How to cure writer’s block that your students will love
Writer’s block is real
When you can’t think anymore…when your hands have nothing to type….when you feel like yelling because you know you should be writing but nothing is coming out. The student is frustrated and the teacher seemingly can’t help. No matter what your age, from the little kid in kindergarten to famous published authors, the struggle is real.
What is writer’s block?
Creative block affects writers and artists alike. It’s described as being chronically uninspired, feeling like creativity is beyond your grasp, or not being able to think of an interesting idea.
What causes writer’s block?
Some people say creative block doesn’t exist and some people think it’s unconquerable. I think is it caused by a bunch of different things from exhaustion to hunger to staying in one place for too long. As a homeschooling parent, it’s really important to teach your creative kids how to cure their writer’s block or artist’s block.
The number one way that unlock writer’s block
Lucky for you, there is one easy, scientifically proven way to cure creative block and get inspired again: taking a walk.
According to a study by Stanford in 2014 (https://www.apa.org/news/press/releases/2014/04/creativity-walk) on the effects of walking, they found that even walking on a treadmill while looking at a blank wall increases your creativity by 60%!
Famous authors walked to unblock the creative flow.
Many writers swear by nature walks including C. S. Lewis and J. R. R. Tolkien (https://begininwondersite.wordpress.com/2018/10/17/walking-with-tolkien/).
“Walking and talking are two very great pleasures, but it is a mistake to combine them.”
― C. S. Lewis, Surprised by Joy: The Shape of My Early Life
“Not all who wander are lost.”
― J. R. R. Tolkien, “The Riddle of Strider” from The Fellowship of the Ring
Cure writer’s block with winter walks that your family will love
Whether your kids are a brisk walker like C. S. Lewis or an observant wanderer like J. R. R. Tolkien, taking a walk is a sure-fire way to cure creative block. So it’s time to get bundled up and go for a lovely winter walk. Here are six fun activities that you can do with the whole family on your nature walk
If you were like me and you had a foot of snow just recently, this activity is for you! All you need is a cell phone camera and some twigs, pebbles, leaves, and other little natural items that you find on your walk. UK artist Richard Shilling (https://www.richardshilling.co.uk) does amazing things with these natural materials.
Arrange the natural items you found into spirals, stars, and other patterns. Take a picture with your smartphone and share it on social media.
One of the amazing things about snow is that you get to see just how many small and large woodland creatures are living all around you. Take your cell phone with you and take pictures of each of the animal tracks that you find in the snow or mud. Then look up a chart online and try to identify each of the animals whose footprints you saw. Just yesterday, we identified rabbit, deer, and moose tracks in our backyard.
While on your walk, collect as many leaves as you can. Then when you get home, see if you can identify the trees that the leaves came from. Put the leave somewhere where they can dry. Once they’re dry, you can do one of these fun crafts!
Tape your favorite leaf to one page of a notebook and, on the other page, write your observations from your walk. Try to include a description using each one of your five senses: touch, taste, smell, hearing, and sight.
Put a piece of paper on top of the leaf, then use a crayon to make the leaves magically appear on the piece of paper. You can use different colored crayons for different sections of the leaf or even draw a picture and have the leaf impression come through underneath.
Nature Walk Journal
If you are a writer, you should start a nature walk journal with your observations and ideas from your walk. This will help you become more observant of your surroundings and create a stockpile of descriptions in your mind that you can use in your stories. Here are four prompts to get you started:
- What was the most beautiful thing that you saw on this walk?
- Find a strange-looking rock or stick and come up with the story behind its appearance.
- Write a short story about one of the animal tracks you saw on your walk.
- Use all of your five senses to describe snow to someone who has never seen it before.
Take a cyber walk to Story Quest Academy and you will find an affordable online writing class for your high school student.
Creative art will give creativity a chance to flow again
If you are an artist, you should bring your nature walk sketchbook with you and sketch a few of the beautiful things that you see on your walk. When you get back, you can choose one sketch to turn into a full drawing or painting.
More ways to conquer writer’s block
At Story Quest Academy, I talk about nine more ways to conquer writer’s block in my two-month writing and reading course, Adventure Quest.
With fun activities, easy-to-understand education, a private writing community, a book club, and more, this is the ultimate virtual writing academy for teens. Until January 1st, you can get 50% off with coupon code: SQFOUNDER
Thank you to Deborah for giving me a chance to talk to you all about curing writer and artist block with walks!
Amelia Nichole is the founder of Story Quest Academy, a virtual writing academy for teenagers. She is a professional copywriter, short fiction author, homeschool graduate and a creative writing teacher at Story Quest. When she’s not writing or reading something, you can find her painting birds or gardening.