Sadly, creativity isn't something we can control. It's not like any other office job with set routines and obvious processes. The processes exist much more subtly within our subconscious which makes it tough when we're having an "off day" but all it takes is a gentle reminder of things that make us feel alive and get those cogs turning again. If you're fighting what feels like a losing battle with writer's block, try these tips for igniting inspiration again.
It may seem an odd suggestion given writing is the main problem but instead of focusing on writing something in particular simply take your pen and paper and let your thoughts do the talking, however random they may seem.
Keep diaries of your feelings rather than events. By getting thoughts and feelings down on paper it will help you to organise your mind and quiet your busy head. You never know where it might take you, it may serve as inspiration for your best selling novel in years to come.
Cecelia says: "I'm an old fashioned writer. I really like to write with pen and paper. I love the feel of writing long hand. I love the creative flow of pen on paper. I love buying notebooks and pens. I use tip ex if I make mistakes. There's a lovely flow about it that feels a lot more visual because I'm a very visual writer. I write what I see in my head. If I'm writing a scene, I am sitting in that scene, and I feel like I'm in that world and I'm looking around. Writing long hand really helps that whereas typing feels very mechanical."
Routine doesn't exactly scream creativity but you'd be surprised what you can do when you only have a certain amount of time on your hands to get something done. Some people know they work better at certain times of the day so whether you're a night owl or an early bird, make the most of creative outbursts at these times of the day then give your brain time to recharge.
Cecelia says: "Before I had children there was no real on and off button with creativity. It was easy. I was independent so I could write whenever I wanted to. After having children I had to change my writing structure and become a lot more organised. I really worried whether that would work or not because it didn't seem creative. Working 9-5 doesn't sound creative. What I discovered is that it's actually helped my life because it's meant that I'm able to, when writing, focus completely on writing in a very concentrated way and then at 6pm or whatever time I finish, I can go home, lock the door and have life separate from work. I think that was very important to do. The Time of My Life is a book that marked that moment when I made that decision."
Whatever stage that you're at in your writing career, you're always going to have supporters behind you. Whether that's your family, friends, partner, colleagues, editor or fans of published work, spend time with those that know you and your work the best and support what you do. The positive energy this kind of interaction ignites will spark some great ideas when you least expected them.
Cecelia says: "It's really important for me to meet with the readers because when I do have a bad day in the offie, I do think of those faces and the stories that I hear of how the readers actually connect to the stories. That's really important for me to hear. Even though I write for me, I use that reaction for motivation."
Go for a walk. Get outside. Switch up your surroundings. Even something as simple as a trip to the coffee shop that's right on your door step will alter your perspective even slightly, opening your eyes to new thoughts, ideas, people and landscapes that being stuck in the same four walls of your writing space had prevented you from seeing. Break the barriers, however self-imposed they are.
Cecelia says: "I'm inspired by observation, experience and imagination and I know its too vague but, life. I'm definitely an observer and I like watching people. I particularly like watching people who are listening, not people who are talking because they know the attention is on them. But I love to watch people that don't know they're being watched. I think that gives away so much about who they are. Their reactions, their expressions. I've done it since I was a child. I used to annoy my sister when I was watching tv, I'd realise I was watching her for the reaction. So I do that a lot, observing others and absorbing it all and then somehow it seeps its way onto the page."
Everyone is different and it will take some time to figure out what works best for you when battling writer's block. Are there any tips and tricks you've found that help to get out of a creative slump?
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