Have you ever tried to write when you’re too tired or when you’re burned out? Have you ever tried to write when your creative well is dried up? Creative writing takes place in both hemispheres of the brain and when we are tired or burned out or the well is dried what is physically happening according to The Conversation is that the left and the right hemispheres temporarily can’t communicate (Kelton Reid, Copybloger February 19, 2018.) The causes for this can be according to Jennifer Lachs fear, perfectionism, self-criticism or other external pressure. (Informed March 16, 2018.) For me, it comes when I feel my thoughts are disorganized, and I am unsure about how to get them organized or where to begin. Once I figure that out, I’m usually okay, but what do you do if you’re not okay. The following is a list of things I do to fill your creative well.
- Take a long walk with no distractions. Taking a long walk with no music or podcasts or company to chatter with allows you to work out in your own time the writing that needs to be done. It gives you time to begin the writing process in your head while not seated at your desk and the rhythm of walking adds a meditative quality to your walking.
- Coloring in a color book or just coloring on a piece of paper can be a distinct form of creativity that can recharge your writing. Especially if you make it a regular practice. Again, the rhythmic movement has a meditative quality to it that can recharge your brain.
- Cooking can with all the sensory stimulation can recharge that writing well. The smells, tastes, and textures of food. Along with the chopping and stirring that create a meditative state.
- Running for me running and saying a mantra was a wonderful way to recharge my well. My mantra was “good better best never let it rest till the good got better and the better got best.” I could run for hours, saying that mantra over and over. By the way, I did trail running. Like hiking, only running. I could smell the pines and hear the birds and the pine needles as they crunched under my feet.
- Change your setting. Instead of working at your office desk, try working from a coffee shop or library.
- Change your deadline. Ask for an extension to your deadline, or give yourself an extension. Relieving yourself of some of the immediate stress, then try getting right to work you may even meet that deadline once the stress is removed.
- Change your writing habit. If you normally write in the morning, try writing at night. Or try writing in the middle of the day. Just switch it up.
- Take a virtual tour. Virtually tour a museum.
- Take a drive down a road you’ve never driven down.
- Put together a puzzle.
- Do a word search.
- Swing, some parks have adult swings sit and swing for a while.
- Listen to classical music.
- Listen to live music.
- Play with Playdough or clay.
Some ideas here are a regular practice to keep your creative well full and some of these ideas are used in case of emergency. The feeling of panic that comes when you sit down to work and it just doesn’t come, there is no idea, no words come. You wonder if words will ever come again. I’ve had that happen it’s been a while, but it has happened to me. Stress can cause writer’s block. It exists. I think maybe you can train your brain out of or around it. I’m not sure how Steven King keeps his creative well full. I am sure he takes good care of his mental health so that way he can write every day without writer’s block. That has to be the first key it just has to be. But that is speculation on my part. If I ever meet Steven King, I’ll ask him for us all.
What causes your writer’s block? Bigger question, how do you fill your creative well? Leave a comment in the box below, and as always please help me out by liking and subscribing. Thanks for taking the time to read this blog. Keep writing.