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Writers Block

1. Leave it alone for a while. Work on something else, or take a short break from writing altogether. Take a walk or a swim, workout, take a bath, weed the garden. Get your blood and breath and chi moving.

2. Change your writing location or routine. Move to the kitchen, the yard, the park, the library. If you usually write in the morning, try writing at night.

3. Make a "sense map" of your surroundings: smells, textures, sounds, sights. Slow down and dig deep. Embrace the subtle. Track nuance. Pay attention.

4. Change the mechanics of your writing. If you usually use a computer, write by hand. Buy a fabulous fountain pen and some beautiful paper. Try talking into a tape recorder. Sing your sentences. Paint your story. Dance your story. Turn your story into a poem.

5. Try "cluster" writing. Write down one word or idea, perhaps a key phrase from the piece you're working on, circle it, then free associate, writing down phrases and words as fast as you can, connecting one idea to the next with lines. Fill the page. Let your imagination loose. Don't question or judge, just let it rip.

6. Seek inspiration and feedback from your friends, writing group, teachers, or family.

7. Read a book. Read some poetry. Read aloud.

8. Try writing personality profiles of people you know, or of characters from your work in progress.

9. Keep a day book or journal. You needn't make it a grand opus--just recording the weather, what you did that day, or current events can be enough to keep your writing muscle flexed and active until the next burst of creativity strikes.

10. Relax. It's only ink.

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