4 Steps to Renew Creative Flow


Facing the blank page can induce total amnesia and render even a normally chatty person devastatingly silent. When this continues for awhile we can begin to think we have writer’s block. Nothing to say, nowhere to go, nada, nada, nada . . .

1. Questions can help you unplug the flow

Writing the answers to questions that increase your self-knowledge is particularly helpful.

  • What do you appreciate about your mother and father and why?
  • What do you wish you’d known before your first kiss and how would it have changed things?
  • What advice would you most like to give your younger self and why this advice?
  • Who is your favorite superhero and which characteristics do you admire the most?
  • Where is your favorite place on earth or elsewhere in the universe and why is it your favorite?

2. Read your answers aloud. Then reread silently and pick-out the words that have the most meaning for you.

3. Review what you’ve circled or highlighted and write a paragraph about what you’ve discovered about yourself.

4. Review your answers plus your self-knowledge statement and mine them for elements that connect to your creative work.

No writing in progress? Pick the element that resonates for you most strongly and simply start working with it.

Resources to get your writing flowing again:

The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron

The Courage to Write: How Writers Transcend Fear by Ralph Keyes

On Writer’s Block: A New Approach to Creativity by Victoria Nelson

Finding Your Writer’s Voice: A Guide to Creative Fiction by Thaisa Frank & Dorothy Wall

Story Starters: How to Jump-Start Your Imagination, Get Your Creative Juices Flowing, and Start Writing Your Story or Novel by Lou Willett Stanek, Ph.D.

The one that worked for me

Over the years I’ve collected a shelf full of books on writing. In the end the thing that got me writing every day was Julia Cameron’s Morning Pages. Those pages led to a small note book were I began collecting story and article ideas. Once the routine of Morning Pages was established, I began to add doing just ten minutes a day on a story prompt, drafting one post for the blog, or adding even 500 words on my current novel.

Everyone is different. I discovered that I need variety to keep writing, and I love essays, stories, novels, and poetry. Once I had enough raw writing, revision became a part of my daily routine too. In the end the advice always seems to be the same.

  • Write.
  • Don’t give up.
  • Writing is revising.
  • Just spill it on the page to start.
  • Get it out. Get it down.
  • You can clean it up later.

Join the conversation: What do you do when you feel blocked?

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