As a writer, it can be exhausting trying to come up with the perfect piece. You stare at the computer keys or the pad of paper, quietly drumming your fingers across the surface. Maybe the mood and tone of your work are present, but the creative shell refuses to be constructed.
Inspiration simply doesn’t come.
Fear not, creative mind, I offer a small method to shake ideas from the dusty, cobwebbed attic of your blank canvas. From my experience, walking is the best writer’s block remedy.
Being in a creative writing program, my fingertips and synapses suffered together as I put out piece after piece. I reached a point in my undergraduate career that left me feeling blue and unable to create the pieces I had burrowing under my skin.
When the shadowing block became too much bear, I’d walk around my campus – usually at night – and observe things. I’d think of memories within the halls and in the commons. After a few moments, ideas struck me like a brick truck, sending me down a rabbit hole of inspiration. This method has saved me more than once, and even now as I traverse through my master’s program.
I recommend you to take a brisk shuffle around the block or saunter for hours. Look at everything, from the tops of buildings to the stones under your feet. Walk down a street you’ve never been before. Count all the dark windows – what do you imagine you’d find? Search for broken glass on the sidewalk, maybe even embedded in the soil. How did it get there?
Look at the glow of the faded Burger King sign as thick raindrops hit it. Watch the bulbs burst from hours of activity and think of eating nuggets with your father when you were seven. The memory buzzes in your legs, your muscles contracting and aching from your long walk. The ghost of the warm food swirls in your stomach as you trudge on to your minimum wage job.
This small memory that erupted from a walk will be transformed into a creative nonfiction piece about relationship, food, and distance. The world is our canvas and inspiration, take from it often and without caution.
The world is our canvas and inspiration, take from it often and without caution.
There are so many stories, poems, pictures, songs, and other forms of art to be created. See what inspires you, what draws you in to take a deeper look. The beautiful thing about place is that the world changes every minute.
Look and you might discover something astonishing.