“All writing problems are psychological problems. Blocks usually stem from the fear of being judged. If you imagine the world listening, you’ll never write a line. That’s why privacy is so important. You should write first drafts as if they will never be shown to anyone.” – Erica Jong
Writers often suffer from writer’s block. The blank page taunts. The cursor blinks as if laughing.
The best thing to do when confronted with writer’s block is to write. It can be complete nonsense — it doesn’t matter so long as something is written.
Below is a writing prompt to spark creativity.
Creative Writing Prompt #3
After being married for 30 years, a woman finally leaves her alcoholic husband and move to a new city with no job.
Write what happens next and post it to the comments below.
I’m having trouble sleeping. This tossing and turning has got me thinking.
Somehow, someway, I’m gonna be sitting on the side of road watching my life as it flows right out of my hands. Losing control. I ain’t got a good hold. Missing. I’m missing this side of me.
This whole side of me is gone most of the time. It ain’t around. Always working.
Hustling. Never seen so much hustling. While I’m still hungerin for more. More life than I’ve seen. More love then I know… I’ve got to start hustling
Next year I will be traveling to Ireland with some friends and it got me thinking about travel writing. Wouldn’t it be awesome to get paid to travel around the world and write about your experiences? It sounds like a dream job to me.
So it got me thinking about what a good travel writer does. Here are some of the things I learned through my research:
- Start the story with a good hook (like a short antidote) to grab readers from the beginning. This is really the same as any good news story. You have to get the readers attention.
- Travel writing is like writing a news story: there should be a reason you are telling a story. The article should include who, what, when, where, and why. A lot of travel articles are centered around a single experience. Think: Shooting an Elephant by George Orwell.
- Write in the first person, past tense. However, don’t be afraid to break the rules if the story demands it (Yes I know I am breaking most of the rules with this post. Have I mentioned I am not a morning person?).
- Always include details – describe the sights and sounds around you. Show don’t tell!
- Read. All writers should be voracious readers so that they know the tradition that comes before them.
- Travel and travel often. You can even travel within your own town: the only thing that you need is curiosity (and a pen).
- Always look beyond the obvious, beyond the superficial to see the authenticity of a place.
- Take pictures. A lot of pictures – people are very visual, so try and include pictures that help tell your story.
- Start a blog. If you want to be published, you have to be seen. If you know where you want to be published, study their website or magazine. Don’t just send them your pitch and hope for the best. You should study their website/magazine and think about how you fit within the overall style.
- Just write.
I feel like I need to write – hard and fast. That maybe the reason why I keep remembering is because it means something. The only way that I will figure out what it means is if I keep on writing. Keep writing and never stop.
This has me thinking about journals. Why do we feel the need to document moments of our lives? And by singling out moments in our journals are we putting more importance on those moments — or are those just moments that we need to understand better?
We are all just humans stumbling through the universe, flying through the stars. By writing down our thoughts we begin to understand ourselves and our own journeys.
I am a creative soul. Not a day goes by that I don’t think creatively.
I’ve always gotten strange looks when my mind goes to the most extreme. If my boyfriend is five minutes late I become convinced that his car spun out on the freeway last night and he died in a fiery crash. There are always a billion different scenarios running through my head: a million different ways that the day could end.
The thing is I don’t know who I am. I feel lost. I just know that I want to be happy. I was talking to an ex a few days ago and he is getting his life together – going after what he wants. And here I am two years later and I am in the same place.
I’ve been standing still for two years. The only thing that has changed is my bed. I’m not OK with that (but I am OK with the bed).
The only way to change is to take action. To do something. Because unfocused energy is better than doing nothing. So what do I want?
I want to:
- Submit polished work into poetry competitions
- Sell my photography on etsy
- Sell used books
- Write a blog
- Write a book
- Become a travel writer
- Apply to all the jobs
- Take photos of Route 66
- Go to grad school
- Paint more
- Do what makes me happy
Are you a creative soul?
I found this quote on Pinterest and I think it’s a pretty good way to live your life.
Remember, people may keep you (or me) from being a published author but no one can stop you from being a writer. All you have to do is write. And keep writing. While you’re working at a career, while you’re raising children, while you’re trout fishing–keep writing.No one can stop you but you.
– Katherine Neville (from The Art of War for Writers by James Scott Bell.)
Has anyone read The Art of War for Writers? Because if it anything like that quote, I want to devour it.
Dedicated writers often find it difficult to write every day. You can’t always think of what to write next. Staring at the blank page it can seem like it is mocking you.
Creative writing prompts can help you write now. Below you will find a writing prompt to kick start your creativity.
Creative Writing Prompt #2
You are up late with your gay best friend drinking and talking. Your friend slurs, “I think you’re hot.”
Write what happens next. Post your response in the comments below.
Remember: Love yourself first.
Currently Reading: Where The Heart Is by
I am a little over halfway through the novel and so far the movie is a good representation of the book. Sure there are some differences, but overall they tell the same story.
It has much more depth than the book. It is sugary sweet, but in a refreshing way.
It’s a very fast read. You sit down to read a few pages and suddenly you are almost finished. It is engaging and hard to put down.
Where the Heart Is: Talk about unlucky sevens. Seventeen-year-old, seven months pregnant Novalee Nation was heading for California with her boyfriend. Stranded at a Wal-Mart in Sequoyah, Oklahoma, with just $7.77 in change, Novalee is now homeless. In Oklahoma Novalee finds a group of down-to-earth, deeply caring people willing to help a homeless, jobless girl living secretly in a Wal-Mart. From Bible-thumping blue-haired Sister Thelma Husband to eccentric librarian Forney Hull who loves Novalee more than she loves herself, they are about to take her on a moving, funny, and unforgettable journey to . . . Where the Heart Is.