Showing posts sorted by relevance for query creativity. Sort by date Show all posts
Showing posts sorted by relevance for query creativity. Sort by date Show all posts

Monday, November 28, 2011

Three Ways to Powerfully Reawaken Your Creativity

Three Ways to Powerfully Reawaken Your Creativity

A writer’s life is often filled with many demands, challenges and conflicting priorities. As a result, many writers experience chronic stress which can negatively impact their craft and dampen their sense of creativity. Here are three simple yet powerfully effective ways to breathe life into your writing and reawaken your sense of creativity and passion.

1) Let Go of Your Biggest Writing Disappointment

This week, choose to let go of you greatest writing disappointment and enjoy a vast sense of personal freedom. For this exercise you will need a 3 by 5 index card, a pen, a helium balloon and approximately 15 inches of string or ribbon. Prior to beginning this exercise sit quietly and take a few deep-cleansing breaths.

Think about the area of your writing life that causes you the most heartache or sense of failure. This could be the fact that you have reached a certain age and have yet to publish your work. Or perhaps you are most troubled by the lack of support you receive from others who urge you to concentrate your efforts into “a real job.” Maybe you feel hopelessly blocked and every time you sit down to write you hear the harsh, critical voice of your six grade English teacher whispering in your ear. Write down your life’s greatest writing heartache and stressor on your 3 by 5 index card.

Next, attach the index card to your helium balloon with the ribbon. Go outside with your balloon. Spend a few minutes thinking about how your greatest stressor has affected your writing and creativity. Gently release your balloon into the air into a wide open space. As your balloon drifts into the sky, imagine that your greatest writing disappointment is floating out of your life forever, just like this balloon. Imagine how wonderful and freeing it feels to have this problem completely removed from your life. Envision that you are giving this problem back to the universe, back to God or back to any power greater than yourself. Whenever negative feelings resurface; picture this balloon floating away in your mind's eye. This exercise is a great way to let go of anything that seems out of your control. It can be repeated as needed to release problems in any area of your life and help renew your creativity.

2) Set Your Intention Each Day

Each day upon awakening, ask yourself. “What is my intention for the day?” This is really just another way of asking yourself “What do I want for myself and what am I willing to allow into my life?” Examples of daily intentions are “Today I intend to write for at least thirty minutes or get 1500 words on paper.” or “My intention today is to connect with other writers and discover new ways to market my book”. Other examples of intention include “My intention today is to extend kindness to every person that I encounter” or “Today I will experience inner peace no matter what happens.” On many days, your intention may not be related to your writing but can powerfully effect your creativity. Most people give very little thought to their daily desires. Chaotic, overscheduled lives often cause us to live in an unconscious way. As a result, we wind up creating lives that cause dissatisfaction and are not in alignment with our deepest longings. Intention is a powerful tool that will help you manifest your writing goals by gently guiding where you place your attention every day. You may find that once you begin setting an intention each day, you feel the need to make drastic life changes related to your job, relationship status or family life. Or perhaps the only things will change is the way you view life and your newfound sense of prolific creativity. Declaring a daily intention will help you clarify your values and determine what will truly bring you happiness, both on and off the page. In addition, your awareness will shift and you will attract the people, experiences and things that you want into your life.

3) Start a Gratitude Journal

Gratitude is a powerful feeling that can help us reconnect with a sense of creativity, purpose and passion. In these troubled economic times, it’s easy to focus on the problems that surround us and experience anxiety about our future. By spending a few moments appreciating what we have each day, we can gently guide our minds into a more creative, receptive state. It is extremely helpful to maintain a journal of appreciation and thankfulness. Many people find the mere practice of keeping a gratitude journal helps them to stay focused on their personal and professional writing goals. Writing a gratitude list is also a great way to remedy a case of writer’s block. Each night before going to sleep, make a list of all the things that you are grateful for in your life. Learning to appreciate the things that you already have creates a tremendous sense of joy. As you author your nightly gratitude list, review your day and feel thankful for all the positive things that happened to you and helpful people that crossed your path. Some people find it useful to analyze the events of the day in sequential or reverse-chronological order. Remember that there is nothing too small or trivial to feel grateful about. Examples of items of on a gratitude list include “I am grateful for my son’s beautiful smile.” “I am so thankful for this bed I sleep in." or “I feel grateful that I have a car that runs and that I had the money to repair the flat tire I had today.” As you write your gratitude list, focus on the positive emotion that feeling thankful evokes within you. When you feel as if you have completed your daily gratitude list, take a few moments and see if you can think of anything else to appreciate. It is also beneficial to fall asleep reciting your gratitude list silently to yourself. After keeping your gratitude journal, you will be amazed at all the new and fresh ideas that your gratitude has awakened within your mind.

