5 Activities to Get you Out of Your Writing Comfort Zone and Encourage Creativity
Every writer experiences their share of creative setbacks, whether it’s an isolated case of writer’s block or a full-on, long-term writer’s rut. While there are plenty of ways to spark that creativity again, like turning to writing prompts or optimizing your environment, let’s take a look at some practical changes we can make to our writing routines that may lift us out of our comfort zones. Varying the way we approach our writing—as well as the content we write about—can provide a great opportunity to grow.
1. Spice up the location of your writing.
Having a designated work space is a great way to stay consistent with your writing time—however, there are times when a change of scenery can be just what we need to reignite our creativity. As an experiment, choose a new location to write for the next few days. This could be another room in your home, a bench at a nearby park, or a coffee shop patio. Pay attention to your surroundings and notice how they affect your writing. Does background noise inspire you or give you more to observe and contemplate? Does being in nature provide a reflective stillness perfect for writing? Note how you’re feeling as you’re writing, and consider how different environments positively or negatively impact your process.
2. Change the time of day you write.
Just as location can impact our writing, so can the time we choose to write. If you usually try to write in the mornings, make an effort to add in a few evening sessions. How is your headspace different at various times of the day? Do you tend to feel more creative during the afternoon, or is it more difficult to concentrate after that mid-day slump? Maybe you already know when you function best, or maybe this will be a worthwhile way for you to test it out and see what works for your lifestyle. Pay attention to how your mind and body react to the different writing demands you impose. These observations can be useful when planning out your writing times.
3. Randomly select a writing style.
Read Poetry has covered dozens of fun poetic forms, from odes to haiku to iambic pentameter. Read about some of these unique forms, and jot down the ones that sound interesting, challenging, or fun. When you’re looking to break out of your writing comfort zone, put them into a hat, and draw one out at random. Use that writing form as a template for that day’s writing session.
4. Lean on your friends.
Let your relationships inspire your poetry sessions. Writing about those we love gives us an opportunity to share what they mean to us, giving others a glimpse into our hearts in the process. Another fun way to include our loved ones in our writing process? Give them the power to choose your prompt for the day! Maybe they will suggest something silly, or perhaps they’ll give you a more thought-provoking topic. This depends largely on the personality of the person you ask, which makes it an exciting creative exercise!
5. Switch up your method of writing.
If you usually write on your computer, try writing on paper—and vice-versa. Consider recording your poetry as an audio file or a video that you can refer to later. Switching up our methods can change how we perceive our own writing. For example, hearing yourself speak the words aloud may help give you a better understanding of the inflection and impact of the piece. Writing on paper may slow you down, allowing you to pause and be intentional about each word you write, since you can’t delete without marking up the page. Even minor changes like this can make a huge difference in your writing sessions.
These writing challenges are meant to change up your routine and encourage you to step out of your comfort zone. I hope they serve as useful tools when you’re feeling stuck or ready for a change. Happy writing, friends!