Need to Rekindle the Spark? Tips for Staying Creative

Saturday, June 30, 2012
Yesterday, as I perused a few education sites for writing tips to implement in my classroom, I stumbled upon a great list offering ways to stay creative. (Unfortunately, I don't remember which site I was on and I forgot to bookmark it. Don't you dislike when that happens? But, I did print the PDF file offering the tips.)

At some point, we all need a creative boost. We slide into a routine, thinking the work we produce is good enough, and then BAM! The creative brain waves halt. Know the feeling? C'mon, raise your hands, because it's happened to you, too.

The good news is simple: rekindling the creativity spark can be as simple as taking a common object with you wherever you go or working with other creative types.

While these are geared to high school students, the ideas perfectly fit writers of all ages. Let's see how they apply to a writer's life.

  1.  Become a risk taker. Remember that routine I talked about earlier? Don't fall into that trap. Take a chance instead. Want to publish in a NYT? You won't ever see it in print UNLESS you submit. Have an idea for a breakout book series? Until you put the words on the page, it won't happen. So, take a risk. What are you waiting for?
  2. . Break rules. Sure, it's a bit of a conundrum - the whole "rules are meant to be broken/follow the rules" debate. When I started freelancing, I broke one publication's "don't call the editor" rule. Guess what. I landed five additional assignments.
  3. Do more of what makes you happy. For me, that's cooking and writing. I do a lot of both.
  4. Don't force it. So true! I worked on a chapter of a YA novel for a month, trying to get it to flow. I took a two -week break from it and when I returned to it, clarity. It's amazing how that happens.
  5. Read a page of the dictionary. I find this happens quite a bit...although not on purpose. I'll be checking out a word in Flip Dictionary and I'll realize I've been perusing page upon page. The best part, I'll find a word, key in on it, and begin word association. It's amazing how one word can spark an entire page of writing!
  6. Build a framework. Can you work without one?
  7. Stop trying to be someone else's perfect. Enough said.
  8. Write down ideas. You never know when - or where - inspiration will hit, but I've had brilliant ideas surface, only to forget all facets of the idea later.Take it from someone who learned the hard way: Write it down. Now.
  9. Clean your workspace. Agreed. If I would clean my office more often, I do think I'd be more productive. While the organized chaos theory works for me most of the time, sometimes, it becomes an obstruction to accomplishing a goal.
  10. Have fun. Laugh. Live. Enjoy yourself. Then, return to your writing. You'll sense a new attitude.
  11. Finish something. Nothing spurs creativity than finishing one project so you can begin brainstorming for another.
The next time you feel the spark burn out, try one of these surefire tips to rekindle the flame and renew your writer's spirit.

How do you rekindle your creativity?

Post and photo by LuAnn Schindler. Read more of her work at her website.


Corrie Ann said...

I agree with the Flip Dictionary idea - love that book!

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