Aileen McCabe-Maucher is a licensed clinical social worker/psychotherapist and registered nurse who has helped many people find inner peace and discover their unique life purpose. Aileen has fifteen years of experience providing individual and group counseling to a diverse client population. She is a graduate of West Chester University of Pennsylvania, Widener University, University of Delaware, and The Gestalt Therapy Institute of Philadelphia at Bryn Mawr College. Aileen studied yoga and the chakra system at The Yoga Lifestyle Center in Paoli, Pennsylvania. She is the author of the book, The Inner Peace Diet, which was published by Penguin/ Alpha Books and released nationwide on December 2, 2008.

A free sample of Aileen's books, The Inner Peace Diet, and Find Your Life Purpose Now: Recipes for Making Your Dreams Come True can be found here: http://www.amazon.com/Aileen-McCabe-Maucher/e/B003IUBRLK



Friday, February 20, 2015

Five Ways to Unlock those Creativity Muscles


"Why is the moon in the sky?" "Why don't the stars crash into each other?" "Why did God make me your first child?" (You've wondered that too, right?) "Why do I have to bath every day? The dog doesn't."

Why? 
     Why? 
          Why?

Why does he keep asking questions? Because he's born to be creative. And what do we do as adults? Stifle his creativity! "Just because!"

To be honest, often it's because we don't know the answers. And why don't we? Because someone stopped us from finding the answers in the first place.

A good comedian trains his mind to look for the "different angle" on everyday things. In the same way, as writers, we can train our minds to look for different angles to everyday situations. Truly creative minds not only come up with the answers. They also come up with the questions.

This is why a young child can drive an adult crazy.

So how can we, as writers, re-kindle our creativity? Here are five suggestions:

1. Change your perspective. Look at your life from a child's point of view. Or through your dog's eyes. You may gain ideas on a new way to tackle a problem. Look at your writing from your reader's point of view. Are you satisfying his or her needs? Does this meet the requirements of the publication?
  • Don't stop at one idea. Look at your way of life from many different perspectives. I once listened to an LP record (which gives away my age) in which an intelligent man is trying to explain a game of golf to a totally uneducated bushman from Central Africa. Hilarious! But also thought-provoking.
2. Challenge your assumptions. You go out to dinner in a posh restaurant. You just assume they will have staff to wait on you. But what if they don't? How would that work? Imagine the scenario. Play it over in your mind. 
  • I once read a signboard sticking out of the lawn of a bowling green. "Keep off the grass," it instructed. Is that possible? Could you play bowls without stepping on the grass? How would you get the bowling balls to run on the grass if you kept on the path? Think it through.
3. Let your ideas run wild. One of my favourite story series as a little girl was Enid Blyton's Wishing Chair. For those deprived readers who have never read these stories, two children, Peter and Mollie, find an armchair that grows wings when they rub the legs. Together with their pixie friend, Chinky, they take off on many wonderful adventures. Be honest. How would you react if you were polishing a chair one day and it grew wings? Would you sit on it and wish yourself to an exotic destination? Or would you run out the room and scream for someone to come and help, because "chairs don't fly"? 
  • Look at your favourite armchair and visualise yourself sitting on it as you soar out of the window and across the fields. Imagine the expression on your neighbours' faces as you wave to them. Think of all the advantages. No parking problems. No emission of toxic fumes. Don't stifle your creativity. Relax, and let ideas come. You may never use them in your writing (although who knows? Enid Blyton did!) But you'll have fun.And you'll be building those creativity muscles.
4. Rethink your needs: For example, instead of thinking, "How can I attract more people to my blog, ask yourself, "Do I really need more readers on my blog?" The question suggests other creative solutions, like finding ways to make your blog more interesting to your present visitors. This may in turn help you come up with more profitable ideas.
  • Instead of, "What should my character do to solve this problem?" try "Do I really need this character?" Instead of, "How can I think of six suggestions on how to strengthen my creativity muscles?" ask, "Do I really need to have six?"
5. Connect the dots: Look around and choose objects near you, then ask how they may be connected. Connect the sight of a police car speeding down the road with the spate of robberies you read of in the newspaper. Will the criminals get caught? Possibly not. So does crime pay? Maybe it doesfor the guy who gets away. Notice an elderly lady crossing the road, her purse hanging over her arm. Connect the dots. Could a criminal snatch that bag and get away with it? What chance would the old lady have of stopping him? 
  • Can you write an article for a senior's magazine on security measures? How about "Safe ways to go shopping"?
If you train your brain to habitually use these and other training ideas, you really can strengthen those creativity muscles. It won't happen in one day, and you won't get a best-seller idea the first exercise you try. Remember that it takes time to develop new muscles, and that includes creative muscles. However, if you follow these exercises regularly, you will become more creative. 

OVER TO YOU: When you hit a blank screen, what do you do to spark those creativity muscles back to life? Please leave a comment below.




