It’s every writer’s worst nightmare—staring at a blank notebook page or computer screen with no motivation or inspiration. Feeling completely stuck. Writer’s block is more than just a joke or some kind of “fluke” thing. In fact, some of the most well-known writers in the world have to deal with it from time to time.
Because writer’s block is a common issue, there are dozens of common ways to overcome it, from collaborating with others to taking breaks or even listening to music to gain inspiration.
But, what if those things don’t work?
How else can you boost your creativity to get your juices flowing again so you can leap over the hurdle of writer’s block? Let’s take a look at five lesser-known tips you can start using right away.
1. Spend Time in Nature
Most writers know that taking breaks can be a good way to get out of a slump. But, how you spend those breaks is equally important.
One of the best things you can do is to get outside. There are so many mental health benefits to consider when you spend time in nature, including:
- Reduced stress
- Elevated mood
- Improved memory
- An increased sense of spirituality
Of course, a boost in creativity is another major benefit. Spending time outside, whether you’re going for a hike in the woods or sitting on a bench at your local park, can cause your stressful distractions to disappear and inspire you in new and exciting ways.
2. Brainstorm With Others
Sometimes, the reason you feel “blocked” is because you’re stuck inside your own head. While working with a partner to come up with fresh ideas can be helpful, brainstorming with a group can be even better.
Brainstorming is the center of creativity for writers. It’s important not to take it for granted. When you’re in a group, you can practice different brainstorming techniques, such as:
- Mind mapping
- Rapid ideation
Utilizing different techniques within a group can make it easy for you to see new perspectives and get fresh ideas that you may not have thought of on your own. You might also meet new writing partners that you can bounce ideas off of throughout your entire career.
3. Go Back to School
If the idea of going back to school sounds like it would squash your creativity rather than boost it, don’t scroll by just yet.
There are several benefits to going back to school, especially if you want to go for an MBA. First, you can learn more about writing than you already know, including the business side of things. You’ll also meet new people, gain new perspectives, and you might learn more about yourself and what actually sparks your creativity.
Going back to school for an MBA can also help you to grow your network. You’ll meet other students, professors, and alumni in your field who can give you fresh ideas and brainstorm with you at any time.
4. Change Your Environment
One of the quickest and easiest ways to boost your creativity is to switch up your environment. Some people believe that changing your environment, as a whole, can change your whole life! But, changing it for an afternoon can, at the very least, give you a fresh outlook on what you’re writing.
If you’re consistently sitting at a desk or in the same office, change up your scene. Head to your favorite coffee shop, or try writing in the park for a change of pace. It’s a simple action that can make a big difference in giving you a quick boost of inspiration.
Think about places that inspire you the most, but areas where you’ll still be able to get your work done effectively. Places that will distract you could have the opposite effect on your creativity.
5. Practice Freewriting
If you’re truly stuck, try freewriting. This is the practice of writing something without any outline or real structure. You can write about anything that comes from you and allow it to flow freely. Think of it as a stream of consciousness or “brain dump” onto paper or your computer.
Freewriting can help you to overcome writer’s block in a few different ways. First, it can clear out the “clutter” of whatever might be blocking you. Additionally, you might develop something within your freewriting that inspires you, so you can turn it into a foundation for a story or an article.
To make the most of freewriting, give yourself a set period of time and don’t stop writing during that entire block. You might be surprised at how “freeing” it can really be!
Losing your creativity can be overwhelming as a writer. But, take comfort in knowing it’s not forever. There are things you can do to give yourself a boost quickly, so you can get back on track with your next piece of work.
Indiana Lee is a writer and journalist from the Pacific Northwest with a passion for covering workplace issues, social justice, environmental protection, and more. In her off time she enjoys hiking with her two dogs. You can follow her on twitter @indianalee3, or reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org