Do you find that on some days the words flow as freely as the spring runoff while on others the creative reservoirs run dry?
What can we do when inspiration evaporates?
Here are two dozen ways to prime the creativity pump.
Take a break. Do something else for 5-15 minutes to give your mind a rest.
Vary your location. If you use a laptop and normally write at a desk, try sitting in a recliner. If you write inside, go outdoors. If you write at home, head to a coffee shop or the library.
Write longhand. Grab a pad and pen and scribble a scene on paper.
Make use of creative movement. Bounce a Slinky from hand to hand or squeeze a rubber ball while you let your mind wander.
Get some exercise. Do some stretches. Take a walk.
Take a nap. If you’re feeling fatigued, catch some shut-eye.
Listen to music. Open iTunes and select some pieces you find inspiring.
Feed your creativity. Grab a snack. Go healthy with some carrots sticks or reach for the ultimate inspiration fuel: chocolate.
Take a shower. Ideas can flow when the water does.
Soak in a tub of hot, Calgon-scented water. Let the warmth and sweet fragrance wash over you, easing the tension.
Talk to another writer. Call up a buddy and chat about your stories.
Socialize. Spend a few minutes connecting with others on Facebook or Twitter.
Reread your story. Go back to the beginning or read the previous chapter or scene.
Work on another project. Switch from your WIP to a different story. Try your hand at a short story, poem, or devotion. Write a letter.
Change POVs. If a scene isn’t working, try telling it from another character’s perspective.
Daydream. Allow your mind to wander and see where it takes you.
Brainstorm. Think about your next chapter or scene and jot down all the ideas that come to you. Resist the urge to toss them out at this point. Anything goes.
Gag your internal editor. Forget the rules. Just write. Editing can come later.
Write fast. Set a timer and a word count goal. Concentrate on quantity. Challenge yourself to splash words on the page as quickly as possible.
Browse in a bookstore. Soak in the atmosphere. Read back cover copy and first pages.
Seek solitude. If you’re surrounded by family members, see if you can get off by yourself.
Read. Immerse yourself in another writer’s story to give your mind a break from yours.
Watch a movie. Pop a favorite in the DVD player, curl up in a comfy chair, and escape.
Develop a conducive environment. If your writing space is sapping your creative energy, make some changes. Reorganize your work area. Hang some favorite photos. Paint your office.
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In recent weeks, my creative well was low. I’d reached the point where my office was so cluttered I dreaded entering it. Not only that, but my desk was small, faced a wall, and didn’t make use of the natural light. Changes were needed.
I embarked on Operation Creation Station. My first step was to figure out how I could make better use of the limited space in my office. I took measurements, went online, and found a desk I liked. I cleared everything out, helped Gwynly assemble my new L-shaped desk, and moved back in.
The changes I made worked wonders. I love my new writing space and feel energized when I enter the room. Here’s a look at me in my new digs.
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How do you jump-start your creativity when it’s dried up?
Where do you do your best work?