Ever have one of those writing sessions where you just stare at the blank page waiting for inspiration to strike? Some may call that writer’s block. But, since I refuse to believe in writer’s block, I prefer to think of it as a warning from the creative well.
The Creative Well never runs out of ideas, however, it does need to be replenished and here are a few suggestions to get you started:
- Change of Scenery. If you work from home, chances are you may not be getting out enough. It’s hard to sit down for your book writing time after you’ve been working away in the same spot all day long. Grab that laptop or notebook and go down to the local coffee shop or to the park. Write outside, watch the people going by, listen to the conversations around you, you’ll be surprised where your next character inspiration comes from.
- Pen and Paper. The actual act of writing may be becoming a lost art. When was the last time you sat down with pen and paper? There’s something about writing with a pen that frees up the mind. Dive into a blank page, don’t even think about what you’re going to write. Let your mind ramble. I bet after a page or two, you find some real gems hidden in there.
- Watch a Movie. Old movies, new movies, Grade B Guilty Pleasure movies…they’re all good. Watch them with the character development in mind, or watch them and see how closely the story sticks to structure. What can you see you haven’t seen in there before?
- Read a Book. Other people’s books keep you going. When the book is good, you’re inspired. When the book is crap…you’re still inspired…to do better!
- Visit Old Friends. Sometimes reconnecting with people you haven’t seen in a while does wonders to perk you up. You get caught up and talk about old projects and new, you share ideas and remember why you liked that person to begin with.
- Soak. Whether it’s in a jacuzzi, bathtub or shower, water frees the mind.
- Drive. One of my favorite ways to refresh and revive is to hit the road on the motorcycle. Driving out in the desert, there’s not much else to do but let the mind wander. Go ahead, pick a direction and drive.
- Sleep. There’s a myth that writers need to stay up until the wee hours of the morning tapping away on their keyboards, staring through bleary eyes while that umpteenth cup of coffee at their elbow goes cold. Sleep is the most important part of replenishing the Creative Well. It’s also the most neglected. Tired in the middle of the day? Take a power nap. Just an hour will do. You’ll be surprised how much clearer you are when you wake up.
What’s your favorite way to perk up your writing when it starts getting saggy? Tell us, we’d like to know.