It’s your scheduled butt-in-chair writing time, and you can’t wait to get started. But when you place your hands on the keyboard, all you have to show for it is a blank page and zero ideas. Writer’s block has claimed another victim. You feel like you can’t write, but don’t give up yet! The experts at Writer’s Relief are here to help with this easy-to-remember, fun acronym. If you can’t write, just S.I.N.G.!
Can’t Write? Need Help? Just S.I.N.G.!
S: Step Away
Taking a break from your work—maybe even sleeping on it—can help you bust through writer’s block. Go for a walk and people-watch, or meet with friends, family, or your writing group. Go ahead and actually sing: It’s a great way to refocus and experience another mood or emotion! Try a nap or meditate. A relaxed state of mind improves your ability to connect with new ideas and allows you to deal with setbacks in a positive, productive way. Science confirms that sleep can make you smarter and more creative: People who took naps that plunged them into REM sleep performed better on creativity-oriented word problems.
I: In Medias Res
Sometimes the best way to get your creativity flowing is to forget the beginning and start in medias res—in the middle of what’s happening. Beginnings can be difficult to write, especially if you have an end goal in mind but you’re not sure how to get there. Writing from the middle of a heated discussion or action-packed fight scene can help kick-start your creativity, and you can work your way back to the beginning once you’ve found your muse. You may even discover “in the middle” is exactly where your work should start!
N: New Perspective
Struggling with a tricky plot point in your story or an elusive concept in your poem? Try writing from a new perspective! For example: If you’re writing about a marriage on the rocks, write from the perspective of both partners. You may prefer writing from the perspective of a cynic who thinks marriage is a sham, or explore a more optimistic approach. Whatever perspective you choose to take, switching up your viewpoint can bring clarity to and jump-start your writing.
G: Get Some Exercise
We don’t mean jumping jacks or riding a bicycle—although those activities can help too! We’re talking about writing exercises! By flexing your creative muscles, you’ll discover new ways to reach your writing goals and overcome writer’s block. Describe a room from different angles, turn a short story into poetry or vice versa, or write for five minutes without using a preselected letter of the alphabet. You’ll develop your writing skills and may even come up with a new writing project idea!
Some days the words flow easily, and other days you may find yourself struggling to write even a single word (and then you delete that word anyway because it’s just not right). When you’re stressed about writing, remember to S.I.N.G. and unleash your creativity!
Question: Which element of the S.I.N.G. acronym do you feel is most helpful?