Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Imagination on vacation? Try these tips

So you've finally carved out some writing time for yourself, locked the door, placed your hands on the keyboard and ... nothing. Your imagination is on vacation, and you simply can't get inspired.

I think we've all been there, in that temporary rut that zaps our creativity and leaves us in a funk.

Here are a few time-honored methods to get yourself back on track.

1. Clean up your workspace. Even if you work on a tiny desk in the corner of the room, clearing out the clutter surrounding you can make an amazing difference. A clean, inviting writing area can be surprisingly inspiring.

2. Change your writing environment. Yes, most of us write on computers. But we don't have to. Take your notebook out hiking with you on the weekend and jot down a few ideas - you might be surprised at what you come up with. No hiking trails in sight? Go people-watching at the mall, or just take your laptop to the back deck. Sometimes, simply changing your point of view is all it takes to get that idea factory back in peak form.

3. Be a kid again. Pick up a one of those childhood favorites that made you fall in love with reading and writing in the first place. I have a battered old book titled Understood Betsy by Dorothy Canfield (first copyright 1917), that I absolutely love. It's the story of this little city girl who goes to live on a farm, and every time I read a few pages it lifts my mood. You probably have your own favorites. Ride with Black Beauty, fly with Harry Potter - curl up on the couch and indulge.

4. Enjoy another form of art. Yes, we love writing, but it isn't the only art form to enjoy. Watch someone make pottery, visit an art museum, see a play, learn to sew, listen to music. With all that creative energy flowing around you, surely some will rub off!

5. Buy fresh flowers. Yes, it seems simple, but I recently read a summary of a university study that showed fresh flowers in a room actually increased productivity. Now, in feng shui, purple is a color of creativity and prosperity - so find a few violet blooms, and you'll surely be set for success!

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