Activities to Stimulate Creative Thinking:

Lots of times “writer’s block” is actually just a “creative thinking block.” When you’re facing one of those blank moments, try one or more of the following tips to stimulate your creativity–and your writing:

  • Watch movies, TV, videos, even video games–but don’t just sit back and blitz out. Instead, think about (and ideally discuss with others) how the story plot, characters, and dialogue were created, and how the pictures and music build the setting and emotion.
  • Do some people watching. What makes people interesting and unique? What do people say or do that could give you ideas for a story? How do their clothes, hairstyle, facial expressions, body language tell a story or build their character?
  • Keep notes of trends. What is going on around your community or your country or in the world that people are really interested in at the moment and would like to read a story or article about?
  • Reward yourself. Set goals for your creative activities and award yourself with something that you’ll really look forward to. (It doesn’t have to be big or expensive! Be creative with your rewards, too).
  • Do lots of pleasure reading (not assigned reading) from books that are creative and fun to read. Read novels, short stories, poetry, graphic novels, comics–and when you find ones you think are especially creative, interesting, unique, successful, and that you really like, analyze them to see what the writer did that was so interesting and creative. Then try to do that in your own writing.
  • Create something you wish someone would create for you. For example, if you have always wanted to read a super-funny dragon story but all the ones you can find are serious or adventurous, write your own super funny dragon story–and share it with other people. Be original! And enjoy it!
  • Find a topic you think is boring or too difficult and develop ways to make it more interesting and not so scary to do.
  • Read books and articles about creativity and creative writing. Also blog posts. Subscribe to e-newsletters. Watch Ted Talks and other videos. Listen to podcasts.
  • Write for 10 minutes every day in a notebook or journal. Just write. It doesn’t matter what you write about. If you’re stuck for ideas, you can even copy something someone else has written–you’ll learn from it. Practice makes perfect!
  • Keep a daily log book at the end of each day. It is kind of like a diary, but you just write down cool or interesting or wierd things you did, saw, heard, smelled, tasted, or felt. Then, when you can’t think of something to write about, you have a whole list of ideas that are interesting to you–much better than many of the “writing prompt” lists in which most of the ideas don’t appeal to you.

Are you enjoying these creative writing tips? What tips can you add— list your ideas in the comments!

Want more tips on writing creatively? Check out this entire series:

What is Blocking Your Creativity?
Creativity: Planning and Organizing
Creativity: Be Unique, Original
Activities to Stimulate Creative Thinking
Creative Writing Relationships
Try Lots of Different Writing Formats

And while you’re at it, why not check out my creativity tips for students series over at my site.

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