5 Ways To Get Unstuck When Writing

I don't care if you're writing a note card to a friend or writing a book, sometimes you just get stuck for what to say and how to say it.

5 Ways to Get Unstuck

1. On a piece of paper, jot down a few words that cover what you're trying to say. If it's a sympathy card, write down a few compassionate words to focus your mind on the comfort you're trying to give.

If it's a scene, write a couple of sentences about what you're trying to show in that scene. What's the action? Who's doing the action? What's the outcome? Who's doing the reacting?

Don't worry about making it "pretty" or profound or anything like that. Just get the gist of it down.

2. Make a list of all the things you think of in connection with what you're writing.

These words on your list might include words of emotion or words of action depending on what you're writing.

3. Ask questions and wait for your imagination to supply the answers.

If you're writing a note of some kind, you might ask: "What would I want to hear if I were on the receiving end of this card?" Or, if you're stuck writing a scene, ask specific questions: "Why would Jennifer go down to the dark basement when she's scared of the creepy place?" Or, "What happens next?" Or, "What could make this situation even worse?"

Ask the question and just let your fingers fly over the keyboard, typing as fast as the thoughts flow, without stopping to make corrections or edit. That's the way to turn off the internal editor and open yourself to your imagination.

4. Cluster a word as a way to chase down ideas and thoughts.

This is another way to turn off the internal editor so you're not nagged by the technical aspects of "correct" writing. It's great for figuring out which way to go when you haven't a clue.

Just write a word in a circle in the center of a blank piece of paper. Then draw lines from it like spokes on a wheel and write down whatever pops into your head at the end of a spoke. After a bit, you'll see a pattern develop. This will lead you in a specific direction of thought. When you sense this direction, start writing down the thoughts that come to you.

5. Take a walk.

Last month, I blogged about Take a Walk: Lose Weight; Increase Creativity. If you're stuck, leave the computer. Take a short break. Walk around the house or outside for a few minutes. Breathe deeply. More oxygen to the brain helps. Do some mundane chores and just let your thoughts float free.

When you go back to the computer, you'll be able to get the words flowing.

Takeaway Truth

The best way to get unstuck is to just relax and let go.

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