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Saturday, July 07, 2012


Rekindling the Creative Spark, Part 2

Last Saturday on The Muffin, I talked about rekindling the spark when you think your creative flow has slowed...or even stopped. I shared eleven tips to rejuvenate your writing (and your mind).

Did you implement any of these ideas this past week? How successful were you at jumpstarting your creativity?

Today, I'll share another eleven tips to spark your imagination. Ready? Go.

  1. Rest. Some of us are early birds, others night owls; but, if you aren't rested, your creative levels dip. Take it from someone who thinks she can survive on five hours of sleep (and really can't), a good night's rest - even a power nap mid-afternoon - boosts my ability to think clearly and accomplish goals.
  2. Be appreciative. Sometimes, take a step back and be thankful for the blessings you have in life. That sense of calm that washes over you when you take stock of what you have provides even more incentive.
  3. Watch a movie. It works for me! Sure, viewing a movie for fun is, well, fun, but if I tune in to the intricacies of the movie - the plot, the relationships between characters, the pacing - I come up with ideas I can put into practice in my own writing. Try it!
  4. Travel to a new place. Now, don't use this as an excuse to hop on a plane and jet to some exotic locale. Or do use it! Just remember: Travel doesn't mean you have to go far from home. Is there a new coffee shop in town you've been wanting to visit? Go. Did a new art exhibit open at the hip gallery in the historic district? Check it out.
  5. Make mistakes. Everyone makes mistakes. Letting go of the perfectionist title is tough, I know, but you'll stress less if you relax and realize imperfection is a valuable teaching tool.
  6. Practice. I like this tip. If you give up, how will you reach your goal? Practice, practice, practice, then, practice more. 
  7. Don't give up. Write yourself into a corner? Happens to the best of us. Maybe that plot line you've outlined isn't headed where you expected. Maybe a character acts out of character. Maybe an interview subject won't take your lead and expand his or her responses for an article. Don't give up. Keep tweaking your work and you'll reach the finish line.
  8. Collaborate. This can be tough for writers since a lot of times, we tend to work independently. Forming a partnership offers multiple benefits. Maybe you've just found a sounding board for ideas. Maybe you've discovered a critique group. Maybe you've found an editing partner. Hearing and seeing new ideas implemented boost creativity and critical thought.
  9. Seek feedback. Feedback may be the single most important element in the writing/creative process. Without it, writing can become stale and one-dimensional.
  10. Find creative types. And I'm not talking about fonts, folks. Attend a conference. Go to a  reading or open mic. Listen to live music or watch a theater production. A certain energy exists at these events and swirls around those associated with the creative arts. Let the magic capture you!
  11. Be new ideas, to constructive criticism, to new life experiences. Creativity is a never-ending process that requires the ability to adapt to change; otherwise, creativity becomes stagnant.
If you feel a lull of imagination, use one of these tried-and-true techniques. Your creative mind will thank you, and that's a great payoff.

How do you rejuvenate your creative mind?

Photo and post by LuAnn Schindler. Read more of her work at her website

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Blogger Sioux said...


I especially like #7. I recently did not carefully read a call for submissions, and thought they wanted a memoir, when in fact they wanted a fictional story. I had it almost finished, so I just wrote a rollicking (made up) ending and sent it off.

Sometimes those "corners" we write ourselves into give us a fresh perspective. Even though Patrick Swayze insisted, "Nobody puts Baby in the corner," often the corner is not a bad place for a writer to be...

9:06 AM  
Anonymous Just One Boomer (Suzanne) said...

Walk---without headphones. I get my best ideas and writing prompts when walking by myself. (Admittedly, it's a little hard to want to do this when it's 101 air temp outside---and it's NOT a dry heat in Philly.)

1:53 PM  
Blogger Margo Dill said...

I'm really trying to work on tip #1!

7:56 PM  
Anonymous Virginia B. said...

I need to work on #8 and #9. Thanks for sharing this great list.

8:21 PM  

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