NEW RELEASE!

Come write with me: Poetry workbook & journal (for tweens & young teens)

When I found myself holed up at home with my husband and our nine-year-old and twelve-year-old daughters, homeschooling through the COVID-19 Pandemic, simultaneously teaching my 165 students from my laptop, I needed a creative outlet to ease my anxiety.

Having already written a creative writing workbook focusing on older teens and adults last summer, it only seemed fitting for me to write another book geared towards my own children and students’ age group. Engrossed day and night in getting all my preteens and teens through that unsettling era in our lives, I dove headfirst into creating Come Write with Me: POETRY Workbook & Journal (For Tweens & Young Teens).

The result is a standards-based, creative writing book filled with poetic knowledge and practices. This workbook and journal is an ALL-IN-ONE place to pour one’s thoughts and feelings into using prompts, guided practice, fill-in-the-blanks, structured poetry exercises, and more. Only on AMAZON, this softcover book makes a great gift for teachers, students, creative writers, poets, homeschoolers, and friends.

How I Broke Writer’s Block Part 2: Techniques

Breaking Writer’s Block an Unconventional Way

If you’re stopping by to pay a gander to what I’ve got to say about writer’s block, welcome! I recently went through a two-year stint between the last novel I wrote and the recent how-to book on writing poetry, Come Write with Me: POETRY Workbook & Journal (For Teens & Adults), I just published that came about using some unconventional techniques to snap me out of my slump. I hope you get something out of this post that others haven’t offered yet. 

First, I’ll start by listing some of the conventional techniques that help during different stages of battling a creative writing struggle. I have practiced these strategies for years and have found them useful during the perils of writing a 100k word count manuscript. They’re catered to keeping going rather than recovering from an episode (like my 2-year bout) of total flat-lining on a third novel that I have everything–I mean outline, character write-ups, synopsis, blurb, research galore, cover, and more–everything for.

I’ve used all of these techniques to prepare to write, as well as during the writing process. They’re tried and true for minor bumps in the road to completing a manuscript.

Tip #1: READ

Read in the genre you are writing. (This is an anti writer’s block tip not a declaration to only read in your genre. You’re trying to jump start a stutter in your current writing project, not grow your writing style, in which I would totally cheer you on to read all the genres.)

Reading what you write will get your head back in the game by:

~ Refreshing your memory of what your genre’s expectations are concerning plot points

~ Remind you of the tone a character’s voice should sound like in your genre

~ Get you out of your own story in your head long enough to give your brain a deep breath to jump back in refreshed

Tip # 2: MOVE

Get up, get out, and get writing.

What I mean by moving is:

~ Changing your physical location from the place you always write

~ If you sit at a desk, wheel your bootie to another room and invest in a TV tray (since lugging a desk might not be as much fun). Try a room with a view, too, or better yet, go outside to write.

~ If you hang out in a coffee shop, go saturate yourself by osmosis in a library

~ If you kick back in a recliner (like me), go stand at the kitchen counter (*This one works like a charm for me when I’m doing a quick edit on something and need all the good words to come to me in order to tighten and turn up the Technicolor on my style.)

Tip # 3: SPEAK

Tell your story to yourself.

~ Speak into an app on your phone, play it back as many times as you need to in order to pick up where you left off

~ Tell the story to yourself then go back and transcribe it

~ Use this strategy to edit your whole novel when you’re done. I did with one book. Best revision round ever.

Tip # 4: WRITE

I know you’re thinking, uh, that’s the point, I’m not writing, so how can I wr…

~ Research something you need for your novel and take notes

~ Hand-write a scene; it stimulates a different part of your brain than typing does and might spawn some creativity

~ Add some drawings (even if you’re a stick figure kind of artist) like mapping out a blueprint of a room you were having trouble describing, then start labeling, then add some phrases, and in no time, you’ll be crafting scenes

~ Write something different in the meantime. Writing is writing. Who knows what kind of glorious thing will be born out of changing from the same ol’ same ol’. See: Come Write with Me: POETRY Workbook & Journal (For Teens & Adults) Vol. 1 and the blog post about it: How I Broke Writer’s Block Part 1: The Story Behind the Book

Tip # 5: LISTEN

Listen to music, but NOT your favorite emotionally charged songs that used to always help you get in the mood but are somehow letting you down now. You’ve probably already tried that, and it didn’t change much, which is why you’re Googling writer’s block tips right now. The following technique broke my writer’s block once and for all!

~ Go to YouTube and type in SOLFEGGIO MUSIC FOR CREATIVITY

~ You’ll find a plethora of some pleasant-sounding and maybe even some annoying musical configurations that will straight-up mess with your brainwaves and rewire you to create words.

Whether you’re into mind, body, and soul or not, all things have a vibration. It’s a scientific fact. Our brains are programmed to respond to the vibrations (sounds—music) of all things. When you listen to certain frequencies, you’re brain does a little organized dance. We’re not talking emotional resonance; however, your emotions can certainly be upended by some tones. We’re talking about getting your left brain and your right brain to play ping pong with the help of some headphones and a few songs that you can listen to before or during the writing process.

