11 ways to conquer writer's block

Writer's block hits us all from time to time, regardless of the fact that there are innumerable subjects to choose from in this big world. The brain just sits there, barren, excepting the occasional tumbleweed dawdling by. Few things are more frustrating to the creative person, and that's putting it nicely.

So, because I'm here to help, I've assembled the eleven methods I employ to conquer writer's block and get back on the path of awesomeness.


ONE

Don't just sit there and stare at your computer screen. That's just going to piss you off and make you feel like a bad writer, and you aren't a bad writer. You're a bad thinker - temporarily. That's where wine comes in.

Wine is the gateway to all creativity. All sorts of badass ideas throughout history were born of an empty bottle of wine, and they just keep coming. It's important to write these ideas down as they come, because it's likely you'll forget them by morning. Then in the morning when you go to read them, you'll be in for a real treat!

Sure, you'll get some weird thoughts that way, but you'll also get inspired, divine types of ideas too. Like the time I wrote a screenplay in three days. When I went back and read it a year later, guess what? It was still awesome. Thank you Franzia.

TWO

Nothing makes me madder than having a genius idea in a dream that wakes me up and then I forget it by morning. This is because I used to convince myself that I'd remember it when I woke up, but I never did. Keep a pad and pen next to your bed. It doesn't matter if you can't see, just write or draw whatever it is you're thinking about. And again, in the morning you'll have a real treat, but you won't have the regret of wasting pure genius.

THREE

Go work out. I've discovered this to be the single quickest way to get back to sitting on my ass and writing. After a few jumping jacks, an idea will come quickly, trust me.

FOUR

Say curse words out loud. Shout them, in fact. This one is actually very effective for one reason. It's weird. We've been so conditioned to fit in and to conform to what others deem normal, so even when you're alone doing this it'll feel awkward at first. This works because it's like shaking the dust out of the crevices of your mind. Doing something that is out of the ordinary and probably not considered socially acceptable by others frees you up to think better. If you don't believe me, try it. For maximum benefit, combine words that conventionally don't go together, such as ass-shit! (hard to say five times real fast) or shit spackle! If curse words aren't your thing, "sphincter" works nicely.

FIVE

Read things. The news, other blogs, books, magazines. Sometimes I just stand at my book shelf and read through the titles. It's amazing what ideas come to you through a word, or a phrase, or just a feeling you get from the writing of others.

SIX

Clean out your closet. This may sound strange, but everything you own holds memories and has an energy to it. I recently did this and ended up with a renewed obsession with Big Foot and equal and opposite feelings for Milk of Magnesia. And those things don't even have anything to do with a closet!

SEVEN

Walk outside in your pajamas and robe at 7:30 am with a glass of wine or beer. You don't have to drink it, but watch the faces of the folks who drive by. I like to stand at my mailbox and wave Miss America style. I have actually made friends this way.

Once a guy stopped and said, "What the hell are you doing?"

"An important experiment." I told him. "Well hell", he said, handing me a beer, "I don't want anybody ever saying I don't support the sciences". I later found out he was a police officer in the next town over. You gotta love the South.

By the way, I've never really gotten any solid writing prompts from doing this, aside from the experience itself, so it's still bona fide.

EIGHT

Google weird shit. You come across all kinds of interesting ideas by just Googling the first thing that comes to mind. Below are a couple of phrases people typed in that led them to my site.

I didn't say I was proud

I didn't say I was proud

NINE

Get outside and plant things, or pull weeds, or throw a frisby around. For whatever reason, pulling weeds is the single most comforting and thought provoking activity I can engage in. Nothing like murdering grassy intruders to get the creative juices flowing.

TEN

Keep a thought journal. Write down every shitty idea you ever have. It may not be right for now, but you never know when these jewels may come in handy later. I take my journal everywhere with me, and if I don't have it, I text message myself and record it later. Yesterday I was looking through it and found the phrase "giant protruding vagina". My friend insists she has this, and it'll make a lovely read someday soon. Never miss these opportunities.

ELEVEN

Write. Write even when you think it's shitty or when you don't feel like it. Write to please yourself and no one else. Write like you're the only person who will ever read it. Write with the understanding that it takes guts to do what you're doing and not everybody will like it. Those who don't get you don't get you, and that's OK, because you're doing it for those who do.


What methods do you use to get rid of writer's block? If you have a good one and you don't share it, you will go to writer's block hell or endure some other kind of shitty karma. So spill it.