We’ve all been there before. It’s not quite writer’s block, but it’s on the cusp of that same idea. There seems to be an imaginary mental block that’s inhibiting you from locating that thought in your mind that’s nagging at you – the thought that’s waiting to appear on your page.
You begin writing only to scratch out the words and try again, and again and again. The cycle continues until you walk away from your computer or notepad in frustration.
If we just vividly painted a picture of you and your personal writing journey, you shouldn’t worry because you’re not alone. That’s why today, we’re going to help you break from the constraints of this creativity killer and help you pull those thoughts out of your mind and keep on writing.
Today, we’re focusing on the power of word association, a technique that will get the wheels in your mind turning and your creativity churning.
The concept of this technique is simple.
Write a word at the top of a blank piece of paper. Underneath that word you’ll want to write the next thing that comes to your mind and so on and so forth. Don’t censor, and don’t overthink it. You’ll see as this technique develops how bizarre and curious word associations can be – it essentially unravels right before your eyes. Keep the flow of creativity going until the well has seemingly run dry and no other words pop into your head.
When you’ve plucked the last idea, you’re done writing. Now, it’s time to review the words on the sheet before you and examine these ideas. Take note of patterns, flows of insight and trends. It’s important to pay close attention to your emotional state when reading through your list. Tap into how the words make you feel.
Now, take your word associations a step further and develop some of the key ideas that you’ve taken away from this exercise. One way of doing so is by excavating your understanding of the attitudes, beliefs, feelings and thoughts that you might have repeated when writing down or reviewing the words. Pick a phrase or word, and use it as the foundation of why you wrote it as you ask yourself these questions:
- What was I trying to say when I wrote ____?
- Why did ____ pop into my mind?
- What does ____remind me of?
- How can I evoke a sense of ____ in my readers?
These are just a few sample questions that’ll help you delve in to your thought process, but the opportunities are endless when expanding on your ideas.
This is a fun, thought-provoking exercise that only takes a few minutes to complete but leaves you with a plethora of inspiration to help you start or continue your writing efforts.