How to Start Writing Again

Writing is liberating. Writing is empowering. Writing requires vulnerability. How many of us have struggled with writing at one point or another? How many of us have felt guilt or shame for not being able to sit down and start typing those words and thoughts circulating in our minds? What are some things we can do to start writing again? 

 

For when you are lacking motivation:

  1. What is your favorite reason for writing?
  2. How does writing make you feel? Are you trying to avoid feeling something negative or uncomfortable? Why do you like writing in the first place?
  3. Organize your workspace. If your desk is a mess, it might be subconsciously overwhelming. Start cleaning for 5 minutes, that should be enough to get you to continue cleaning your space. Once you have set things in order, your mind might feel a little more orderly too, and the productive feeling of cleaning can be enough to motivate you to start working.
  4. Have you taken care of your physical needs? Have you stretched, had water, food, or a nice social interaction lately? Try to fill your tank a little, it might be enough to boost your mood and get you to sit in front of your word processor.

 

For when you are motivated but can’t quite sit down to write:

  1. Sit in front of your laptop or journal, and remove all distractions within arms reach. Turn off your phone, put it in another room, or turn on Do Not Disturb Mode. Try a website blocking app such as Cold Turkey to block sites such as Facebook, Twitter, or anything you use to distract yourself with.
  2. Set a timer for 10 minutes. Tell yourself that the only thing you can do is work on your writing. This is essentially the Pomodoro technique, which starts off with 25-minute increments, but starting off small can be beneficial to get the ball rolling.
  3. Take a mind dump. Write down everything that is literally on your mind, no matter how gross, mundane, or long your list might be. Topics can include:
    1. Things you have to do
    2. Anxieties and Fears about the near/far future 
    3. Upcoming events/assignments and how you feel about them

 

For when you want to improve the quality and depth of your content:

  1. Look up writing prompts on Pinterest for ideas and try to write a page on the craziest prompt you can find. This can kick-start your creativity and help you come up with the inspiration or idea you are looking for.
  2. Challenge yourself by looking up random words in a dictionary or another language. We can only clearly conceptualize ideas and thoughts that have words associated with them, and sometimes learning more vocabulary words can help expand our ideas and feelings. Try to use these new words in your writing exercises.
  3. Connect with other writers, or look for writing resources online such as YouTube channels. Have a dialogue with these fellow writers, ask them for advice or tips. They might have other exercises that might be helpful.
  4. Connect with yourself. If you feel like you are just scratching the surface, try to get in touch with your own emotions. Are you avoiding being vulnerable in effort to remain strong? Remember that vulnerability usually is a prerequisite for good content. No good story ever arose without a little vulnerability and risk. Try to expose your fears and anxieties, usually, your good ideas will be on the other side of them.

 

Try these to incorporate these tips and techniques the next time you are stuck, and if you are still looking for some motivation or help with your creativity, set up an appointment with any of our counselors!

 

Resources:

100+ Writing Prompts

http://jennybravobooks.com/blog/writing-prompts

7 Simple Hacks to Get Writing When you Just Can’t

https://thewritepractice.com/seven-writing-hacks/

What Writers Think about How to Start Writing

https://www.thewritingpal.com/2017/12/26/what-writers-think-about-how-to-start-writing/

 

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