4 Ways Technology Can Beat Writer’s Block

There’s a lot of tips and tricks on how to bear writer’s block.  Ultimately, as we all know, the only way to beat writer’s block is to simply write.  Still, there’s something to be said for kickstarting your creative thought process.  Ideas come from the strangest places.

Most of us nowadays write on our computers, but all of the suggestions foe beating writer’s block usually entail getting away from the computer.  Stretch.  Walk.  Get away.  Yoga.  These are all fantastic ways to loosen the body and open the mind, but there are other ways to pique your curiosity and get inspired.

1. Random Wiki

This is my favorite.  You’ll either beat writer’s block or get sucked down the rabbit hole for hours.  Either way, remember to feed yourself before you start this because it might be a while before you remember to eat.  Or shower. Or shave.  Or pick up the kids.

Essentially, you can click a single button and get a completely random Wikipedia entry, sure to pique your interest and, hopefully, get those creative juices flowing.  And it’s really easy:

  1. Go to Wikipedia.org and bookmark it in your browser.
  2. Open your Bookmark Menu edit the bookmark you just created.
  3. Change the location to http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Special:Randompage
  4. Save your changes
  5. Click the new bookmark
  6. Viola! A random Wikipedia article is there for you.

Here is a link so you can try for yourself: COMPLETELY RANDOM WIKIPEDIA ENTRY.

The Exercise

When you find an article that intrigues you, open up text editor on your computer, copy the URL and a short sentence about what you liked.  Add a few keywords.  After you are done, review the list and see what grabs you.  Hopefully, something there will inspire you to write.

2. StumbleUpon

This is in the same vein as the Random Wiki – except instead of a random entry form Wikipedia, it’s a random website from the entire Internet based on your personal preferences. As before, take all necessary precautions before you go this route.  It might be days before you remember to reapply your deodorant, so please remember those around you.

Sign up for a StumbleUpon account if you haven’t done so already.  When you sign up, make sure you take the time to fill out every singly interest you have.  Garbage in, garbage out as they say.  If you take those precious few minutes to be as detailed as possible in your interests, you’ll be amazed at the random cool sites StumbleUpon will present to you.

The Exercise

As before, when you find a site that intrigues you, open up text editor on your computer, copy the URL and a short sentence about what you liked.  Add a few keywords.  After you are done, review the list and see what grabs you.  Hopefully, something there will inspire you to write.

3. Random YouTube

You’re beginning to see a pattern here, right?  This is no different except that instead of articles or websites, this is a random video.  The idea here is that hopefully a random video of cats or pimple-popping will somehow inspire you to write.  Jesting aside, though, this is also one of my favorites because it’s a way to people watch.  Random videos give me so much inspiration on character trait and development it’s not funny.

People have ben known to explode from failure to pee when watching YouTube videos, so keep a bucket or something nearby.  Here’s how you do it:

  1. Navigate to http://randomyoutube.net/
  2. On the right side of the screen is a random video.
  3. Click the link – watch the video
  4. Go back to the randomyoutube.net tab
  5. Repeat

You’ll get a few terrible videos, a lot of mediocre ones, and occasionally a nugget of gold that will really inspire you.

The Exercise

When you find a video that intrigues you, open up text editor on your computer, copy the URL and a short sentence about what you liked.  Add a few keywords.  After you are done, review the list and see what grabs you.  Hopefully, something there will inspire you to write.

4. Random Google Image

Yep – exactly the same as the other suggestions.  I won’t even bother explaining it.  Here is what you do:

That’s it.  Break that block.  A writer writes.  You can do it!

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