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What To Do When The Creativity Dries Up


By Drew Coffman

We’ve all been there, I’m there right now, what a lovely place this is, the Writer’s Republic of Blockistan. A land where ideas float around aimlessly like tumbleweeds, a place where writers of all statures and ages bang their heads on any hard surface and scream in frustration with such frequency that the entire Republic ambiently sounds like the marching band from hell is constantly approaching from the distance! This place sucks, and we all wish, when we find ourselves marooned here, that we could flee via land, sea or air, or even rickety old, moldy catapult for that matter. Anything to get out of this hellhole.

I’m talking about that funk you get into where no new ideas are coming into your brain, no matter how much you force it or how much you try to not force it, which in itself is a type of forcing it – force-ception! I’m going to go through some things, some tips, some nifty ideas as to how you could possibly allay any upcoming long trips to the Writer’s Republic of Blockistan.


By Dave Coverly

these are my own tips, results may vary, consult your healthcare professional before administering these ideas into your brain-box.

  1. Let anger and frustration fuel you – to a certain extent only, don’t become so angry that you can’t keep concentrated on the actual writing. I like to look on Facebook and other social media sites and have a seething, envious look at all the people “friends” (almost none of them are friends) and their lives of sometimes quite shocking hedonism, alcohol consumption, rampant sexual behaviour and pure consumerist slavery. Seeing all this makes me frustrated at the sheep-like behaviour of most people – it fuels some good-ish ideas for writing, simply because there is so much of this particular kind of enraging content so easily found online, that is forces you to think of scoffing and sarcastic types of things. Imagine these types of people at a philosophy debate or an Abstract art museum, and how lost and rambunctiously bored they’d probably become – see, that right there was a writing prompt. Get frustrated, fellow writers.
  2. Drugs – I’m not talking anything hard. I’m talking about caffeine and nicotine in my case – I would have included alcohol, but I’m taking a long break from that dangerously addictive stuff. I’m going to assume that most of us drink coffee or tea, it really does help, not only because of the energy, but also because it relaxes us in a certain way, all hot liquids are relaxing. Now, I’m also going to assume most of us don’t smoke cigarettes or ingest nicotine in any way, so if you don’t, don’t start doing it. I find that nicotine really boosts your ideas up a notch – a lot of famous writers have said so too, Stephen King for example. So yeah, load up on coffee and tea and nicotine patches until you can feel your heart beating in your eyeballs! Probably won’t help, but the subsequent trip to the hospital could be something to write about perhaps.
  3. Change Everything – Wear something strange, you never wear usually. This can get very weird, I’ve known people to actually dress up in Historical costumes and try to write something in the style of the period of their costume. Light candles instead of turning lights on etc. Change up your whole writing environment, put a plant on your desk where you’d usually have a stack of papers. Go as crazy with this tip as you want, fuck, convert to Judaism, use a hammer to eat your favourite writing snacks. Go nuts.
  4. Finally, just WRITE…..anything – Start with a nonsensical sentence, then try to keep it going. Find themes within your stream of nonsense, then keep going. One example “The milk went to the squirrel’s house to buy a packet of parsnip tops” – now, this strange sentence opens up some avenues for creative writing. Who is “milk”? Why is the Squirrel selling parsnip tops? If that’s not your thing, try simply writing out a list of all the things you did that day, there’s nothing special about this tip, the idea is to just write and write until some kind of flow pops up. Write reviews of every day objects you have on your desk or in your office, write book reviews, I once wrote a review of an audio-book, the review was very short, it was a simple “This book sounds good, although I’ve never read it”. Not much, but it was start.

So, I wish you safe travels out of the Writer’s Republic of Blockistan. Good luck.






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