Ideas, ideas, where are you?
Do you ever find yourself running out of books ideas to fuel your self-publishing career? Staring at a blank page and hoping the ideas will flow. Except they don’t, and you sit there. You spend all your time on Facebook or binge watching a Netflix series while mindlessly eating?
Yep, me too!
Don’t get me wrong, Being an author is the best job in the world. A job where you get to make things up and people actually pay for it.
But with that awesomeness also comes a lot of pressure. As much fun as it is to make up stories I know I don’t always have a constant stream of new and exciting things to write every day when I sit down at my laptop.
Being creative is hard. #thestruggleisreal
When I’m completely stuck and get frustrated by my lack of ideas, there are a few things I’ve learned can help.
You’re an author, so my guess is you already do this. You’ve told your close family and friends that nothing they do is off limits. But now I want you to go out and PURPOSEFULLY do it. I find a lot in the everyday world I can use as in my stories.
The saying that life is stranger than fiction is 100% true. I mean look at some of the crazy things people post on Facebook. When you watch people, you don’t have to hear their conversation. You can pretend who they are and what they’re doing. They’re giving you the start. The person and the place. So your imagination only has to do a portion of the work. Take a friend with you to people watch and together makeup what they are chatting about or doing. Trust me it’s a fun cheap date!
Get a coffee, tea, hot chocolate whatever moves you.
I go grab a latte at Starbucks. Not only do I love lattes, and happiness in a cup can spark creativity, the people watching is what is most helpful. Back to number 1 on my list. Besides the people watching it’s relaxing to me to partake in a routine that I enjoy. Takes my mind off my writers block and lessens my frustration.
Go for some exercise.
This may sound like a funny one, but I come up with more ideas at yoga, out for a run, and in the shower than anywhere. None of those actives are very conducive to taking notes and I admit I sometimes forget these great ideas by the time I finish. But when I’m working out my mind is less cluttered by all the small things that creep in and the ideas start flowing. Plus exercise is good for you. Win, win.
Read something. Anything.
Writers must read, read, read. Think of it as professional development. When I’m stuck, I try and read something that is far off from what I’m trying to write. To clear my mind of any preconceived thoughts and focus on something else. Read outside of your genre. Read things you don’t like and that are the opposite of what you are trying to write. You’d be amazed at how it will stretch your brain in ways you never thought of.
Write something ELSE.
Work on another project. Write for fun or write in a journal. Get as far away from the writing that has you stumped. Obsessing over being stuck just makes it worse. Moving on, temporarily, and thinking about something else can help you think of that idea you’re looking for. The action of doing something besides staring at the keyboard can be motivating.
Take a nap.
If all else fails, take a nap and forget about it. Seriously! I’ve found that if I take a nap and think about my story while falling asleep can often cause me to wake up with ideas. And if it doesn’t at least I had a nap.
How do you get your creative juices flowing?