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Unboxed Strategies for Unblocking by Therese Walsh

One of my favorite approaches for getting beyond a bout of writer’s block is to purposefully stop writing. Sounds counterintuitive, but it works for me, almost without fail. Here are a few tried-and-true strategies to help trick the brain into giving up possible story solutions.

  • Take a shower. Something about the hot water takes all the fight out of my resistance. I use a scuba board – a waterproof writing board used by instructors to relay information to other divers– and jot ideas as they come to me.
  • Go for a walk—or a drive. Exposure to the outdoors can jar me out of a writing slump. I use a slim LCD recorder to capture my thoughts—safer than my phone’s audio recorder while driving.
  • Sleep—but not far from your pen. I keep a pen and notebook on my bedside table to capture thoughts that skim the surface of my conscious mind as I’m about to fall asleep—or that wake me in the middle of the night. Try a night-writer pen with a lightbulb on the tip, so you can capture thoughts without waking a partner.

Write on!


Therese Walsh is the editorial director of the popular website Writer Unboxed, and the editor of Author in Progress, a new book meant to keep writers writing, published by Writer’s Digest.
IWSG NEWS:

The next Insecure Writer's Support Group day will be on December 7th!
Sign up here.


DECEMBER'S QUESTION: In terms of your writing career, where do you see yourself five years from now, and what’s your plan to get there?

**Add this question and your answer to your December IWSG post.

Co-Hosts:
Jennifer Hawes
Jen Chandler
Nick Wilford
Juneta Key
JH Moncrieff
Diane Burton
MJ Fifield

Please post on Wednesday! It is all right to miss and post a day late, but come the first Wednesday, your IWSG should be front and center.
 
This is not a platform just to advertise. Or just give advice. Share your struggles, encourage others.

Connect. Visit members. Return comments. And have FUN!
 

Six Ways to Boost Creativity by Michelle Wallace

All writers have those days when inspiration is low. Here are some tips to keep your creative juices flowing.


1. Read widely. This exposes you to different and interesting topics as well as multi-cultural experiences that you can use in your writing.

2. If you have a favourite writing spot, change it and see what happens. When you move outside of your comfort zone, it stretches your imagination and fuels creativity.

3. Vary your sentence length, structure and type. This helps with the pacing of your story and gets rid of monotony. Remember that there’s a time and place for both short, powerful sentences as well as longer complex sentences.

4. Be observant. When you are out and about, take note of the smaller details in everything around you. Experience the world with all five senses.

5. Take a break. Sometimes a nap helps; or go for a walk. Seeing new things can help stimulate your brain and give your imagination a boost.

6. Children are spontaneous and have a fresh outlook on the world, changing the way you view things. So tap into your inner child - just let go of all preconceptions, grasp the story idea that pops into your mind and move forward with it!
 
HELPFUL ARTICLES:

- 28 Mind-Blowing Resources for Writers

Marketing:
- How to Market Yourself at Writers Conferences
- Book Marketing Series: Using Video to Grow Your Audience
- Build an Audience for Your Novel
- What Every Author Needs to Know About Libraries


Writing Tips:
- How to Write and Stay Sane When You Have Little Kids at Home
- Why Depression is Not a Good Thing for Writers
- 5 Ways Perfectionism Attacks Your Creativity
- Planning and Productivity Tips for Busy Writers


Character Development:
- Character Archetypes - Lover
How to Really Write a Character...with Depression
- How to Write a Multi-Dimensional Lead Character
- 5 Ways to Twist the Chosen One Cliche


Writer's Block:
- Turning the Negativity Train Around
6 Tips for Defeating Writer's Block
- How to Start Writing a Novel if Stuck: 8 Steps
- 30 Practical Ways to Beat Writer's Block


Creativity:
How To Improve Your Creativity
- Be a disciplined artist in 7 steps

- The Science of Protecting Your Creativity  
- 5 Steps to Developing More Discipline

 
MEMBER SPOTLIGHT

Tyrean Martinson hosts 5 Reasons to Write on her blog. This feature is a series of posts that she hopes to get guests to participate in. She provides of list of 96 topics that are open for discussion such as: Five Reasons to Write Non-Fiction Books and Five Reasons to Write with Passion. 

Tyrean also offers an ebook containing 500+ writing prompts for just 99 cents! A Jumble of 500+ Writing Prompts

You can visit Tyrean's blog at Tyrean's Writing Spot.

 
Tips for a Better Conference Experience bShannon Lawrence
 
A writer's conference is a great place to learn more about your craft, plus meet fellow authors and forge lasting relationships. Unfortunately, it can also be overwhelming and stressful if you go in unprepared. Here are a few tips to get you through:


1. When possible, check the schedule in advance. Pick the classes you're most interested in so you're not cramming in the hallway or missing something important.

2. Keep snacks and water with you to fuel up between workshops.

3. If you're overwhelmed, focus on one category of class, such as craft, business, etc.

4. Plan some downtime. You WILL get tired, and running yourself down can lead to "con crud" and a long recovery. Plus, you'll absorb more if your mind has a chance to rest.

5. Stretch outside your comfort zone, talk to strangers, make connections. Having a familiar face around can be a boon, especially if you're not already attending with friends.

6. Know who the staff/organizers are so you know where to go for help.

In short, plan ahead, rest when you can, and nourish both your mind and your body, and you'll leave the conference with plenty of positive takeaways.
 

  Administrators:   

 

FREE! The Insecure Writer’s Support Group:
Guide to Publishing and Beyond

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