Hi, SEers, it is John with you again. The last couple of times, I have talked through some of the emotional sides of writing. I did a post on burnout and one on motivation. If you missed them, you can go Here and Here. This time I would like to discuss another topic that can put writing on a side rail. I’m referring to the absence of a story idea.
I think we have all experienced the situation where we sit in front of our computer or notebook, have coffee or whatever is the habit of the day, and have plenty of uninterrupted time. What we don’t have is a clear idea of where we want our story to go. For the pansters, there may not even be a story. This is when most of us tell ourselves we have lost our muse.
The loss of a muse is the personification of the loss or perceived loss of a feeling of creativity. Whatever we call it, we know it to be that cold knot in the stomach, which leads us to believe we will never be able to create a story again. Right now, I have to interdict with the thought that never being able to create a story again is balderdash. Yes, you will create again. Yes, you can invent stories. Yes, this is temporary (Well, unless you decide to give up)
So, how in the heck can you restart creativity? It might be easier than you think. The simple answer is to restart creativity; one needs to do creative activities. Without getting into how the brain functions, it just makes sense. It is like making a muscle stronger by exercising it. Ever wonder why creative people tend to hang around other creative people? Creativity is a cycle enhanced through association with a creative environment. Okay, enough of the background. Here is a list that is not guaranteed to restart or improve creativity but could make a difference. If you think you are having a problem with creative endeavors (which we can label as a missing muse.), try one or more of these. You can make up your own as well.
1 Get some colored pencils and a coloring book and use them.
2 Get a number two pencil, paper, and mirror and try to do a self-portrait.
3 Write a new song. Not the music, just the lyrics. It can be to any tune you want.
4 Write a short story outside your regular genre. Who cares if it is good or not?
5 Use your cellphone to make a video that you also narrate.
6 Get some fruit together and draw it
7 Get some supplies and paint a fruit still life from your drawing
8 Buy an airplane, car, or craft kit and put it together
9 Watch a mindless action movie and take notes.
10 Tackle that painting project in one of the rooms
11 Plant some seeds
12 If you live in the North, shovel some snow. But pay attention to how you do it.
13 Get a copy of one of Gary Larsen’s Far Side books and read it.
14 Bake some cookies or a cake and then frost them
15 Put together a playlist of creative songs and play it.
I could go on, but the point is, the more you engage your mind in creative projects, the more your muse will want to get involved.
What do you think? Do you have any tips on restarting an idle creative engine? Let us know in the comment section.