Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Summer has killed my brain!

I had big plans this summer; declutter, finish my next novel, plant flowers around my house and in pots and hanging baskets, get organized. I had done any of those things. I've had fun with my kids being out of school, I've had fun teaching tons of Zumba classes (everyone needs subs while they go to Hawaii . . . and I stay here.) But somehow during all of the busy-ness of summer, I've forgotten how to stay focused and get some writing done.

So, while I was sitting here, staring at the "new post" screen, trying to come up with something to write, I decided to post about how to get the creative juices flowing. Sure, this is going to benefit me the most, but I figured, heck, maybe someone else out there is suffering from summer brain disorder like I am.

Here are a few suggestions to help you get your creative juices flowing.

1. Do research. Finding information regarding your story could provide jumping off points for fresh new ideas.
2. Go to the library. This could be a great change of pace for finding some creativity. The smell and feel of books alone can conjure up new inspiration in writers.
3. Read. Reading can be a great way to inspire creativity. Read a passage from a book you love, one that will transport you into that writer’s world. Or pick up a magazine and read about a topic you’ve never read about and that takes you out of your comfort zone.
4. Take a walk. Get lost in something for a while and this could spark some new ideas.
5. Sift through the thesaurus. Pick five new words to use in the next page you write. Pick words you don’t normally use.
6. Edit an old piece of writing of yours or even a piece of writing from a newspaper, a book, or a magazine. Make it more creative.
7. Don't underestimate the power of "Little Daily Rituals". Figure out what helps you think most clearly and creatively, and use that process to prepare yourself to write for the day.
8. Make sure you are alert and have energy. Drink a glass of orange juice to bump up your energy right before you start. Or to take a ten minute, brisk walk so your blood is flowing freely.
9. Music. Sometime listening to certain types of music can inspire and set a mood, trigger images and visions of scenes and settings.
10. Brainstorm. Find a quiet place, take a paper and pen (or a laptop or desktop computer, then, start by thinking about the challenge you are facing. Is it coming up with an idea? Knowing where your plot goes next? Naming your hero or heroine with a name that doesn't sound lame? Once you've identified the problem, write it down. Then start letting your brain run wild with ideas to solve this problem. Jot down every idea, no matter how ridiculous it seems at the time. You're brainstorming, not creating a Pulitzer Prize winner.
11. Exercise Your Mind (And Body) - This will get your energy levels up, release endorphins to help you feel good and empowered.
12. Try to write every day. Even if it's only a journal entry about how your day went.
13. Probably the best tip . . . BELIEVE IN YOURSELF! If you do, you can do anything!

Now that I've completed my list, I am actually anxious and excited to get back to work on my next novel. If you have some great tips on getting creative juices flowing, post them in the comment section. I'd love to know what works for you!

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