Thursday, June 7, 2012

Some Ways to Unblock

Writer's block. It happens. So here are some ideas--in no particular order--to help you unblock or at least make it less painful. It might just be a slowing down. Remember to rewrite/edit what you already have done.

1. Walk, swim, ride your bike. Get away from the desk (or wherever you usually work). If you garden, go into high gear. Experience shows that extreme weeding does clear the mind. Fact.

2. Museum/art gallery visits

3. Listen to music (yes, of course you already do. Something new, old, different. This is why the gods invented YouTube.)

4. Re-read a favorite book/short story/series of poems.

5. Compile a list of favorite poems on
The Poetry Foundation website. Or a virtual notebook on

6. Bake or cook, complicated (or not). Something requiring a bit of ceremony is always a good diversion. (Share it or you'll have yet another *big* problem:)

7. Write something else: catch up on correspondence. Quaint word. Write some postcards. If at all possible, walk to post them.

8. Look at photographs (books, flickr, photographer's websites). Choose a few that particularly hold your attention & write about it...the person or the scene portrayed. Don't think too much, just do it.

9. Tell someone; it might break the spell. Choose your confessor wisely, though. And don't get irritated by the suggestions on offer, especially by non-writers. (If the response is rude, you're a writer, you can, uh, exact your revenge later.)

10. We hate to recommend spending a dime but The Artist's Way by Julia Cameron has helped many people (& not just writers).

11. Watch little kids play - at the park, the pool, wherever they are. Instructive. (Plus, they're super cute.)

12. Take a bath. Preferably this kind. If you can get to a large body of water: do it.

This too shall pass. Really. It just might take longer this time.


PS: Play with your hair. Seriously.

(photograph by Cig Harvey -You Look at Me Like An Emergency is out now)