What strikes fear in the hearts of writers in a similar way as the presence of Voldemort? Writer’s block. It hits most of us at one time or another, and it can really derail our best writing efforts. So, what do we do when we are visited by this unwanted guest? Here are some practical tips to help you push through this dreaded writing dilemma and face it head-on.
Look up poetry prompts to get the creativity flowing
The internet is full of great resources for poets, and several accounts on Instagram and on the general web have poetry prompts to get you started. I have also written an article on poetry prompts that I would definitely encourage you to use if you are stuck in a creative rut.
Poetry prompts are awesome because they help you take your writing in several different directions. Some exercises may even encourage you to write from a different perspective or view your writing through a different lens. Lots of options open up to us when we step out of the familiar and try to write from a different angle. If you try one of our suggested poetry prompts, leave your work in the comments. We would love to read it!
Research different poetic forms
The more you learn about poetic forms, the more you’ll be able to diversify your work. The possibilities are truly endless here! Sonnets, limericks, haikus, iambic pentameter, the list goes on and on. I remember when I was in high school, we did a project using iambic pentameter, and it was so much fun. It was a poetic form I had never used before and it was such a refreshing change of pace to organize my thoughts to fit the structure appropriately. Since it was so new and exciting, it sparked new energy within me that reflected in my writing. Sometimes these poetic forms act as catalysts for your creativity to come to life again.
Do some collaborative writing
Do you remember the childhood game where you would make up a story in a group? One person would start and then the next person would pick up where they left off and so on? Why not try this with your writing? You can work with another poet friend or creative to collaborate on something new and exciting.
If your partner is an artist, maybe they can create a picture or illustration that you can then write a poem about. If your partner is another poet, maybe you can both decide to tackle a certain topic and then come together when you’re done to make them flow into a bigger piece. This is a fun way to feed off of each other’s creative energy while still maintaining your own personal vision for your work.
Set aside time to write each day
This one may seem especially challenging when you are battling writer’s block, but sometimes the best way through it is to just carry on. You may have days where you feel like nothing is cohesive and your words are a jumbled, unrelated mess. However, taking that time every day to work on your writing will get you into the mindset of creating every day. Even when you feel like it will never end, writer’s block will eventually pass. When you’re on the other side of it, you may find a glimmer of something inspired in your everyday writings from when you were blocked. Your future self may just end up thanking you for those days of chaos on the pages of your notebooks. Don’t lose hope!
Create your own poetry prompts in your everyday life
This is a really fun practice that yields great results when given time. You can create your own prompts by drawing on inspiration from your own experiences and surroundings. Try this simple exercise: look around whatever room you are in. Focus on one object. Figure out a way to tell a story about it. You can also use this approach for experiences and emotions. Think about something that happened to you today or something you felt. Air it out on paper. There are so many different ways to do this small but powerful activity. Try it out and see what you come up with.
Writer’s block is the number one frustration of writers, but it doesn’t have to be a permanent resident in your head. If you are experiencing writer’s block, please know that it will pass with time. You are still a great writer and there are still so many stories that you can tell. And, in the meantime, I hope that these tips help you work through it. Happy writing!