SHIRLEY CORDER lives on the coast in South Africa with her husband, Rob. Her book, Strength Renewed: Meditations for your Journey through Breast Cancer has created a multitude of friends and contacts across the world.

Please visit Shirley through ShirleyCorder.com where she encourages writers, or at RiseAndSoar.com where she encourages those in the cancer valley. You can also meet with her on Twitter or Facebook.

Sign up to receive a short devotional message from Shirley in your inbox once a week.




Friday, June 14, 2019

3 Ways to Spark Your Creativity

As a writer, sometimes I just don’t feel like writing.

It’s as if all creativity has drained from my brain, and I can’t seem to get a single word on paper.

When that happens, I know it’s time to do something totally different from writing, yet something I enjoy.

Here are 3 ways I spark my creativity when I need new ideas.

These fun activities should work to spark your creativity, too.
1. Turn on some inspiring music and relax.

I happen to love the theme music from the movie The Duchess (you can listen to it on youtube).

It evokes all sorts of emotions that help me relax, and when I relax I am much more creative.

You don’t have to do anything while you listen to the music.

Sit and stare out the window or lie down and daydream.

Feel your body unwind and your mind start to wander—both of these things are good for creativity.

But, if you like, choose one of these other activites to do while you listen to some inspiring music.
2. Paint, color, or draw.

If you’re a visual artist, as well as a writer, you already draw or sketch or paint all the time.

But many writers never try to paint or color, or sketch, and they are missing out.

It isn’t the end product (you don’t need to produce a lovely painting or drawing) that matters here.

It’s the process of letting go, relaxing, and just allowing your imagination to take over.

If you can’t draw a straight line, start with a coloring book for adults and simply color in one of the pages.

I love to use colored pencils and colored markers for this.

But watercolors also work well (if you are careful not to use too much water, so the colors don't run).

If you feel a little braver as far as drawing something on your own, next try doodling.

Get a special notebook to devote to just your doodles.

Then, check out some of the doodling boards on Pinterest for some fun doodling tutorials, and then doodle away.

Again, I like to use fine-tipped Sharpie markers for my doodling.

I use black ones to create the doodles, then fill them in with colored markers.
3. Create a decorated journal.

I find this to be really fun and relaxing.

And, once I have completely decorated a journal, I can use it for writing.

To create a decorated journal, buy a plain spiral notebook or just a plain lined journal.

Get some colorful stickers that are designed for planners.

I usually get some of the Create 365 series at Michael’s and start with those.

But I also use other stickers that I find at Dollar Tree, Target, and Hobby Lobby.

Start decorating your journal by putting several stickers on each page, leaving room for other stuff on the page later.

Note: It takes a while to design each page the way you like it, so don’t try to decorate an entire journal in a few minutes. Give yourself several sessions to do this.

I schedule a few minutes for at least one of these activities every day—even just a few minutes is good—to spark my creativity and just have fun.

You should, too.

Try it!


And for more tips for awakening your creativity, click here!

Suzanne Lieurance is the author of over 35 published books, a writing coach, and editor at writebythesea.com.

Looking for more ways to spark your creativity?

Join her Facebook Group for Creative Writers!

Sunday, July 18, 2021

What Is Creative Writing?

 

by Deborah Lyn Stanley

Creative writing is any original writing that falls outside technical, journalistic or academic writing. But wait, there’s more.

Storytelling and fiction, screenwriting, songs, poetry, playwriting are considered creative writing. However, creative writing is not limited to fictional classifications. It also includes personal essays, memoirs, journals and diaries, letters and literary journalism—stories about the human experience.

Practicing creative writing is beneficial to all writers.
It helps:
•    Develop imagination and creativity
•    Organize thoughts, logically to create the plot
•    Grow confidence
•    Improves communication skills
•    Creates a change of pace and stimulates fresh ideas

So, how will we write more creatively? We grow with creative exercises that foster creative thinking & ideas. Make time for art and read well.

Art feeds our creativity—we cannot produce creative works unless we take them in. All forms of art are inspiring, so, make time for your artist’s dates. Films and books inspire story lines, and pictures or photographs can inspire a memory or story.

We must read well to write well. Try out new author’s works, go beyond blogs and social media to classical literature—there’s a wealth of written works to learn from and enjoy. I recently have found three new authors’ from the 1890s and early 1900s—my new favorites! Their well-developed stories, short or novel length, are entertaining. Gratefully, these stories are expanding my grasp of descriptive writing and character driven stories. Newspapers published serials of short stories in that day.

Nurture your creativity, take care of it, and devote time to this grand adventure. Here are a few ways to foster creative writing skills:
1.    Schedule creative writing sessions, choosing your topic ahead of time, then dive in for 20-40 minutes.
2.    Use writing prompts: one word or a theme sentence to boost your ideas and motivation.
3.    Use photographs to trigger the start of your piece. Is it a memory that promotes a story? Write it!
4.    Listen to music, get into your favorites, move and sing it out! Is it smooth and lovely, or wild and hopping fast? Write the memory or story you imagine.

