes out you’ll know exactly which scene I’m talking about)!
So I want you to create the ultimate “Writer’s Block” playlist, and use it to find instant inspiration for whatever scenes you need to write!
3. BE THE POPCORN PIMP(TRESS)
Collect ALL your favorite books, movies, TV shows, short stories, and more in the genre you want to write, and just CONSUME.
This is the ultimate excuse to kick back and relax while also hanging a huge “WORKING” sign on your door. And I’m dead serious. Studying your craft, learning about who and what came before you, immersing yourself in story, and mastering your genre through art study is SO FRIGGIN’ IMPORTANT to being a badass writer.
Personally, I like to focus on books and movies. I choose books and movies that I pretty much worship, want to emulate, or have a sincere emotional connection to. Consuming these— and seeing how my idols and mentors have executed their dreams and visions on the page and on the screen— gives me some great ideas and really gets me amped up to write.
The only danger in being a Popcorn Pimp is that you’ll substitute writing for “studying” with the excuse that you’re working. And you are. You are working, but you also need to be writing. Being a popcorn pimp or pimptress isn’t just about studying the craft. It’s also about putting that werk in them wordstreets, son.
4. BUILD YOUR CREATIVE DOJO
Take writing, craft, business, and marketing classes that will both educate and inspire you to get out, take action, and hustle your way to your author dreams!
Even if you are writing regularly and hitting your word counts, sometimes you’re just feeling plain ole overwhelmed and worn out. When this happens to me, I put the laptop down and replace it (temporarily) with bingeing on a series of vlogs, podcasts, sound bites, interviews, classes, movies / tv shows / animes, blog posts, etc., that are related to what I want to do!
For me, hearing about writers, artists, filmmakers, and others who are successfully doing what I want to do (and against great odds, nonetheless) really gets me revved up to go.
Don’t underestimate the power of watching others climb to the top. It will motivate you to do the same. For one, it cracks open the loneliness that sometimes comes with being a writer or creator. Secondly, watching others hit the milestones you want to hit is just plain ole inspiring! It shows you that it can be done, and that you can do it too. It’s sort of like watching porn to warm up a cold sex drive. Seeing the, uh, artistic imagery gets your mind open to the variety of— erm— possibilities, so to speak. Lol.
Not only that, often these artists are sharing invaluable pearls of wisdom and actionable tips. AND ALL FOR FREE!! It’s just up to you to take this knowledge and apply it to your craft and creative business.
4. CHOOSE YOUR SECRET SENSEI
Pick 3-5 artists whose careers you want to emulate and study literally every single thing they’ve done, are doing, and will do.
This may look a little cray cray on the surface, but in reality, this is an excellent way to crush your writer’s block and skim a little inspiration off the top as well! While in doing exercise #3, you’ll find some super inspiring stories, you’ll want to look for some heavy hitters who can unofficially become your senseis as well.
Mind, I’m not telling you to go and bug Joss Whedon about being your mentor. But, I am telling you to choose a few heavy hitters like him, who are super successful in their genres, and who you want to emulate. From there, you are going to study their careers, their life stories, their uneven and asymmetrical paths to success.
You are literally going to make them your secret sensei, of sorts. Long-distance and non-stalker stylez.
5. GET VISIONARY.
Create a career plan, vision board, and a ridiculous goal list for your career as an author, filmmaker, or creator in general!
One of the easiest— and most awesome-est— way of getting inspired to write is to envision and plan your career as a writer. With your eye on a goal that inspires you, it’s a heck of a lot easier to keep on your writing path and crush your blocks. And when you feel stuck, doing a visionary exercise will shake up your routine, get you to be more engaged and tactile, and break the monotony.
There you have it! An entire #chill as hell arsenal of activities and worksheets to help you crush the F*CK out of your writer’s block like a G! But stay tuned, I’ve got a SECOND article and yet another arsenal of writer’s block activities that are more intense, more involved, and just insanely #NOchill. So keep your eyes peeled for the second and final installment of the Writer’s Block post series, “10 Badass Ways to Crush the F*CK Out of Writer’s Block, Part II of II: The #NoChill Method”!
In the meantime, what are your secret weapons to crushing writer’s block? Any secret sauce swag any of us should be on? Drop your thoughts below! I’d LURVE to hear from ya! Write on, rock on, and, as always…