Ideas and motivations to pick up the pen and write:
Exercise. Yes, really. If you don’t believe me – give it a try. Get up and get moving. Walk, jump rope, run in cirlces in your backyard (ok, maybe try that one at night if you have watchful neighbors). See if all that blood-pumping work doesn’t get your brain full of words and ideas. If not, at least you gave your heart (and arteries, and lungs, and . . . ) a boost!
Love. Isn’t that what it’s all about? I know you’ll be seeing a lot of red this month- courtesy of valentine’s day. But consider this: while the retail world would have you crack open your wallet to spend money on your loved ones, think of giving them something less costly yet worth much, much more. Your words. Try your hand (or pen or keyboard) at writing a love letter, or two. Someone in your life could really use it, I’m sure. And notice how writing about or to someone you love can really spark your creativity.
Luck. Wait, that’s what I need to put an end to my writer’s block? Well, not exactly. Hard, consistent work is best, but sometimes we do have a lucky stroke of inspiration. It isn’t something we can force, time, or predict but we can be ready for it. In fact, luck has been described as ‘opportunity meets preparation’. So keep up the good work and be open and ready for the “lucky” ideas and opportunities that will come your way.
April showers bring May . . . poems? Okay, so it doesn’t have the same ring to it as flowers. But you get the idea. Like the flowers that bloom from the spring rain, our creative works can blossom from the storms of life. I’m not advocating peppering your writing with sensational stories or diatribes of difficult days. Rather, allow your creative mind to showcase your victories and the triumph of life. It’s therapeutic to write about overcoming obstacles and it can inspire your readers, too.
Spring cleaning, anyone? Who has time to clean when there are riveting stories to be written? Well, even the most spellbinding story has places that, as writers, give us pause. If you find yourself in one of those ‘pauses,’ look around your office, room or house and clean. Yeah, I know it sounds like a dirty word, but give it a try. Clean out a closet, reorganize a shelf, or better yet, clear your desk so you can see the surface. When you return to your writing you’ll be surprised at how fresh you mind feels.
Squeeze it in – like lemonade. That’s how I get any writing done in the summer. Who can write when the kids are out of school, temperatures are high and every other week there is a camp or vacation? Maintaining continuity might be hard, but don’t totally set aside your writing. Even if it’s morning pages, or journal writing, try to keep your writing muscles in motion. Good luck!
Stop writing! Take a break. It is July, after all. Take a vacation. Tell yourself, No Writing Allowed. Okay – you probably figured out where I’m going with this. Reverse Psychology – I have no idea if it works for writers but if you really are having trouble writing and it is July – you can at lease cut yourself some slack and call it a vacation. Breaks are good, vacations are good. You know this. Most of all, don’t stress. (Unless you have a deadline, then please ignore this tip and do not give my name to your editor.) Who knows, a little R & R might be all you need to rejuvenate your writing.
Take a class. A writing class would be good. But if you can’t take a writing class – take any kind of class. Pottery. Clogging. Yoga. Watercolor. The fantastic feature of our writing is that it can be improved when we take time to learn about almost anything. If you spend time painting, you have a better handle on how to describe the colors of the sunset. If you watch your yoga instructor you might find that certain quality your main character needs to face her demons. See. And you thought school was for students!
Work. I know some consider that a four letter word, but it doesn’t have to be. When it comes to writing and getting over a block-it can be your friend. You know – very few employeees would have jobs if they called in and said, “I have waitress block today” or “I have teacher’s block – I can’t bring myself to sit in the classroom.” No. They show up and do their job – even if their ‘heart’ isn’t always in it. That doesn’t mean they are doing their best, but they are sticking with it. That is what a writer has to do to get over the dry spells. Show up for work – you may not do your best, but you’ll be writing. And when the bright ideas come, you’ll be ready.
Dress up. Seriously! Not just in a halloween costume -but if getting words on the page is getting tricky – try the trick or treat approach and put on a different outfit. The clothes we wear can impact our attitude and thoughts. Don’t believe it? Just try putting on that old prom gown (or tux) and see what new ideas start dancing around in your head!
Give thanks. When the going gets tough, the tough give thanks. What does that have to do with writing? If you’re having a really rough writing day or a no writing day – at least pull out your journal and jot down your blessings. Gratitude is an amazing mood elevator and that good mood might give way to good ideas.