7 Tips to Defeat Writer’s Block

This morning I sat down to write my post – because I love writing with coffee on Sunday mornings – and when I did, I just sat here staring at a blank document. I cruised through Facebook, looked at old posts, tried to pick a topic, and drew a total blank. Nothing.

writers block

Alyssa L. Miller

Well, here I am. While trying to pick a topic, I realized I have a little block. And boom! Here is my topic for the week. When you have a problem, the best thing to do is work through it, so we’re going to work through my temporary writer’s block and give you some tips on how to overcome your own.

1. Take a break.
I have written several posts about taking a break, staying sane, etc. This tips will always top the list. Whether you take frequent 10-minute breaks or a day off, walking away helps. I have decided I am going to do more physically creative things today and break from writing. I have two artsy projects I’m working on, so that’s where I will focus my energy today.

2. Flip your schedule.
I’m a night owl, but I write better in the morning. I can’t always crank it out before 9 a.m. though. Today, I’m going to write this afternoon, and see if a schedule change helps the words flow more easily. Changing things up will help break any habits that may stifle creativity.

3. Know your habits.
I try to crank out as much as possible before noon and maintain a routine. I’m aware of my habits, when I’m most productive, and what I need to write. Sometimes I need absolute silence, sometimes I need the T.V. on, sometimes music. Knowing your habits and giving yourself what you need ensures you’re always in the right environment to work.

4. Change topics.
Recently, I changed jobs and I write a lot more. My problem this morning was that I have focused so much on work topics, I couldn’t think of a good post for RevPub. I decided to make it more personal and write about a topic we’ve never covered. And this post is the result. Try writing something new to you – a poem, short story, article, etc. – and see what you create!

5. Read.
In today’s tech world, we skim, not read. Try sitting down and reading a magazine, a few chapters in a book, articles, or something from a favorite author. Good writing often recharges me and makes me want to write something as good or better.

6. Treat yourself.
We work hard, so reward yourself. If you love Starbucks, then go get a latte. If you love chocolate, books, toys, clothes, or video games, then go buy something. Treating yourself will perk you up and help regain confidence, so you can get back to writing.

7. Try something new.
A fun activity may spark a new interest and lead to new ideas. Try a free online course, something outside like ziplining, or calling someone you haven’t talked to in a while. Maybe try a new recipe for dinner or picking up a new hobby. Something new creates excitement that will carry over into your work.

Thanks for hanging in there this morning, and I hope these tips help you as well. Happy writing, and feel free to share your tips below!

Artist Spotlight: Jessica Boehm Part 1

Jessica Boehm, yoga teacher and freelance writer, is a dear friend and talented young woman who we’ve had the pleasure of knowing for years. I literally sat and worked behind Jessica, and she has always been a positive – and entertaining – force in my life. Be sure to show some love for this month’s artist, and visit the Hot Yoga House Studio!

Years practicing yoga: 6, Years teaching yoga: 4

Jessica Boehm, hot yoga house

RevPub: Other than health benefits, why is yoga important to you?

I could probably write an entire book about why yoga is important to me, but I’ll try to hit the high points! My yoga practice gives me the opportunity to get still – both in my mind and body. Like most people, I’m usually on the move, and sometimes I forget how important it is to just BE. Yoga reminds me that everything I’m seeking has actually been within me all along.

My practice is also important because it connects me to other people – some like me and some very different – and they all teach me so much. Without yoga, I would have never met several of my close friends, and those friends are some of the most real and genuine people I’ve ever come across.

RevPub: What is your favorite pose? What is your most difficult?

My students all know my favorite pose by heart now – it’s supta baddha konasana (also known as reclining bound angle pose or reclining cobbler’s pose). It’s a restorative pose that allows the hips to gently open, and it just feels amazing (especially for anyone with low back issues and/or tight hips).

My most difficult pose … that’s a hard question because it really depends on the day and the practice. In general, I tend to struggle with anything that requires a ton of flexibility because I’m very tight and always have been. So, deep folds and binds can be rough. Even though they’re hard for me, I try not to avoid them because the poses you want to avoid are typically the ones you need the most.

RevPub: What made you want to become certified to teach yoga?

