The most common complaint heard from creative writers concerns hitting that inevitable wall, referred to as writer’s block. If you don’t know what this phenomena is, let’s explain to you lucky writers. Let’s say you’re working on a novel. You’ve been moving along nicely for a few weeks, your thoughts spilling out as fast as you can type. For no apparent reason, you suddenly hit a point where you have absolutely no idea where you’re going in this chapter. Ideas fall flat. Words elude you. You seem to have nothing to say. You’re at a standstill. That’s writer’s block. Bad news.
Some writers can experience such dry periods for days or weeks, enduring great frustration. There are a number of ways to stimulate the flow of those creative juices and get out of this dead end position. Here we focus on just one effective exercise that gets you back in to a productive mode and back on track.
Creative writing prompts are an old, tried and true way to get your thoughts flowing as smooth as silk. While you’ll find a number of writer’s websites with lists of creative writing prompts, here we try to explain the process of using various creative writing prompts and how different approaches, and prompts, can help you get your fingers flying across the keyboard once again, while honing your writing skills, all in one shot.
A journal is a writer’s best friend. You can opt for the hardcover journal, or simply create a directory on your PC to hold your journal entries. On your PC, make a folder called ‘creative writing prompts’.
Sometimes, improbable subjects or perspectives can serve to quickly jolt you out of the writer’s block syndrome. Nonetheless, these exercises are fun and profit your writing skills, so complete at least one before you go back to your novel.
1.Imagine you are a pelican, cruising the waters of Monterey Bay. What is your day like? Start at daybreak and spend a day being a pelican. This type of creative writing prompt takes you out of yourself and breaks contact with the ordinary world. Describe what you see, the feel of the wind, the sea and the sky. How do people appear to you, as you perch on a post out on the pier? You don’t need to know a thing about pelicans to make this imagery come alive.
2.Search back in your childhood memories. Do you remember a school mate from kindergarten of whom you were especially fond? Sitting in the neighborhood park with your Mom, making daisy chains on a sunny spring day? A memorable Halloween, trick or treating? Going ice skating? Childhood memories provide good material for creative writing prompts. Draw on your memory to elicit all of the imagery, sounds, smells and qualities of that moment in time. You’ll be surprised to find how much you do remember. Make your description as vivid and unedited as possible. Write until you’ve exhausted your memory.
3.Recall an event for which you feel particular passion. Examples of such events include anything from Hurricane Katrina to your wedding day. Start writing in a free association manner. You don’t need to have an outline, just start writing and don’t stop until you have nothing left to say.
The purpose of each of these creative writing prompts is to get you digging into your mind for fresh perspectives, long forgotten emotions and that loosening of expression that’s been evading you. Every writer can profit from such exercises.
When you’re thus refreshed, your writer’s block is gone and you’re on the road again. Write on!