Elizabeth Gilbert’s Top 10 Tips for Writers to Stay Inspired and Kick-Start Your Creativity

Editor’s note: Any NaNoWriMo’s out there? National Novel Writing Month, where you try and write 10,000 words in the month of November is almost here. So you may notice posts that are a little skewed towards NaNoWriMo success for the next few weeks. If you have any questions, helpful hints, or good articles, let me know at paula@publetariat.com. My NaNoWriMo user name is Paula1849.

This post by Cynthia originally appeared on her site on 10/26/15.

The dreaded blank page. You just can’t find that perfect opening line. Or maybe you’ve finally hit the crucial point in your story only to find that – poof! – inspiration has vanished. Whether you’re a seasoned author or someone struggling to get those first scenes down, there’s always a time where the words stop flowing. Elizabeth Gilbert, whose most recent book, Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear, delves into the many ways we can spark creativity in our lives, recently answered some questions from readers via Ask the Author on Goodreads. It’s no surprise that many of her answers offered encouragement and support to other writers. Read on for 10 ways to conquer that blank page!

Tip #1: Start Writing.

“At some point today, sit down with paper or a laptop, and set a timer for 15 minutes. You are not allowed to stand up until the 15 minutes are over. During that 15 minutes, write something. Anything — a letter, a poem, a list of people you hate, a prayer, all your favorite words, a childhood memory, a dream. Something. When the timer goes off, you’re done. Pat yourself on the back. You did it! Now do the same thing tomorrow. And the next day. You can do anything for 15 minutes a day. Trust me – stuff will start to happen.” Click here for the full answer.