Where does creativity come from?
I've been floundering around between several projects for the last couple weeks. I'm getting things done that need finishing. I've been making progress, but it's so scattered that I don't feel like I'm accomplishing anything.
I tried several times during the last couple weeks to sit down and write something, but it just wasn't happening. I don't like to think of it as writer's block. More like I just put out something I have been working on for years, and I needed some time for my creative reservoirs to refill.
Today, I had an idea. It's something that has been floating around in my head for a while now, and today I was ready to write it. I'm not sure why it all came together today, but whenever I can, I try to sit down and write when the mood strikes. I wrote a new 10 minute play this morning. There's a local playwriting contest coming up, and I think I may submit it. Why not?
My creativity is on its way back! It just needed a little vacation.
Meanwhile, I am still putting my book out there. SuperGym: Get Fit or Die Trying is a dystopian fitness nightmare that will keep you guessing until the end.
It's been a month since I posted anything. A busy month. I'm in the middle of revising the new book. I'm trying to get some work done on it every day. I've been mostly successful. Some days are better than others. Some days are too busy. Things are going to get even busier, so I am trying to focus on getting it done every day. I'm scheduling my writing time. I need to find more of it.
I'm still happy with my book. I'm at the point in revising when I start to doubt everything I've written. I'm trying not to do it this time. I like this book. I can't start doubting myself now.
Once this revision is complete, I'm going to have a few people read it and give me notes. New eyes can always find mistakes I've overlooked. I'm actually excited for people to read this one. Usually, I am nervous and assume anything I write will be hated, but I feel good about this one. I think people might like it.
If you like editing and want to get an early look at my next book, contact me. I am looking for 2-5 beta readers to provide notes and general impressions of the book. I'd really appreciate the help!
Feeling uninspired? We've all been there. Sometimes the creative juices are flowing so freely that there are stacks of notes and several unfinished projects covering your desk. Then it happens. The dreaded writer's block. You stare blankly at the computer screen. Your notebooks are covered in doodles but no words. You feel like you'll never write again. Here are some places to find inspiration when the well runs dry.
1. Read anything you can get your hands on. Books, magazines, internet articles/stories. It helps to read what others are writing. New characters or new information might spark something for you. If nothing else, you'll get to read some great writing.
2. Brainstorm. Sit down and write. Set a timer and write without judgement. You might remember this technique from school. It's a great way to get your thoughts out there. You can always organize them later.
3. Meditate. Sit down and get in touch with your mind. Daily stresses can get in the way of creativity. Let your mind wander freely without distraction and see what comes out.
4. Hop in the shower. There is no better place to think than the shower. This is my personal go-to when I need to work out a plot point, and many of the ideas that sparked a book or a play came up in the shower. Just make sure you write it down immediately after drying off.
5. Hang out with people (especially kids). Different ideas, personalities, and dress will give you lots of new ideas to apply to your characters. Just make sure you don't make it too obvious. Combine bits and pieces from several people to create a new person. I love working with kids because they are uninhibited creativity. They have funny ideas that can give you a new perspective on life.
6. Art/Dance/Theater. When in doubt, immerse yourself in someone else's creative endeavor. The arts have always inspired, and what moves you can easily be worked into your writing.
7. Remember your dreams. Write down the strange snippets and odd emotions of your dreams. They may not make sense in real life, but there might be something in there that can be turned into a great story or character.
8. New experiences. When life gets mundane, try something new. Not only will you benefit from challenging yourself, but you'll have a whole new world of writing inspiration.
9. Go for a walk. Or a run, bike, yoga class, etc. Exercise clears the mind, lowers stress, and can help get the creative juices flowing.
Em is a writer, theatre director, and hiker. She likes mixing horror with magical realism and adding sci-fi twist.