If you're a writer, you're probably dealing with one writersblock after the other. It can be very frustrating if you don't know where to go with your story, or you don't even know what you want to write about or what kind of character you want to create. Today I would like to give you 10 very easy tips to help you get over your writersblock and get inspired to write!
1. Read a newspaper or magazine
I always get the best ideas by reading newspapers and magazines. Newsarticles, interviews and strange, mindblowing stories in articles can give you great ideas about a storyline or a character. A magazine I really can recommend is Psychology Magazine, since the magazine is about people and it is full of interesting (character-driven) stories.
2. Listen to conversations.
When you're doing grocery shopping or you're sitting in the train or bus, listen to the conversations around you. Write down the way people talk. This way you can give your characters something of his or her own and make him or her more realistic.
This is also a very good way to learn to write subtext in dialogues!
3. Listen to music and lyrics.
The atmosphere in music can help you find the right atmosphere of your story, but if you allready know what kind of atmosphere you want, listening to music with the same atmosphere can help you come up with ideas to give your story that little extra to achieve that atmosphere you want.
Lyrics can help you to get deeper inside of your characters mind and soul to find out what it is they are longing for and what the deeper meaning of their actions are.
4. Make a collage.
Make a random collage of people, places, atmospheres, styles... Make these people your characters and these places the area of where your story takes place. I can guarantee you that you will have a great story written down in no time!
5. Watch people be.
If you have a window that looks out on the street, go sit there for a while to watch the people that walk by. Think of what it is they're going to do, or where they come from. Try to think about a reason why they are looking sad or happy, why they chose to wear the clothes that they're wearing, what they have to do today and what it is they're dreaming of.
Watching people can help you to find out what kind of characters you like to write about. If you keep giving those people on the street sad stories, than give your character a sad story. If you like to think about sad things, it's easier to write and to come up with great ideas for your character.
6. Visit a place you would never visit.
I would never go to a Hardcore festival or a slaughterhouse, so if I would go there, I would see things from an other perspective. This can help write about characters that are difficult for you to understand, because they are so different from you.
7. Go to musea.
Looking at art can give you some ideas about what your story could be about. If you look at a painting, for example, you probably think about what it is the artist is trying to say. Well, this can help you think about what it is YOU are trying to say with your story.
8. Go to a store that sells shit no one needs.
This sounds like a very strange and bad idea, but trust me, it can help you to build up an interesting character. So, go to a store that sells crazy things and as you walk down the aisles you choose things your character would buy. You have to choose ten things and you have to think about a reason for your character to buy them. This reason can be anything. He or she can just find it pretty, or needs it for something, or wants to give it to someone as a present. But you do need to find a reason: why does he or she find it pretty? For what does he or she needs it? What is he or she gonna do with it? For who would it be a gift and why this?
9. Write a letter from one character to another.
During my masters degree in Screenwriting I had a workshop in building up characters by the Dutch writer and poet Willem-Jan Otten. He once gave us the assignment to write a letter from one character to another. It really helps you to find out how these characters can interact with each other and what the relationships are between the characters.
10. Get some exercise!
And last but not least: get some exercise! This can really help you reset your mind and think outside the box. Go take a run around the park (fresh air helps as well), or if the weather is bad, there's a lot you can do inside your house.
If you have some great tips yourself, please comment below!
On my blog I write about the process of improving my skills, about grabbing every chance I get to become more experienced and about learning from ups and downs. Besides that, I write about everything that inspires me, like film, photography, paintings and psychology.