There are a lot of ways to spark creativity, and here I’ll share only three, but I’ll ask one thing in return: put them into action.
Your writing will be better. You will feel better. You’ll get more life out of your interaction with your readers and fans.
Heck, you’ll just get more out of life. Period.
Ok, number one…
1. Go offline.
I know it’s difficult to grasp, but there IS life offline. It’s happening whether you believe it or not. Too much of anything can zap you with super-red negative laser beams. Too much online, and your creativity can go “Poof!” Gone.
There’s actually a term for it. Here it is…
It’s called: You’re spending too much time online.
I agree. It’s a long name. It’s clunky. Why do they have to make things so difficult with these conditions? Fortunately the treatment is easy.
The treatment: Log off and walk away!
Really. Do it. I know you forgot where the “shut down” button is on your computer menu, but ask anyone in your family who is eagerly awaiting to spend time with you right now and they will gladly show you.
They haven’t forgotten where the button is. They have a life!
Seriously, though, get away from the social media, the blogs, the writing…and just go do something with a real-life human, or even your pet, for a while.
Schedule your offline time if you need to. Make it a habit. DO NOT let this thing consume you or your creativity!
Heck, I bet your pet even knows where the “off” button is on your laptop!
Now that you’re offline. Go to your door. Place your hand on the knob, and turn. Now, pull the door toward you and look outside.
What do you see?
That’s right. Outdoors!!! (And the peasants rejoice!)
Yes, it still exists. And the Zombie Apocalypse hasn’t happened yet, so it’s still relatively safe to venture out.
What’s that? Where?
Oh, those are cars and trucks. Wow, you haven’t been out in a long time, have you? Yeah, they were invented a while back.
What say you go ahead outside and walk around your yard, or around the block? Since you don’t have a car, call someone…uh oh…
You don’t have a phone do you? Yeah, those are a newer invention. It’s ok. I know it’s a lot to take in, but you’re going to’ make it.
Here. Here’s a tissue.
So for now, just step outside and yell until someone comes to your aid (this should be a hoot!), then ask them to take you to a nature walk and spend some time visiting with the trees and small animals.
Not to worry, Facebook will still be there when you get back and I’ll bet nobody steals your manuscript.
Tell you what… Take a pen and paper with you and write down your experiences. It’s called journaling.
What? Yes, of course people really do it. Wow, we have GOT to get you out more.
Go ahead and write down things while you’re out and it may just spark some creative genius in you to help you write the next chapter.
3. Sleep better.
You laugh mockingly at me as though I’ve just asked you to drive toothpicks through the tops of your fingernails.
Well, for some of you that would be easier than sleeping better.
Truth is: fatigue kills creativity…with toothpicks no less!
But it works.
It takes effort and perhaps a lot of rescheduling. But the benefits outweigh the sacrifice here.
Other sleep tips from the big dogs are sleep with the air cool in your room. Block out all light, even night lights. Don’t eat too late at night, and prepare your mind by doing something relaxing like reading, or meditating.
Also, the right pillow will help, but you’ll have to research that one. Just not one filled with toothpicks. Pointy!
Also, schedule in a 20-minute nap somewhere in your day. “I don’t have time,” you say. Wonka, wonka! Yes, you do!
You can find time to do whatever is important to you. If recharging your creativity is important, then your sleep and quality of rest will be tops on your priority list.
Your body heals while you sleep. Your mind processes and filters. Your spirit refreshes. A good night’s sleep, regularly, is one of the most effective ways to ignite your creativity. So, go on…stoke the fire!
Now, let’s review…
Turn off your computer. Go for a walk, and get some sleep.
Simple. Not always easy…but simple. And worth it.
Your writing deserves it. Your readers deserve it. YOU deserve it.
Have you found your “off” button yet?
D.C. McGannon is the Co-author of Charlie Sullivan and the Monster Hunters: The Varcolac’s Diary (Book 1) with his son, Michael. You can learn more about the book here.