ways to increase your ideas are within your reach
I wrote several titles down in my draft but when I started typing, I drifted from topic to topic with nothing flowing from my pen. I went no further than a few sentences. I did not panic. It was not the end. Everything would be temporary. Suddenly, I became enlightened and I began to write about ‘mental block’.
It is not unusual to have a blank in our minds. That happened many times during my exams in University days due to the stress of studying. I was too anxious about the performance. When I looked back at the questions later, I would often regret greatly. I knew that I could have done much better even without mugging. The intensiveness of the situation had robbed me of the clarity of mind. All I needed was to relax, spot my questions, used my common sense. I had done regular studies anyway.
I am facing the same situation now and the past flooded back. It had also happened in my public speaking experiences. I would take a deep breath and wait. The mind is a wonderful thing that will serve you well if one does not coerce it too much. Soon the thoughts return. Ideas arise. We just need to believe in ourselves. When caught in a ‘stucked’ situation during writing, I learned to do the following…
1 Seek your strength in solitude. A quiet place, a corner, any place where you are unlikely to be interrupted and you will ease into a situation of mental activity that is not only productive but also far sighted. For me, it could be in the washroom sitting on the water closet, sitting at my desk even lying on the floor or bed. Just by myself.
2 Do not badger yourself over the loss of words. Get in touch with your feelings, your thoughts and your desires. Even a minute of meditation or a power nap does wonders. I am currently sitting at my desk in my room at 12.30am and ideas just flow. There are many ways to release your thoughts.
3 Sometimes I would play some music on my laptop while typing my story. I prefer soft music, something sentimental, sometimes classic that somehow elevates my mood and sets the tempo. It is as if my fingers are typing in tandem with the rhythm of the piece.
Once, I listened to a saxophone piece by Kenny G which was used as the background music to my recorded scuba diving tape and suddenly the wonderful underwater experience in the Maldivian waters played in my mind. There is something to write about.
4 The waft of aromatherapy even comes into play. To calm my senses, let flow the thoughts as I ruminate about the day, the week or the past. Positive or negative events, the aroma usually wakes my brain, sometimes it soothes it and I am able to narrate the incidents with a positive perspective of viewing them. Suddenly, I have so many stories to tell.
5 I found that old photos have a magical effect of evoking certain emotions that can spark a whole line of thinking. I marvelled at how time razed past me, how youth was especially a beautiful and special time. Getting older can make one more sanguine, it all depends on yourself. Youth was marked by a lot of angst and anguish because of the folly of youth. But as they say, they are only lessons from which we emerged better beings.
Judging from the amount of travel that my husband and I who are travel bugs did, the pictures make for innumerable interesting stories if we start to recall them. Travelling is indeed a source of inspiration for the mind.
6 The aroma of food and a delicious drink could stimulate my thinking cap. I am fortunate to have a domestic helper who is a great cook. I always said she is a Michelin one star cook. I watched her prepare her ingredients with great care and combination. Then the cooking began and she could transform those stuff into an art of a dish with an exquisite taste to go with. One time, my spouse was waxing poetical as if he had ascended to food heaven. My helper and I were totally amused how good food could elicit such a reaction. This incident or the cook herself and her intensive passion in culinary matters could well be an exhausting article to write about.
7 Now an idea pops up. Yes, it is walking which has a positive effect on creativity. A Stanford study has shown walking benefits one by boosting our ideas. Personally, whenever I feel stuck, I would walk to the kitchen, get a drink, move about in the garden for a while. Sometimes, I would go for my short brisk walking near my home and come back often with fresh ideas. That was an instinctive thing that I do.
Who says we have no ideas about what to write. Your five senses are your keys to writing. Use them. Most important, breathe and relax your whole being and see that every situation is temporary. Journaling has allowed me to get in touch with myself. These days, my mental blocks have decreased. Words, names , ideas, understanding, etc comes to me. It is a matter of patience and those steps mentioned may expedite it.