Struggling from a lack of inspiration or writer’s block is something every writer will encounter. Instead of tab-hopping on the internet, I’ve developed a game which not only stimulates the brain, but also gives an excuse to exercise your imagination.
BY MELISSA NEL
There you are, sitting in front of your computer, wondering how creative writers find great ways to come up with interesting stories and angles on topics that have been covered to death. You scribble down your idea only to find out later that, guess what? Someone else thought of it first.
You Google “10 Ways to Overcome Writer’s Block” and try to do as many of these as possible – jumping jacks, going for a walk in nature, meditating, eating peanut butter upside down – all to no avail.
So here’s how to fire up the imagination without leaving your desk.
Why imagination is good for your health
According to mentalfloss.com: “Disassociating from reality allows you to imagine the possibilities. You’ll want to explore and investigate promising outcomes, both already in your life and outside of it, acquiring more knowledge and skills along the way.”
Read the full article on the six proven benefits here.
There are eight sub-sections of imagination according to The Writing Co-operative, including Imaginative Fantasy. This is when you are able to generate new ideas from scratch, something that all writers needs to be adept at doing.
Here’s a game that uses imaginative fantasy to kick-start original ideas.
How to play:
You will need three mugs or teacups (if you prefer to be fancy). This means that yes, you have to go wash the dishes – another tip on overcoming writer’s block. Grab a pen and paper and decide on your over-arching theme, for example: Technology, Travel, or Fiction. I’ll be using Women’s Fashion as my example.
1. Divide your theme, or main topic, into sub-sections. Write these down on pieces of paper and throw them in the first cup.
Example: Increase in loungewear sales, longer lasting mascara, decreased lipstick sales.
2. Write down your secondary topics: these need to be present to create a new angle. Place them into the second cup.
Example: Fashionable masks, Zoom meetings, Bedazzled Slippers.
3. Write down different tones or genres and throw them in the third cup.
Example: Comical, Serious, Mysterious, Horror, Romantic.
Pick a piece of paper from each mug.
There you go!
I’ll be writing about women’s fashion regarding loungewear and the rise of the slipper during Zoom meetings in a comical tone. This leads me to my angle:
Women are ditching their heels and rocking bedazzled slippers in Zoom Meetings!
For those of us that make a living by monetising our imagination — it’s important to keep this engine well-oiled and functional.
Don’t Give Up
Imagination, just like writing, is something that needs to be practiced and perfected with time. Don’t expect to be perfect in your first draft.
You wouldn’t run a marathon without training for it first. The more you exercise your imagination the more you will be able to spot new ideas, stories and angles.
- Lost For Words? What To Do When The Dreaded Writer’s Block Hits You
- Ian Middleton’s Magazine Journalism Success Story
- 5 Ways To Deal With Writer’s Block – By Helen Brain
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Melissa Nel is a South African-based photographer, artist and aesthetic stylist. Outside the studio, she works as a visual consultant and is an avid thrift-shopper. Her background in fashion design gives her significant insight into the fast-paced world of fashion and mainstream culture. Her articles focus on educating the general public on lesser-known themes, whilst encompassing all forms of art. She writes compelling human-interest stories, but never at the expense of an entertaining read.