Rut. Funk. Writer’s Block. We’ve all been wedged at one time or another – in a routine, a project, the middle of a blog post or a novel. Luckily, it’s nothing a night at the movies can’t fix. So grab some popcorn and enjoy the show!
(*Top ten movie quotes according toThe Guinness Book of Film)
1. "...Bond. James Bond." (Sean Connery, Dr. No (1962))
Okay, now look into a mirror and say that with your best British accent. I’m kidding. But this quote made the cut because James Bond does have the coolest toys. An invisible car, a jet pack, an Omega Seamaster watch with a laser beam cutter – they helped him save the day. The good news is we don’t need anything nearly as fancy to save ours. Heck, even a Play-Doh or a box of Lego will do. Find a toy and play with it. Playing relaxes your mind and sets your thoughts free. Who knows? Your imaginary friends might even come out to join you.
2. "Of all the gin joints in all the towns in all the world, she walks into mine." (Humphrey Bogart, Casablanca (1942))
Try working from some place new. Even if it just means picking up your laptop and moving from one end of the couch to the other, the move may help you see things from a different perspective.
3. "Well, it's not the men in your life that counts, it's the life in your men." (Mae West, I'm No Angel (1933))
Take a hard look at each of your characters. Are they as fleshed out as possible? While figuring out where to take your story, examine your characters to see if they need to be developed more. This exercise might help you determine where your story needs to go next.
4. "I'll be back." (Arnold Schwarzenegger, The Terminator (1984)
Take a break. Step away from your project and breathe. Come back when the urge to throw your laptop in the bin has passed.
5. "Won't you excuse me for a moment while I ... slip into something a little bit more ... comfortable?" (Madeline Kahn, Blazing Saddles (1974))
If you wear pants while working, slip into a dress. If you usually wear shoes, go barefoot. Shaking up your routine should help get the creative juices flowing.
6. "My Mama always said, 'Life was like a box of chocolates; you never know what you're gonna get.'" (Tom Hanks, Forrest Gump (1994))
Keep a box of writing prompts handy. Draw a prompt from it when you’re stuck. It may not be an exact match for the particular writing project that you’re working on, but it may help to get the wheels in your head turning. (If your project isn’t writing related, I recommend keeping an actual box of chocolates on hand.)
7. "I could dance with you till the cows come home...On second thought, I'd rather dance with the cows when you came home." (Groucho Marx, Duck Soup (1933)
First of all, skip the cows, but do turn up the music and dance. Sing! Let the music carry your thoughts away and inspire you.
8. "Frankly, my dear, I don't give a damn!" (Clark Gable, Gone with the Wind (1939))
As “The King” said, don’t give a damn. Write, write, write regardless of whether you think it’s crap. You might find a shiny little nugget in the steaming pile the next day.
9. "You talkin' to me? You talkin' to me? You talkin' to me? Well, who the hell else are you talkin' to? You talkin' to me? Well, I'm the only one here. Who the f--k do you think you're talkin' to?" (Robert De Niro, Taxi Driver (1976))Sit down with your characters and have a chat with them. Ask them about their family, their favorite food and what they think about that last episode of Fringe. Their answers may surprise you. And if turns out that they don’t like Fringe, kill them off.
10. "Gimme a whiskey, ginger ale on side. And don't be stingy, baby." (Greta Garbo, Anna Christie (1930))
Enough said. ;-)
Do you have any favorite ways to get unstuck? I'd love to hear them. Go ahead, make my day :D