Thursday, May 19, 2011

Keys to Beating Creative Blocks

Lately, I've been feeling a little blah. Down. Less than inspired. My ideas don't excite me. My characters don't surprise me, leaping off the page to have adventures and make bad decisions- they just lie there on the page, inert, waiting for me to breathe inspiration into their dull and senseless forms.

Sound familar? If you're creatively blocked, you might be experiencing some of the same feelings. It's hell. How to deal?

First, get organized. What's on your plate this week? Any deadlines, or projects you've absolutely GOT to finish? Prioritize them, and do the thing you dread most right away. Just sit down and do it. Whether or not you're feeling inspired, a deadline is a deadline. Part of being a writer is respecting the deadline, and meeting it every time. Yeah, it sucks. I know that. Quit whining now, and go do your work.

It's all about discipline. You've got to be able to make yourself work, to push through whether you want to or not. When that's done, you can concentrate on getting the juice back.

If you're emotionally, spiritually, and physically healthy, you will feel more creative. Take fabulous care of yourself, and you'll feel juicier. Still blocked? Try this...

Find a way to get out of your own head for a while. Take a walk through the neighborhood, or go hiking in the woods. Try a yoga class, or take up kickboxing. Doing something physical can often help you move through a creative block.

Visit a gallery or a museum. Don't take a sketchbook or notebook- just soak it all in, without trying to process it right away. Drift until you find an image with a story behind it- something that makes you itch to write, to paint, to sculpt. Stare at it from every angle. Absorb it, breathe in its genius. When you simply can't hold out any longer, run home and write about it.

Try looking at things from a dog's perspective. Dogs are happy, loving, and always 100% themselves. They don't fake anything; they aren't neurotic and self-conscious like their human companions. They love to nose around, find things out, take the unexpected path. Walk a dog today. Instead of taking the lead, follow your four-legged friend wherever she wants you to go. Who knows- it just might lead to the next great story!

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