What helps you get un-stuck?
I think many writers, whether newbies, veterans, or somewhere in between, face this closed door on occasion. Solution advice includes taking a walk or buckling down and pressing through.
There are other simple fixes that help us renew and refocus, like going to a movie, working on another project, or brainstorming.
Speaking of such, the following brainstorming methods have helped me work out the wrinkles. Maybe they'll help you too.
Freewriting - Set a time limit (five or ten minutes) and write down anything that comes to mind. It matters not what, just write. When the time expires, review the results. Some content won’t be useful, but there might be a nugget or two that stands out.
Clustering (or Mapping) – Choose a word or two from your topic, write it down in the middle of a blank piece of paper, and circle it. Write related words around the main word/s, circle them, and draw a line from each to the main word/s. A visual like this can reveal patterns or fresh leads.
The Five W’s – Ask the questions used when writing a news article - Who, What, Where, When, and Why (don't forget How, too). List these words, then answer each one using related ideas about the theme. Answers don't have to be extensive, any thoughts can be useful. This is my favorite method. :)
The Flip Side – Consider the subject from a different angle. This is especially helpful for emotional or controversial issues. Place yourself in the other person's shoes and see what happens.
The Top Five List – Make a list of the top five things you or others might like to know about the subject. A list of any size can help sort and clarify ideas.
Brainstorming methods can offer alternative thoughts or perspectives thus sharpening and polishing our work. Go ahead, give one a try. You never know what fresh ideas might pop out when you swing that door wide open!
I've a guest post about real life and writing at Helping Hands Press blog. If you have a moment, stop over and say hello. :) Thanks so much!
What helps you brainstorm? What are you working on this week?
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