A Tiny Tip

For all you writers out there who have ever experienced writer’s block I have a great tip. I’ve been working on a short story of mine and I came to a part that was very frustrating to write.

Instead of turning off my computer and getting some ice cream, I switched my font color to blue and told myself that anything in blue is just rambling and I’m allowed to write whatever nonsense comes to mind. And boy did it work! I could barely stop myself to go to the bathroom. It turns out the writing in blue was much better than anything I wrote before.

It’s a funny concept because in actuality I’m ‘allowed’ to write anything I want anytime I want. But for some reason I got it into my head that what I was writing was serious and every word I put down must be the best possible word – which is daunting and paralyzing. By making this tiny change in font color it felt like I was telling my internal critic, “Ok you can take a break now, I’m just playing around. I’ll let you know when I get back to the real stuff and you can criticize it all you want then.”

Writer’s block isn’t a lack of ideas – it’s a fear that anything you write won’t be good enough.

Even if you’re not a writer maybe there’s some other small change you can make to help you loosen up. For instance, if you’re a painter keep an extra canvas on hand and when you don’t know what to do next with your original painting, move to the extra canvas and go crazy there. I did this in art school and I usually liked the second canvas more than the original painting. If you’re an aspiring actor try saying the lines in a different accent when you’re rehearsing at home. If you write music (and you use a keyboard) press the xylophone button and write something with that funny sound. Can you think of any other small changes you can make in your creative endeavors that will help you loosen up?

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