#amwriting Writing Tips

Creativity and writer’s block

Creativity and writer’s block go hand in hand. Things are tough right now. It’s hard to write…it’s even hard to think! We’re stuck inside our houses and missing all the things we love — like burritos from Mucho Gusto in Eugene, Oreo cookie shakes from Carl’s Junior, and coffee with friends. 

Not everything I miss is related to food, though. I miss hanging out outside with our neighbors, and I even missing sitting on the cold, wet bleachers at baseball practice. 

I really miss high-fives and hugs. 

But since we are living in a young adult (YA) novel right now, I know a few things are coming soon. 

Hope — I can see it just around the corner. 

Love — it’s there in your pre-teen heart. Come on, you grump. FEEL IT.


I want to talk about that last one with you. Power. We see it pop up in every YA novel. The hero comes into their own. They start out a teenager and end up a vampire. They begin as an orphan stuck in the closet and end up saving the world. 

I want you to remember that that kind of power belongs to you also. 

We have been dragged into the second movie in the series. Things look dark and terrible right now. 

But your rise is just around the corner. 

So, let me ask you: when we get to the other side of this, WHO WILL YOU BE?

What are you doing RIGHT NOW that informs that character?

Are you writing stories? Are you making masks? Are you holding onto the pieces of your life?

Remember, the greatest heroes have hidden in attics and written up lists. They’ve held onto those they loved and sent an email that pulled someone out of the darkness. They’ve risen out of the shadows to hold up a light. 

It doesn’t matter how bright they shined. It matters that they were there, and that they tried. 

You are the hero of your story. You are shining your light in whatever way you can. If you can blast out a beam, do it! Fire it up! But if you’re still working on the flame, don’t be afraid to ask for help. We’re here for you.

And while we may not be able to eat the same cookies, we can share a word or two of hope and friendship. 

That, my friends, is power.

Creativity For writers

Creativity and writers block

I wish I could make you a bottle of magic word sauce that I could pour on your head so the words would come easier. We are in an impossible time right now. If you need it, I give you permission to step away from the thing you’re struggling with and write something new for this new world we’re in.

Want to write about a cupcake dinosaur who crafts cotton candy trees? Do it. Want to write short essays from your kitchen table? I’m right there with you.

Sometimes, writer’s block comes from forcing ourselves to pound words onto the page. Giving yourself a break to create — just for the sake of it — can be refreshing and recharging. It can also help you see your world of words in a whole new light.

Me? I’m writing short pieces right now. I’m taking a break from my novel because I can’t seem to think big enough. I need my page a little more contained, and that’s okay. 

Listen to yourself and your cupcake dinosaur. Open up to the possibility of new stories, and return to the old ones later. 

(or not)

Creative Spark

Here’s some fuel for your fire, my friends.

Ted Talks for Sparking Creativity

Ten Ways to Spark Creativity

And in case that is not enough:

100+ Ways to Spark Creativity

If you also want to connect with other writers, I have some tips here.

I believe in you.

Creativity and writer's block -- Giant duck over my computer
This duck should help my writer’s block!