Work with your external environment to give yourself mental clarity. Especially when you are experiencing writer’s block or have not felt as creative lately, think back to the elements that were present when the words and ideas did flow like water. By identifying what works, you can better stage your environment for sustained success.
Craft what an ideal writing routine would look like for you. Then, have a plan for when this routine happens to miss the mark, so you don’t miss a deadline.
Frame your big picture
Everyone is a different kind of writer, but it can be helpful to figure out what is already working. This could be simple, like knowing whether you are a morning or night person. It can stem down to realizing you write better with a fully crafted outfit on or a uniform, rather than in loungewear. The words might flow after a walking in nature or perhaps in a bustling coffeehouse. Maybe you can write anywhere if the inspiring really kicks in. Some work backwards from a descriptive outline, whereas others feel free when they “forget” their planner at home.
These signifiers offer clues to when our minds feel eased and creative. Framing your picture gives insight to your preferences and offers you full liberty not to compare yourself to other writers. Start recreating what you like on a daily basis.
Little clues it’s time to refresh
Day in and day out, the same tricks might no longer feel like their working. Technically, things are getting done or maybe you experience a block. How to get the inspiration really flowing? When everything is proceeding with a level of mediocracy, it might be good to sharpen the details. Reorganize your desk. Exit all the tabs. Close the books. Save everything, restart your computer, turn the phone off, and take a step back. After a few minutes to an hour of breaking from the project, start again with a writing warm up before getting back into work.
Doing physical acts representing “restarting” can mentally put you back on track. Putting everything away then back again runs parallel to turning something off and on again – only this time, pay attention to any ideas that pop up during these motions. You will not hold on to what isn’t necessary. But if there’s any reluctance to cling to an idea, this can be the first place to pick up writing again.
Somewhere in between
If something bigger seems missing, maybe focus on conserving energy for the following day. Unless there is a deadline, do not wring yourself out. Instead, immerse yourself in a book that always proves to inspire you – or walk, drink tea, visit a museum, or bounce ideas off of a friend. Plunge yourself into activities that will ignite your creativity. In lighter spirits, compose a list of your intentions for a productive day and set the stage for tomorrow.
Victoria is a young professional living and writing in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
She’s an avid reader interested in philosophy, innovation, and urban spaces.
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