It’s one of those days. Or maybe it’s been one of those years. You look at the paper, or computer screen. Nothing. You may be on deadline. You may just want desperately to write something for yourself. Doesn’t matter – nothing is coming up. Maddening, isn’t it?

Not the first time, right? And you just know there’s no way out.

Well, maybe that’s not true, even though all the tricks you’ve tried before aren’t working today.

You’re looking at this book because maybe, just maybe, there are some ideas that could blast you through that godforsaken wall.

I hope these will help. They’re block busters that have worked for me, and for people in the classes I conduct. What we like about them is they don’t take a lot of hard thinking, nor do they require you be in tip-top creative genius form. The expectancy that brilliant genius mode is the only place you should be when you write is probably high on the list of what’s keeping you stuck to begin with, no?

So, willing to give it a try? OK, the first trick is to let go. Not just by willing yourself to. You can actually take steps, easy steps, to unwind and move out of the box.

Trick #1: Breathing

First, sit with both feet on the floor, legs uncrossed. Take a deep breath, in through your nose. Hold it for ten seconds. Release the breath through your mouth. Look at the paper or computer. Write whatever comes to mind. If you’re trying to move ahead on a project and that isn’t what comes up, it’s OK. Do not force yourself to make it about your project. Just write whatever comes to mind. See if it leads you into the project after all. Or if it leads you to a totally new writing path — See Trick #2.

Trick #2: Journaling, a way to cleanse the brain and ease into your project

Start your day with getting the things that are on your mind out on paper. By simply writing down your first feelings of the day, you will clear your mind of underlying issues, and free your creative self to leap out. As you’re doing this simple exercise, good ideas can spring to life at any time.

Another way to think of journaling as a springboard to writing — just do it! Sit down with paper and pencil/pen, or computer, and start writing about what’s going on in your life today. Write for as long as you feel you need, or give yourself a reasonable amount of time, like 10 or 15 minutes. At some point, you may find you’re switching gears and starting or resuming your project. If not, that’s perfectly OK. Just get those often confusing, negative first thoughts of the day out of your head. You’ll find you can tackle your project with a lot more energy.

Trick #3: Set a time of day to sit down and write. And stick to it!

Get regimented. Make an appointment with yourself, and don’t let anything interfere. If someone wants to meet for coffee, tell them you have an appointment until the hour you have pre-set to stop, and make your coffee date for sometime after your writing date. Now here’s the tricky part: sit in front of the computer or paper for the whole time you’ve set aside. Even if nothing comes, it’s important to keep to the commitment. This is a trick some of the most successful writers have used. It’s the commitment to yourself to write that’s the motivator.

Check in for more articles with more unblocking tools!

The above is excerpted from the upcoming book by Hillebrandt, "How to Write Your Memoirs...The Toolbox Edition" (c) 2009 Ina S. Hillebrandt

Author's Bio: 

A Fortune 500 Strategic Planning and Communications Consultant, speaker, author, and editing/publishing coach, Ina Hillebrandt has been leading creativity and writing workshops for companies and individuals for over twenty years. Author of "How to Write Your Memoirs...Fun Prompts to Make Writing...and Reading Your Life Stories a Pleasure!", she is pleased to share writing tips here that have helped her and her students break through writing blocks, and enrich memoirs and fiction. Ina is available for coaching and classes by phone and online as well as in person.