Monday, May 2, 2016

5 Tips for Re-energizing your Writing

We all have the problem from time to time as writers... getting the blahs and going days without writing or even wanting to write. Some people call it writer's block, some find excuses for why they can't seem to get going on a project or finish a story.

Whatever the reasons might be we all face the difficulty of getting back on track every so often. So what can you do to get yourself jump started or to get going again. Since I'm just back from a trip to one of my favorite places I can tell you that a trip certainly helps. I'd been floundering myself with my writing, mainly because I need to do a whole lot of editing and that always slows down the process.

So what can you do to get back to the joys of writing.

1. Take that trip. Go some place you have been wanting to go. Yes, I know that trip you wanted to take around the world might be out right now, or even that prolonged drive across country. But try something quick, something short, something fun. In the past I've often done weekend getaways to re-energize myself and my writing. I've gone off to hotel rooms only half an hour away and spent a weekend sitting in my room writing or exploring the area during the day and writing all night. Whatever the location, just getting away can sometimes be a good way to re-energize your writing.

2.  Take a class.  I teach lots of classes so I have to admit I had a stake in that. However, I find that sometimes the ideas I get from other students gives me plenty of ideas for my own writing. Not that I copy their ideas, but I do listen for their writing tactics or pay attention to what works for them. I also find that sometimes their complains or problem areas get me motivated again. Sometimes I will take a class myself, just to get myself back into the student mode and learn something.

3.  Take a walk.  This is a good way to get the creative juices awakened. Sometimes a morning walk can give you time to think about your latest story and where it is going right or where it might be headed in the wrong direction. It's also an opportunity to clear your head so that you can come back to the keyboard ready to right away.

4. Take break. Sometimes it's not a walk or getaway that you need but just a break from your daily routine.  Give yourself permission to take some time off and spend it just watching a movie or playing games. Look for story ideas online or read a book.  Find again some of the old excitement in old pleasures you used to have. Recently a snowy day kept me inside all day and I sat down and worked on a jigsaw puzzle. But as I worked on it I also found myself thinking about my current story and how it might go in a new direction. By the end of the day the puzzle was nearly finished and I was ready to go back to work.

5. Take a bath.  If you're not into bubble baths, then find something else that relaxes you. It's like that suggestion from above about taking a break. But make this one something that is totally relaxing, whether it's sitting in the dark at a movie theater or walking around the block. Do something that is not related to your writing so that you have time to clear your head.

Mostly don't take it too seriously. Find time to think and reflect. But then don't let yourself lose sight of the overall goal and get back to work.

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