Dungeons and Dragons and . . . Writer’s Block?

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Like many writers, I have experienced writer’s block and uninspired patches. However, after finding myself as an impromptu Dungeon Master, my creative motivation was restored. 

For those who aren’t familiar with Dungeons and Dragons, it’s a fantasy, choose your own adventure game. Making its original debut in 1974, the game includes a Dungeon Master (DM) who is responsible for creating a quest/story for the players, including decisions to be made, battles to be fought, and even moral dilemmas, depending on the campaign. If you want to learn how to play you can look here.

I admit my writing doesn’t lean towards fantasy, but I will also admit that making up a quest for players to get through a haunted forest of mythical creatures and seeking the castle beyond the lava moat really throws your imagination for a loop. I suddenly allowed my brain to have that childlike wonder and creativity that is so easily lost in adolescence.  

Normally I like to use facts and things people can relate to so my writing feels more universal to the reader, but talking about gnomes casting spells and mining for magic crystals helped to release my imagination. Breaking out of a comfort zone is really important for a writer’s development and growth. Separating from the cycle that authors can fall into when they write about the same themes often helps. 

Typically when I get writer’s block, I push myself to write “How To” poems; some of my favorite works have come from them. But after a while you reach a point where “How To Make Your Third Hot Pocket” doesn’t help anymore

Another way to break writer’s block includes changing your environment. Going for a walk and getting out of your physical space can help you get into a new headspace for writing.

Writing down a list of any random words that pop into your head is also good. It may sound like a grocery list if you’re hungry, but it could also serve as a way of thinking out loud and make it easier to see the theme of your thoughts. 

On top of that, maybe you’re just hungry and that Hot Pocket doesn’t sound so bad. Maybe even doing a free write about what a Hot Pocket tastes like could pull you out of the funk your brain is in. 

Happy Writing! 

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