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Refilling Your Mental Gas Tank

As writers, we’ve all been there. Having writer’s block is the most frustrating and uncomfortable feeling—sitting and waiting for hours on end until our words flow smoothly again. Sometimes it takes a few hours for us to reenter our world of creativity; other times it can take a few days, weeks, or even months. It can be tempting to give up completely.

Writer’s block is a personal reminder telling us our “tank” is low on creativity. It’s just like a car; when the tank is full, you have a smooth ride. However, you’ll have to pull over eventually and fuel up. Creativity is the same way.

Even though we can’t magically just fill up our creativity from a gas pump, there are avenues we can take to replenish our mental resources (and it’s a lot cheaper than buying gas too!).

One way to boost your creativity is to get away from your writing for a while and look to real life for inspiration. If you’ve been sitting in the same chair for the past nine hours, leave your work area. Just leave. Go anywhere; take a walk outside (weather permitting!), make a phone call, turn on the television, or listen to the radio. When your body and mind are stuck in one place for far too long, you run out of steam. Instead of paying attention to what’s in front of you (a computer screen), go outside and pay attention to what’s AROUND you.

You can find great inspiration just by being around others. For example, in coffeehouses people talk about anything and everything. Sit down next to a group of people, just close enough to hear what they’re talking about but far enough away not to be creepy. You can pick up the most random one-liners from strangers’ conversations. When a Writer’s Relief staff member was getting coffee a few days ago, he heard a woman talking on a cell phone say, “…they’re making him pay for what he did.”

Making him pay? Pay what? To whom? And why? What happened?

Those eight little words would make a great first line—and it’s inspiration that comes from real life. For more ways to refill your mental gas tank, read Jump-Starting the Muse.

One Response to Refilling Your Mental Gas Tank

  1. "… but far enough away not to be creepy." Made me *lol*. Most writers I know are creepy some way or other. (In a friendly way, though.)

    Reading the news is a great resource for inspiration. Or watching talk shows. Or "listening" in chat rooms. Or…

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