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Monday, December 6, 2010

Jumpstart Monday // whip words to SUBDUE writer's block

It happens to even the most experienced writers. You get stuck on a passage. You just don't know what your next article or book will be about. You fear the fountain of creative ideas has run dry.

Well, has a song ever run on a loop in your head?

Have no fear! As long as you have a mind, you'll have creativity. One way to stimulate new ideas is to whip trigger words back and forth through word games -- and like Devo says, whip them good.

We're in the Information/Digital Age. Words are all around us, but here are 3 sources of words to get you started:

1. Urban Dictionary. Regular folks send in their own definitions of slang words, which can be both hilarious and disturbing. For example, check here for the many and varied definitions of "snitch."

2. Google Keywords. This is my favorite keyword search tool. It's free, and if you use Google to search online, this is the tool to use. Using this tool can serve 2 purposes: it can jumpstart creativity, and it will show you how often words and terms are searched on Google. This is wonderful intelligence to have at your fingertips when doing any online writing, researching, or marketing.

3. Merriam-Webster Word of the Day. Sign up here to have the word of the day sent to you via email. Honestly I've been disappointed at the level of difficulty of the words. They are way too easy. However, they can be used to jumpstart creativity. Today's word is "ear candy: music that is pleasing to listen to but lacks depth." Sentence: It could be argued that the above 2 songs are mere ear candy.

Whip them good
Search these tools to see what words jump out at you. Then take the words and play around with them.

One of my favorite word games as a child was to see how many words I could get out of a long word or phrase.

I have friends who LOVE to acronym words. Example: W.O.R.D. = Writing Or Researching Deadlines. This can get irritating in books and presentations if overdone, but you might find that it's great at unlocking writer's block.

Word mapping is another fun creative word game. Write a word in the middle of a blank sheet of paper. Draw lines like spokes from the word and write down whatever associations and creative ideas spring to mind. This game is effective at turning on the fountain. Ideas stimulate new ideas and then the next thing you know, you're writing! I find brainstorming is more relaxing than actually writing sometimes, so I use this game to help me ease into the writing project.

Don't give into the Monday blues. Let Monday be your most creative day of the week.

By the way, do you have tricks and tips for dealing with writer's block? Please share!

Donna Marie

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