3. Give your mind permission to wander, because you’ll burn out really quickly if you push yourself to focus for hours at a time.
When you’re trying really really hard to make yourself focus (like when you plan an eight-hour block of time to spend at the library), you’re going to burn yourself out really quickly. It’s important to take active periods of unfocus, and deliberately disconnect from the task at hand. Try doing something you find relaxing like taking a walk, doing a puzzle, or doodling. Doing so will allow your mind to wander and might actually spark that creativity that you’ve been pushing so hard for.
4. When creating, dig deeper into your own experiences so you aren’t leaning on cliché, overused tropes.
Let’s say you’re trying to write a comedy set about a plane trip. You could talk about how ridiculous the security line in the airport is or you could talk about how tiny the seats are, but you won’t be telling the audience something they’ve already heard. Look past that, and think about your specific experience the last time you flew. Maybe you had a really strange conversation you had with your seat mate. Maybe you felt so freakin’ awkward trying to get in line for the bathroom because you kept on getting in the way of the flight attendants. (Hey, I’m not a comedian, it’s your job to make it funny.) Those are the things that everyone knows are true without realizing it. It’s your job to make them pay attention.