5 Creativity Boosters For Writers

Imperfections are not inadequacies; they are reminders that we’re all in this together. – Brene Brown

Writing can be illusive. Writers know this. You think you have a great idea, but when you sit down to write, it doesn’t always pan out.

I’ve been writing for the majority of my life. I’ve written songs, poems, essays, articles, non-fiction, and fiction. I know there are times when writers feel like beating their heads against the wall because nothing’s coming together. Beating your head against the wall won’t help. It hurts. But there are many things that can help boost your creative spark as a writer.

1. Do The Opposite

Too often we think we know the story. As writers, we’ve mulled it over in our heads. We get stuck thinking there’s only one way to write the piece. Still, we sit there with a blank sheet of paper. Try this: look at your problem backward. If you’re writing in first person, try the third person. If you’re writing in past tense, try writing in the future tense. Sometimes, doing the opposite can trigger new ideas.

2. Make A Map

Words are linear. Maps are much broader. Creating mind maps broadens the imagination. Instead of writing words, start drawing connections between ideas. Create bubbles, use arrows, scribble, draw, do whatever it takes to get the creative juices flowing.

censorship-610101_1920

3. Restrict Yourself

I teach college writing and speaking courses for a living. I’ve watched students struggle with this again and again. They can’t choose a topic and get started because the have too many ideas. They often choose topics that are too broad. Sometimes, restrictions are exactly what writers need. If your idea is overwhelming, you probably need to narrow things down. Try it. You might be surprised.

4. Do Something Crazy

Great writers take risks. If you’re struggling with an idea, take a break and go do something out of the ordinary. Drive fast, (but not too fast). Eat foods you’ve never tried before. Travel to a new destination. Or you could just take a risk with your writing. Write something you’d never expect yourself to write.

5. Think About Other People

When I write, I often ask myself, “What do readers want?” I try to put myself in their shoes. Thinking about others can spark ideas. The same thing can work with fiction. Ask yourself how others would feel in certain situations. How would they react? Don’t isolate yourself inside your own head. Put yourself into others’ heads and you’ll open up many new doors.

Amy Tan: Where Does The Creativity Hide?

I encourage you to take 20 minutes to check out a Ted Talk by writer, Amy Tan. Just click on the link below to get started:

https://www.ted.com/talks/amy_tan_on_creativity?language=en

If you liked this post, I encourage you to sign up for The Creative Side newsletter. Click the link below to learn more:

Join The Creative Side

Minimal / Facebook / Twitter / RSS

Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+Pin on Pinterest

4 Comments

  1. Had to take a stroll back to see what else you had written. This one was more then interested, it was insightful. My first thought came as I listened slightly confused at times where shes was going was to being about 8 years old. I was in bed, frightened as I listened to the hell unfolding in our house, (abuse on my mother), fearing the abuse would spill over to me. In this dark place, I thought, what would it be like if I had not been born….where would I be, would there be a me somewhere? There is one of the place my creativity tries to hide. I say tries because every time I tell that part of my life in order to help someone else who has lived hell as a little girl, more light shines on it and light always drives darkness away. I may just have to start listening more to some of these Ted Talks since just this one and the other one you posted started my creativity juices flowing. I am past the fear of being led away from my faith in Christ and the done work on the cross for me by listening to out of my box of thinking. Thanks for this posting this talk…

    1. Betty, it sounds like we have a common theme regarding our childhoods. We both have struggled to deal with the reality of our past. I think that digging into those dark places, although hard and scary, is helpful and healthy and leads to more creativity in writing.

  2. I love that I stumbled upon this at this point in my life, reading this post is exactly what I needed in my life. I’ve been suffering from ‘writers block’ for the last two/three months and nothing has been helpful in getting me out of the rut that I’m finding myself in. Sometimes us writers are stubborn and we feel like we need to write something worth wild every day. I too fall for this miss conception. Guilty as charged. I forget that writers are humans also and no one can be expected to write something profound and amazing every day. Thank you for clearing my head for me and giving me other tips on how I can just start from the beginning, brainstorming and such.

    1. Hi Anna, I think it’s less writer’s block we can get, and more writer’s struggle. I don’t believe in writer’s block. I simply write something different or unexpected to deal with a temporary uncertainty in what to write. But I do believe in the writer’s struggle. Sometimes we can feel like we are repeating ourselves and we want to break out from that feeling. That has been something I experience quite regularly. The list in this post have been strategies that have truly helped.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *