Overcome Writer’s Block: 10 Writing Sparks to Jumpstart Your Creativity

October 1, 2012


by Beth Barany

I’ve decided to syndicate my ebook Overcome Writer’s Block: 10 Writing Sparks to Jumpstart Your Creativity on my blog, Writer’s Fun Zone, over the next 10 weeks. You can read the whole book here over the next 10 weeks, or buy the entire ebook at KindleSmashwords, and now,  AtContent.

** Enjoy Spark One! And Happy Writing!**

Spark Seven: Passion: The Passion for Writing

What is this powerful, mysterious force that compels us to start to write, let alone continue day after day? At heart, it is passion. 

If you don’t know how to get started or are bored with your writing, it may be because you have lost touch with your passion. Identify the fire that electrifies your desire to write. Spark your passion, and quicken it. How? Read on!

Step One: Identify Your Passions

What gets you up in the morning? What keeps you going during the day?

List everything including writing. Finish these phrases: “I love …” or “I can’t absolutely live without…” or “What excites me the most is…”

Now specify what kind of writing (genre and form) you love. How does it drive you wild?! Is that what you’re writing today? If so, and you’re writing what you’re absolutely passionate about, bravo! Why do you love it? Count the ways. Be specific in your reply, be revealing, and tell yourself something you’ve never acknowledged before. If not, why not? List all your reasons: practical, silly, emotional, bizarre.

Either way, read on to find ways to rouse your zest for what you’re writing, or to find a way to write what you really want to be writing.

Step Two: Spark Your Passion

Notice I only said “passion” — singular, not plural. Narrow your choices down to one. (I know that’s hard, but you can do it!) How do you spark your passion? Well, by writing, I imagine. But instead of doing what you’ve always been doing, spice up your writing by changing your routine.

Change your environment. If you always write at home, go to a friend’s house or to a café to write. If you live in the city, go to the country overnight, or vice versa.

Nothing helps reset a body clock like sleeping over in nature. But the city can be just as vivifying too. Or, rearrange or clean your writing space: bring in a new item that isn’t about writing.

Write with all your senses and let your mind wander far and deep and into the past or far into the future for inspiration. The universe is the limit! Gather items to enliven and spark excitement, for example, an orange, cinnamon, felt, wool, silk, a stone, lavender, nutmeg, a chanting bell.

Take risks. What is the next riskiest thing you can do with your writing? Do it. For example, write stronger, or make your characters bolder. Now what is the next riskiest thing? Do that too. Until, voilà, you’ve moved beyond your comfort zone into a totally fired-up place where you feel amazing because you did it! You wrote the very thing you thought you couldn’t.

Step Three: Invite the Writing Block Monster to Lunch

Every writer on the planet has probably experienced moments of complete block. Writing blocks, these monsters — these hydra that attack from behind — how do we deal with them?!

Instead of talking about how stuck you are and analyzing the causes, turn and face yours. And know that you are not alone.

Now it’s time to trick the monster!

To get to know this creature better, invite him, her or it to a meal. Not to be eaten! But to eat with, in a civilized manner.

Be it lunch or high tea at home, on a picnic, or at the seaside, assemble all your favorite, delectable delights. Be sure to ask your monster its favorites, too. Be courteous by providing a few. Your invitation must be specific and kind. Your writer’s block monster wants to feel welcomed after all. Set a definite place and time.

When your monster arrives, greet it kindly. Once it is settled, engage it in polite conversation. Around the time of the after-meal digestif, settle into the more serious matters. Share with the monster what you write and the reasons why, and ask it why it comes around at certain times. What is the monster’s agenda with you? What has been its purpose in your life up to now? What does it want from you? Be sure not to scream this last question. It might cry.

Once you understand each other’s motivations and goals, then perhaps, over the last bites of cake, you can come to an agreement. Arrange for your writer’s block monster to come over by invitation only, instead of crashing your precious writing sanctuary. After all, these monsters once served a purpose, and now can serve a new one that you decide.

By understanding why and how our internal “monsters” inhibit our passion, we can then galvanize our writing in new ways. Let us remain respectful of the creative drive and feed it plenty of fuel.

If we do, our passion will remain faithful for as long as we choose to be the creative beings we all are.

Happy Writing!


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