To put it simply, I just wanted to share this fantastic thing I found. I wanted to hold space for students like my teachers held space for me. Misty Parrish, the owner of The Hot Yoga House, was really my main inspiration and continues to inspire me every time I take her classes.

Jessica Boehm, Hot Yoga House

RevPub: How has yoga affected your life?

Again, I could write a book on this question alone! I guess yoga just makes me a better person. It helps me be more in the moment, calmer, more honest with myself and others, less judgmental (again, of myself and others), and more peaceful. That probably sounds cliché, but it’s true.

I think it’s important to clarify that yoga doesn’t necessarily change lives. Instead, yoga helps people become AWARE of their lives, and at that point, they can make changes to better themselves. Another way to think about it is yoga shines a light into dark places.

RevPub: What’s the strangest or funniest thing that’s happened in a class?

This was actually pretty embarrassing – and in case you’re reading this and thinking about coming to one of my classes, let me start this off by saying I learned my lesson, and this has only happened ONCE! So, at the end of class, each teacher passes out cold washcloths while the students are in their final pose (savasana or corpse pose). The washcloths are usually infused with essential oils, which are SUPER strong and should only be used in very small doses. Well, I didn’t know that at the time, and I dumped a ton of oil into the bin of washcloths. As I was passing them out, I felt a bit of a burning sensation on my hands … Turns out I practically burned the flesh off my students because of the high oil concentration! Whoops! We still joke about it and call it the time they got a “free chemical peel.”

Don’t forget to like The Hot Yoga House on Facebook!

And check out Jessica’s hubby, Chris Boehm, and his awesome woodworking!

*Photos from Jessica Boehm

 

 

Lindsey Stirling in Nashville Vol. 3

Lindsey Stirling played Fontanel this week (aka Carl Black Chevy Woods Amphitheater), and this was no regular show – it fell on a milestone birthday of someone I love very much.

This was the third time I’ve seen Lindsey. This year’s show seemed to focus more on her and what she wanted to do to improve her own performance and the show itself. Here’s what was different:

Lindsey Stirling Nashville 2015

Woman Power – Lindsey replaced her male backup dancers with women. On stage, she admitted to being the only girl on the tour for the last 2.5 years. Wow… I went on vacation with three male family members last year and thought I was going to lose my mind a few times. The new dancers were fun and talented. They didn’t do anything mind-blowing, but they added a playful, strong girl-power element to the show.

Fewer breaks – We were 10 feet from the stage, so I could see her catch her breath and get tired, which was cool. There were still several stage and costume changes, but they took much fewer breaks between songs than the last time, and the pace moved well.

Lindsey Stirling Nashville 2015

The spotlight – I didn’t realize until the next day, Lindsey was in the spotlight more. Her band members stayed hidden half the time, and the show was about her performing for the audience. The crowd has also grown, as Fontanel holds 4,500 people and was nearly sold out. I believe she has truly come out of her shell and will continue to get bigger and bigger.

Lindsey Stirling Nashville 2015

The songs – The set was awesome. She had a better balance with her songs and the variety of others she covers. For example, gamers love her for covering songs from Zelda, Skyrim, Assassin’s Creed, etc. She always plays one and thanks the gamers for supporting her from the beginning – they are the reason the became so huge on YouTube (nearly 50M views for Skyrim alone). However this year, she played a compilation and blended the most popular ones together, and it rocked.

The Encore – I was so tickled when we were walking to the car after the show, and my young companion said, “That last song she played was like a bunch of different songs!” I smiled and replied, “That was Phantom of the Opera.” That’s right, she ended the night with the epic song, which I’ve never seen her perform. It was incredible.

Lindsey Stirling Nashville 2015

Bonus – We met her. Because it was a special night, I bought VIP packages. We saw her playing cornhole, met and hugged her, took photos, did the Q&A, watched the sound check, and had a blast. I was able to thank her for being such a great role model. The milestone birthday will never be forgotten. It was 96 degrees outside, the venue was evacuated twice due to lightning, and afterwards I drove through the worst storm I have ever been in. It was an adventure and well worth it!
Be sure to check her out if you haven’t, and feel free to share some love in the comments below!