The diagnosis: Writer’s Block aka Content Creation Constipation
It happens to everyone at some point. You want or need to write and you’ve got . . . nothing. No ideas, no sparks of creativity. Your mind is as empty as a restaurant during a pandemic. And so is the word processor page staring back at you–empty. The diagnosis is clear, though. Some call this writer’s block. I call it content creation constipation. It’s in there, but it just won’t come out! You need a cure to get the creativity flowing again.
Don’t worry–I’ve listed 5 actions that are known to work for this condition. Think of this as a laxative to get all things creative flowing for you once again.
Instead of continuing to sit and stare at your computer, pick something from the list and do that instead. You can experiment with this list to see what works best for you. In no time, your writer’s block will have moved on and you’ll have ideas flowing from your creative zone once again.
Yep, it can be that simple to start the creative juices flowing. Just breathe.
Walk away from the computer and sit somewhere different, preferably outside if the season and the weather allow. While you sit, be sure only 2 of these 3 points–your back, your feet, your butt–touch the chair or the floor.
Close your eyes and relax your body. Don’t think about anything except your breath. Breathe in deeply through your nose while slowly counting to 5, expanding your entire middle section with air. Hold for a count of 5, then slowly exhale through your mouth, to the count of 7, while squeezing out all the air from your middle section. Continue with this 5-5-7 breath-work for 4-6 cycles and then slowly open your eyes. Sit still and listen with your mind’s eye and see if there are any stirrings of creativity.
Move your body
Moving your body gets your blood flowing and that’s a great thing for your brain’s function. You can combine breathing and movement by following along with this 5-minute video.
If you’re experiencing brain fog and difficulty focusing, check your hydration status. It’s a simple thing to overlook. If your beverage of choice is caffeinated, you’ll want to make sure you drink one extra cup of water for every cup of coffee or tea you drink.
Keep a filled reusable water bottle handy and make it a habit to finish it by a certain time mark. Then refill it and repeat. Pay attention to how often you need to empty your bladder and how dark your urine appears. Aim to need to get up to urinate every few hours and always check the color of your urine. Yes, look at it! The more yellow-orange your urine, the more fluids (water) you need to drink. You want your urine to be a faint, pale yellow color.
If writer’s block is creativity constipation, daily journaling is the fiber in your diet that keeps the creativity flowing and prevents writer’s block. Julie Cameron introduced the world to Morning Pages in her book, The Artist’s Way. She suggests you write every morning, by hand, in a paper journal or notebook–not on the computer. Fill 3 pages with stream of consciousness–whatever comes through the pen to the paper. Keep writing, even if it doesn’t make sense or connect with the previous sentence you just wrote. Don’t stop until you’ve filled up 3 pages.
This journaling activity should be done first thing in the morning every day. Religiously. Think of it as a clearing exercise to remove all the clutter in your mind that blocks the connection with creativity. Write daily and strive to create this habit as a regular part of your morning routine. In time, you will find your creative channels are opening and your writer’s block is disappearing.
Take a shower
This suggestion might raise some eyebrows. This tip is not about the usual reason for taking a shower–washing your body. It’s about exposing yourself to negative ions.
Negative ions are electrically charged particles found in the atmosphere. Scientific studies have confirmed that negative ions decrease the symptoms of depression. Because there may be a link to neurotransmitter levels altered by negative ion exposure, it’s thought these charged particles could also be good for sparking creativity.
Negative ions are usually found in nature near moving water–the beach, waterfalls, or flowing water like creeks. It may be why people feel so alive and creative when they’re visiting a beach or waterfalls. Negative ions are also produced by sunlight and plants. This could explain why forested mountain air also contributes to that feel-good sensation.
Another place you’ll find negative ions is following a storm. That’s when thunder and lightning have charged the air. Don’t head out into the storm for your negative ions, though. Be safe and wait until the storm has passed!
And that brings me to the idea for the shower. Not everyone has easy access to a beach or waterfalls. But most folks have a shower and it can be used any time! The flowing water in the shower creates negative ions in that concentrated space in your bathroom. This makes it easy to dose yourself with some negative ions while you’re showering. Start paying attention to the ideas that are sparked while you’re in your shower. You’ll want to be sure to write them all down as soon as you’re out of the shower, so keep a notebook and pen in the bathroom. Or invest in some waterproof paper and write down those ideas before you even turn off the water!
Has creativity started flowing again?
What’s been working for you to break through that writer’s block and get your creativity flowing? Do you have other tips that work for you when you find your creativity has flown the coop? I’d love it if you add your ideas to the comments below and share them with everyone.