By in Writing

Challenge Yourself and Break Through the Writer's Block

A writing challenge I participated in recently had us typing madly for three minutes and seeing if we could produce a fairly intelligent and interesting article without major spelling or grammar mistakes. Different people attacked the task in different ways, and of course, anyone who thought about it overnight and took the challenge the next day had plenty of time to plan out what they would write during their three minutes. Planning sort of defeats the point, because the point is to find your creativity.

Still, I think it may be a valid way just to get the juices flowing. Set the timer and start typing stream-of-consciousness. Maybe you won't produce a post that you want to publish, but I know that somewhere in those quickly-constructed sentences and those rapidly flowing keystrokes, there is going to be at least one spark of an idea for a new post.

Not everyone responds to every challenge in the same way. Not every method will encourage your inner writer. No prompt or challenge is going to be the sledgehammer for every writer trying to break their writer's block. But I can't see how writing freely and without any rules or regulations could do anything but make you feel like writing more.

Try the challenge for yourself. If you have to, start it by typing "This is my three minute challenge and I am going to see how much I can write in three minutes". You'll be surprised where it goes from there, trust me.

Image Credit » The Image is My Own Work - Anja Poulsen

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nitsbubb wrote on July 13, 2014, 9:50 AM

If you fall in the writer's block trap, just shut down the computer and do not work on anything for the next 4 or 5 or 6 hours till the time you feel like switching on the computer. You will surely come out of it.

Porwest wrote on July 13, 2014, 9:53 AM

Not a bad idea at all, and I think even this is the sort of "exercise" that made guys like Harlan Ellison and Ray Bradbury such prolific writers. They would just see something, think of something, hear about something, or be given a word, and start clacking away at the keys until what they were left with was a story.

gulp_burp wrote on July 13, 2014, 9:54 AM

I've done this challenge thousands of times before back in college. The first time I did it, our journalism professor asked us to view the mini gallery set up by the fine arts student in our department for five minutes. We came back to our room and we were told to write down every thought we had in mind for three minutes without lifting the pen unnecessarily. It eventually became a habit until it evolved into typing in my ideas on the computer or on my phone's notes. From one free-writing exercise, you could compose several articles already.

LoudMan wrote on July 13, 2014, 12:21 PM

Sometimes, if only I could develop some sort of a block, writing would be so much easier. It's more like a group of people all clamoring to be heard at once. So, I pick the best idea I can.

Ruby3881 wrote on July 14, 2014, 6:01 PM

I have to go read your post for that challenge! I saw the one Scootermac wrote, and that got me to try it. It was a worthwhile experience even though I wasn't at all suffering from writer's block at the time. I took advantage of the opportunity to see the world the way my daughters (who have dysgraphia) do :)

BodieMor wrote on January 5, 2015, 4:08 PM

Will try it. Another time. emoticon :winking: