by Alysha Blaze
Come one, come all, as it's time for my 7 personal writing tips. Although this will be primarily focused in the phrasing of writing, these tips may be useful for artists of every sort. I have heard similar advice from most authors: you have writer's block? Keep writing. Although good advice, when you have writer's block, continuing to write is the last thing you want to do as it seems like none of the content you are creating is anything worth being seen by anyone but your recycling bin. Sadly, the block is not so simple to work out of for some. I know I have gotten pretty stuck with some of my written works.
One of my favorite things to write is a list - it's simple, quick, easy and organized. I make grocery lists, wish lists (for myself and things I want to buy others) but today my list is going to be about my creative process and what I find works best to beat writer's block and finally get on a project. Hopefully, the following suggestions will help motivate you too, to create:
1: Change the color setting on the document you are using. Very few of us write a hard copy on paper these days because ew, hand cramps. So if you are writing on a word document for example, change that glaring white abyss you are staring at to a mint green. This color is much easier on the eyes. Eye strain can make you feel tired, which can make you opt out of writing earlier than you might otherwise. I also recommend a light purple if you have unresolved beef with the color green. Basically, it's choosing a color that isn't too bright and distracting and makes for a nice, blended background.
2: Do something else for a bit. This is in direct violation of everything other authors have told me, and they have a point as stopping entirely kind of defeats the purpose here. What I'm saying is take a short break. Read, watch something, take time to have a bath and listen to music. Letting your mind wander in relaxation often gives your brain the rest it needs to break through the thing most likely causing you to be stuck in your story - stress - and gets your creative juices flowing in the background. To my experience, doing mundane tasks can lead to a random epiphany for your story. I actually get pretty inspired when I do word searches. A word will trigger something while my brain works on the puzzle for enjoyment, and it has helped me get new ideas I can use in my next written work.
3: Add white noise. Use something that your brain can kind of tune out and will put your subconscious at ease. There are actually a rising number of "ambiance" videos on YouTube that are perfect for this sort of thing. Cafe noises for when you are writing a scene in a cafe, for example. Fireplace crackling is a good choice, instrumental music, rain sounds, etc. I personally am a fan of Autumn Cozy on YouTube for videos like this. She spends hours looping sounds and editing a picturesque video that is perfect for playing in the background. I'm actually listening to one of her videos as I write this!
4: Write a fanfic. This, literally, has been a major help for me during rough patches when I got really stuck. The thing about fan fiction is, the characters and the world are already created. You can change the world and experiences the character has, but the lore and character traits have already been established. Writing out a quick story about how two characters might interact in a
coffee shop can create inspiration and new ideas. What do they order? Does the barista misspell their name? If they do, how does the character react?
5: Write out unrelated scenes. Nobody said your story had to be written in chronological order. If you are stuck on a part, I recommend writing something totally off the books. You may end up with a paragraph or two that ends up in your story you did not intend to happen originally. The "keep writing" advice applies here. I mean, look at the Saw movies. They literally are all over the place regarding timelines as you see flashes from different scenes throughout the movie. If Saw can stitch a bunch of pieces together to make a franchise and a neat story, so can you. It's kind of like quilting a story - you are putting different pieces together to create a final piece.
6: Take notes from the people that inspire you. What exactly is it about them that inspires you? For me, I'm greatly influenced by authors like Neil Pasricha and John Green. They write like they are having a conversation with you. An author who will fill a whole page with "AHHHHHH!" to express frustration is interesting to me and something I'd like to incorporate into my own work. Sure, this platform does not work for all types of stories, but it's certainly something I keep in mind when writing my blog posts. It's about how you want to reach out to the audience reading your work. When I write a horror, the reader typically wants to be sucked into anticipation and reading a descriptive and metaphorical approach filled with foreshadowing. A person reading a comedy wants to be taken by surprise in a funny fashion.
7: Lastly, I recommend changing your work space. Where do you write, and why do you choose there? What can be improved to motivate you? Ambiance sounds we covered, but choosing a place you feel at ease and comfortable so you can properly focus is key. I can't understand those who write in coffee shops - too many distractions around me. I want to write in something soft like pajamas, with only noises I choose to have playing. Do you prefer to sit up straight, or lie in bed with your laptop on your thighs? Do you have a cup of something warm nearby? How about a scented candle? Designing your work space can be a fun way to set a mood for yourself. Personally, I dig fairy lights, YouTube ambiance or instrumental jazz and a water nearby so I don't have to un-cozy myself when I'm thirsty.
These are my lucky 7 tips for you to enhance your creative process. I hope these tips assist you in creating something wonderful, or make your work feel less like work. Tune in next week when I talk about my experiences wrestling a bear for my favorite pen. I may have dreamt this. That would explain a lot.
Until next time!
Alysha Blaze is a masked vigilante who spends her nights defending her city of Winnipeg, Manitoba from the evil villains Captain Misspell and Mr. Incorrect Grammar. With her side-kick Spell Check at her side, no misuse of words will escape justice. She spends her down time writing short stories and poetry. Some of this might not be true.