Be Inspired By Guest Have you ever found making progress with your writing about as easy as drawing blood from a stone? Feeling stuck and unproductive can quickly become a vicious cycle. You start to worry about your lack of progress, leading to mental paralysis. The cruel irony of the situation is your stress about writing will crush any hope of your inspiration returning. Some writers treat inspiration as an almost mythical entity that shows up from time to time. Something mysterious and totally beyond their control. In reality, there are a few things we can do to get unstuck and feel inspired to write. If you want to take proactive charge of your levels of writing inspiration, here are some ideas worth trying. Practice proper self-care Writing, as a solitary, creative art form, lends itself to isolation. Sometimes, we need to be alone to get our best work done. To zone in on a project and get into a flow state where we can make progress. However, isolation can harm as well as help us. We may forget to take care of our basic needs. Sometimes, we are so intensely focused on trying to write that we neglect fundamental things we need to function at our peak. If you feel uninspired and are struggling to write, consider whether your basic needs have been met. Ensure they have before you try and find a more complex solution to your writing worry. Consider checking: Hydration. When was the last time you drank some water? Depending on your creative habits, it can be tempting to rely on coffee or other stimulating drinks. However, drinking plenty of water is essential to good cognitive functioning. Add some lemon or other fruit if plain water isn’t to your liking. Sleep. Sleep can feel like a luxury that can be cut back on at times, but it’s anything but. If you’re struggling mentally, consider taking a re-energizing power nap. Some writers swear by the caffeine power nap. Giving your brain time to recharge and refresh is often more productive than trying to plow through your word count at all costs. Nutrition. Are you eating a diet that will allow you to write well and perform at your best? When you’re in the middle of a writing marathon, or an attempted writing marathon at least, it can be difficult to remember to eat sensibly. Try keeping some fruit or another healthy snack at your writing desk. As writers, we can overthink the feeling of being stuck. Sometimes, the simplest fixes make the biggest difference. Get outside and go for a walk Plenty of writers have attested to the surprisingly powerful benefits that come from walking. The next time you find yourself struggling to write, give yourself permission to go and take a stroll for at least 20 minutes or so. Ideally, walk in an area you find beautiful or inspiring, but anywhere will do if that isn’t possible. If you’re skeptical about the power of the humble walk, keep in mind that no less than Charles Dickens, Virginia Woolf, and Stephen King are all fans. So what is it about walking that helps us write better? Brain boost. Walking has been proven to be an effective reliever of stress, as beneficial as some forms of medication. Relieving your stress is a great way to feel more able to write. New source material. When you next take a walk, try and be mindful and observant. Think about how you would describe the scene you see. Or notice the people around you and think about what their lives might be like. You might find something perfect for your writing. New ideas. There’s something about repetitive, automatic activities such as walking and showering that frees the mind to work wonders. Taking a walk is a little like putting up a mental lightning rod – powerful ideas may well strike from seemingly nowhere. If you’re not a regular walker, what do you have to lose by trying? Science and legendary authors alike attest to its benefits. Give it a go, and see if it improves your writing productivity. Disrupt and challenge your writing So you’ve taken the time to handle your basic needs, and have given your mind, body, and soul the gift of a walk, but are still feeling stuck? In a situation like that, you might need to get a little more creative with your response. Sometimes, we are stuck in a rut without really knowing it. We might feel uninspired to write because we’re stuck in a routine that doesn’t serve us. If you want to restore your levels of writing inspiration through disruption and challenge, try these tips. Change your tools. What do you like to write with? If you use a particular type of writing app, try a new one. Make it visibly different, for example by enabling a dark mode, or choosing a fully-featured app if you usually use a simple one. Or, take things further and write longhand if you normally type. Sometimes, changing your writing tool will give your brain the jolt it needs to start producing again. Write something new. Our creative juices can start flowing again when we challenge ourselves in a new and interesting way. If you’re writing nonfiction content, try a brief fiction challenge. Writing prompts can be helpful for this. Don’t let yourself overthink the situation though – commit to trying out a writing prompt that’s given to you at random. Read. Taking the focus off your writing can be helpful. Next time you’re feeling stuck, try reading something purely for the love of it. It can be anything from a piece of your writing from the past you’re proud of, to a favorite author. Even writing quotes can be helpful if you don’t have the energy for something longer. By reading, we allow ourselves to relax and remember the joy of language, in turn letting us feel better about our work. There’s no need to surrender meekly to the feeling of being stuck. Switch things up and make some changes. Your muse will thank you for it. What’s your solution to getting unstuck? What do you do when you’re feeling stuck and uninspired to write? Do you do any of the things in this article, or have you got another go-to technique for when your muse is AWOL? Please feel free to share your ideas, it would be a pleasure to get your take.