Meghan Miller is a senior at the University of Northern Colorado (UNC) studying English Liberal Arts and is also pursuing a double-minor in Writing and Media Studies. She is the President and Editor-In-Chief of UNC’s Literary and Arts Magazine, The Crucible. When Meghan is not in class or running a meeting for The Crucible, she works at The UPS Store where she sneakily reads and writes in the back room. In her free time, Meghan enjoys editing friend’s papers, exploring the outdoors, reading and writing, cooking, and playing with her dog. Meghan is passionate about the written word and wants it to be a part of her everyday life. As an intern at TBL, Meghan is very excited to learn about the editing and publishing world. She looks forward to being an avid contributor to TBL in as many ways possible.
5 Ways to Kick Writer’s Block
by Meghan Miller
Have you found yourself in a writing slump? Can’t seem to come up with new ideas? Or are you just bored with what you’re writing?
Even the best writers get stuck sometimes. With tons of ways to solve writer’s block at the tip of your fingers, sometimes the solution is simpler than you think. These 5 ideas will remind you that inspiration really is everywhere—you just have to find it:
Technology doesn’t have to be a distraction to the writing process. There are lots of fun writing apps that can get your creative juices flowing. You can find prompt generators, character naming ideas, and lists of infinite things to write about or include in your story. One of the prompt generators that I found gives you a place, a character, an object, and a smell. For example, write about a young doctor on a dance floor with a bottle of red wine and the smell of baby powder.
Go Somewhere New
Try going to a new place, be it a coffee shop, a biker bar, a hike, or a park. Be aware of your senses. What do you smell, hear, see, feel, taste? Are there interesting people around? New places are always blooming with exciting things to observe.
Go Somewhere Familiar
Is there a special place you always go to write? Or a coffee shop you can’t get enough of? Go there! Make a list of 10 or more things that you never noticed before. Just because the place is familiar to you doesn’t mean you have seen everything it has to offer. Write about the hidden gems.
Write in the Shower
I don’t know about you, but I come up with some great ideas in the shower (I also win a lot of fake arguments). The only problem is paper and water don’t get along very well. But wait! There is a solution: buy children’s shower markers or crayons to write on the tile walls. They come in all sorts of colors and they don’t stain your shower. The best part is that if your idea is awful, you can wash it down the drain, never to be seen again. Not only is this great to get your ideas down so you can write them in a dry space later, but it is also fun and you can create a masterpiece (your housemates will be entertained too).
This is one of my favorite things to do, even when I’m not looking for writing inspiration. Go to a bus stop, train station, airport (security might get on you if you stay there a long time without meeting anyone. Live life on the edge!), shopping mall, the list goes on and on. While you are observing people, write their life stories, describe their personalities or their love lives. It is fun to let loose and just make these things up. Plus it can give you great fuel for character ideas later!
What’s your favorite tried-and-true trick for conquering writer’s block? Tell us in the comments!