The craft of writing is different for everyone. Some write only on occasion, others write every day. Some have ideas here and there, while others are bombarded daily with new ideas and subsequently must cary a notebook to jot them all down. Personally, I keep the notebook and a phone app for this purpose.
One thing that I believe all writers have in common is a sense of flow. Like the ocean tides, always changing from low to high. The muse must take a break now and then, I suppose. And while we don’t want to force creative genius, ending up with garbage, there are a few things that we can do to recharge in those low tide moments.
And so, for those experiencing an ebb in their creative ocean… Or even for those in full flow, but looking to keep up the inspirational energy… I give you my 5 quick tips to get things revved up…
1. Audio books on writing. I know, I prefer physical books as well, but in this case I’m recommending Audible.com for good reason. Listening to an audible book on the craft of writing is like listening to a seminar on the subject…. and we can listen while we work, or drive, or soak in a hot tub. I like to listen while I’m at work, so I’m learning new things while I’m working and I’m all revved up and ready to write by the time I’m driving home.
2. Making lists. I recently finished a coloring book project that I was working on and felt a bit unmotivated to start another. It happens. So, I created a list of coloring book ideas that I had been planning to do. This list turned into a multiple-series idea that got me excited all over again. Sometimes creating a list isn’t all about writing down what you already have in mind, is about what you might read between the lines of the list, coming up with something entirely new along the way.
3. Take a walk with your character. That’s right, talk a nice long walk and just daydream about one of two of your characters. You can imagine their story unfolding, or you could imagine what they would be saying or doing if they were right there walking next to you. You’ll be surprised at what they might reveal.
4. Kick up a storm. Get together with another writing friend, or even a group, and brainstorm. My sister and I do this sometimes. We’ll call each other up and just start talking about our latest story idea… next thing you know, we’re playing ball in a rainstorm of ideas. I’ll toss the “ball” of, “well, what if your character was….” and then she’ll toss the ball back with, “Oh yeah! And then he could….”. And it just keeps going like that until we’re rushing off the phone to go write.
5. Take a walk on the wild side. Sometimes you just need to shake things up with an adventure, big or small. Walk away from your writing for a bit and go do something fun. This helps in a few ways. #1. Getting away from your desk, with fresh air and exercise can help to clear up creative cobwebs. #2. You might come across an idea on your adventure, some spark of inspiration caught in the glimpse of a stranger, or the mischievous movements of a cat in the ally. #3. Going on adventures means more life experiences…smells, tastes, sounds, feelings, people, places etc., all things that can be used in your writing.
I hope this helps to get your pen up and moving. Check back soon as I may be adding to this list…. But for now, I’m off to work! I have my audio book selected, ready to rock and roll. Happy writing! ~Davina