(Another blog will be coming soon about how I am using solfeggio music to manage my anxiety!)

I highly recommend binaural beats and iso tones in the music you choose, which I find ignites maximum creativity for me. If you’ve never listened to any solfeggio music before be warned, you might feel like you’re floating, but you might also feel like you’re on a boat floating on a turbulent sea. Ease into it, if you need to. This music literally effects your brainwaves.)

Some of my favorite Solfeggio musical pieces that helped me with my writer’s block are:

The Brainwave Hub:

Focus & Creativity—Creative Thinking, Visualisation, and Problem Solving

~ 4 hours of endless brainwave fodder  

~ Sweeet when I listen to this one on a barely audible volume the entire time I write

Power Thoughts Meditation Club:

Theta Waves—Positive Creative Energy Music

~ 3 hours of brainwave fodder

~ Sensational when I listen while gathering notes, reviewing what I’ve written, as well as writing scenes for two series I’ll be starting next

~ I like quiet when I write, but this has never bothered me cranked up.

Zen Melodies—Binaural Beats:

Binaural Beats Meditation for Creativity & Writer’s Block

~9 minutes of brainwave fodder (w/ flute)

~ Splendid when I listen before I write—eyes closed, measured breathing, mindful of my whole story—then I go into silent mode and write

I’ll do another post eventually where I make a longer list and gut out the other tips, focusing specifically on solfeggio music. If you don’t subscribe to me yet, you’ll find the link at the bottom of the page. In the meantime, happy hunting on what works for you. Please let me know what else you find out there that helps get your creative juices flowing. I’d love to try it! I hope these tips I’ve shared are useful to you, and I wish you all the best on your journey as a writer.

~Brooke E. Wayne

My Current Works on AMAZON: (My latest, the how-to Poetry writing book, will arrive before Christmas if you order in the next few days! It’s under $10 and makes a great gift for that teen, adult, teacher, homeschooler, or friend you know who loves to write creatively! Or maybe you just want one for yourself. Shh.)

How I Broke Writer’s Block Part 1: The Story Behind the Book

Breaking Writer’s Block Part 1: Behind the Scenes

I did a thing–a big thing. I broke a two-year stint of writer’s block. As a romantic comedy novelist, I had hit a brick wall with my emotional connection to letting the words flow. Sure, I’d managed to prepare to write during that gargantuan span of time, but it was all busy work.

With multiple outlines for novels done and a plan in place to wrap up one series then start two more, I was all set. All my characters were holding their breath waiting … and waiting. I even had a partial manuscript—we’re talking 20k words—suspended in limbo like fruit cocktail in a Jell-O mold. What I just needed was my life to permit me to write unencumbered. I had endless notes, lines, scenes, even oodles of research done, but the words were trapped inside me bound by chaos, also known as, severe anxiety.

Writing has always been a balm to my soul, but during this awful stretch of hell on earth, it was like having someone offer me cheesecake when I have the stomach flu. I didn’t want to write even though it would be wonderful. I couldn’t let my lighthearted romantic stories become associated with the daily stress I was wrestling with due to circumstances in my life that were (and still are) beyond my control.

I tried all the typical writerly techniques and even some atypical ones to get back into the groove of writing despite my anxiety (which I’m still battling), and they helped me just enough for me to heed my friend’s advice on getting back to the basics with what I know. So, determined to tap into my teaching skills, I pulled up my big-girl pants, parked my bootie in a hotel room (long, hot story) and over the summer, I penned a How-To book.

Yes, I smashed my writer’s block with a How-To book. It’s worth repeating twice, because, even as I write this, I can’t believe it. I freaking can’t believe I’m sitting here typing this with yet another publication on Amazon! Is it ironic that I wrote a book about how to write in order to break my writer’s block? I’ll be writing a Part 2 blog on the techniques I used to bring myself to the threshold of writing this new book soon, I promise.

I’m a teacher by trade. I’ve got worksheets galore that I’ve created, as well as a full-blown smarty pants attitude that goes well with writing instructional materials. I crafted Come Write with Me: POETRY Workbook & Journal (For Teens & Adults) Vol 1 like I was sipping coffee and hanging with my invisible student. It was the best two months of anxiety-riddled fun I’d ever had with my imagination. As a result, the workbook is full of chatty ramblings, advice, quips, some of my gushy poetry, and I even loaded it with several QR codes that link to my blog with posts of additional content and exercises. Overall, this workbook & journal is sweet!

It took two months of writing everyday to accomplish this monumental feat in my life. I’m proud of the product. I’m proud of myself. I’ll be writing another blog about the techniques I used to bring me to the point that this workbook spilled out of me freely. It’ll be worth the read if you are or have ever been ‘stuck’ like me. Are you a writer? Does poetry matter to you? Would you like to learn how to write creatively starting with something simple like a poem? Are you a seasoned writer wishing to polish up on some poetic devices that you can tuck neatly into your work? I know the perfect book for you … come write with me.

SEE: HOW I BROKE WRITER’S BLOCK PART 2: TECHNIQUES

AVAILABLE ON AMAZON