Write a Page or more, Prepare an Outline or a List of Ideas—Just Get Going
Your creativity will flow.


Helpful Links:

Experiment with creative prompts.
https://www.tckpublishing.com/creative-writing-prompts/
https://www.tckpublishing.com/creative-writing-exercises/

Unusual Writing Activities That Will Boost Your Creativity by Melissa Donovan
https://www.writingforward.com/creative-writing/writing-activities 

 

Deborah Lyn Stanley is an author of Creative Non-Fiction. She writes articles, essays and stories. She is passionate about caring for the mentally impaired through creative arts.
Visit her My Writer’s Life website at: https://deborahlynwriter.com/   

Visit her caregiver’s website: https://deborahlyncaregiver.com/
Mom & Me: A Story of Dementia and the Power of God’s Love
https://www.amazon.com/Deborah-Lyn-Stanley/
& https://books2read.com/b/valuestories



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Tuesday, May 10, 2016

5 Pursuits to Inspire Creativity

When was the last time you stepped away from the computer and got creative? If you have to think about it, then it has been too long.

A regular dose of creativity will keep the inspiration flowing, when it's time to put pen to paper.

Here are 5 things you can (that aren't writing) to spark your creativity,

1. Make Art. Draw, sketch, doodle. Paint, papier-mâché, crochet. Design a tree-house. Or build one. Even if you don't consider yourself an artist, step out of your creative comfort zone and make something. As your hands are occupied, allow your mind to wander. You could solve a creative problem or imagine something new.

2. Get Outside. There are plenty of things outside that inspire creativity - you just need to open your eyes and look around. Go for a walk, a run, or a bike ride. Or plant and tend to a garden. Fresh air is invigorating, not to mention healthy. 

3. Go Dancing. There are social, physical, and mental benefits to going out dancing. And I certainly recommend it. However, you can get the latter two without leaving your home. Schedule a daily dance break. Set an alarm, and when it goes off, put on your favorite radio station or song, turn up the volume, and dance.

4. Cook or Bake. Cooking and baking are two of the most creative things you can do. And, as a bonus, you get eat the fruits of your labor. Whether you follow a recipe (which you have to do to some extent when you bake although decorations are up for grabs) or create as you go, remember to have fun.

5. Have an Adventure. Enjoy the creativity of others. Take a field trip to a museum or art gallery, go to a booksigning, or see a show. Support other artists. At least for me, nothing is more inspiring that seeing and appreciating the creative work of others. 

A few months ago, I shared some tips on how to get unstuck when writing. Well, you don't need to find yourself at a loss for words as an excuse to get creative. You can't avoid getting stuck all the time, but you can decrease the likelihood.


Schedule (yes, schedule) time to be creative to remain inspired as much as possible. 

What creative things do you pursue in addition to writing? Share your thoughts in the comments. 

* * *
Debra Eckerling is a writer, editor and project catalyst, as well as founder of Guided Goals and Write On Online, a live and online writers’ support group. 

She is the host of the Guided Goals Podcast and author of Purple Pencil Adventures: Writing Prompts for Kids of All Ages. 

Debra is an editor at Social Media Examiner and a speaker/moderator on the subjects of writing, networking, goal-setting, and social media.


Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Writing Tip: Different Ways to Take Notes on the Go

Different Ways to Take Notes on the Go

Guest Post by Heather Smith

Every writer can attest to the fact that inspiration can strike at any time, paying no heed to whether it’s convenient for you or not. More frustrating than that is when you are suddenly struck with an idea, and not just any idea but the best idea, but you are out and about with no way to jot said idea down. “I’ll remember”, you think, but in reality by the time you get home and try to put pen to paper the idea has long since been erased from your memory, with only the vague edges of it flitting in and out of your brain, taunting you. It is times like this that remind us how essential it is to have a fast and easy way to jot down notes or ideas at any given moment, and these four ways will appeal to every type of writer out there:

1.    The classic notepad – If you’re into the old school approach to taking notes, then keeping a small notepad and pen with you at all times is essential. While some people may scoff at this pen and paper approach, there is something whimsical about whipping out your notepad at any given second and taking down a few words of inspiration.


2.    Voice Recording – Sometimes it’s easier to talk out ideas than it is to write them down, and this is where a voice recording device comes in quite handy. You may look a little strange walking around talking to yourself, but it’s likely that you’re not going to forget anything that way either. And being able to go back and listen through your ideas over and over again can help spark creativity in a way that a text note might not be able to do.


3.    An email draft – When you’re tied up at work, running errands, or you’re out socializing with friends and you have no way to preserve an idea then it might be easiest to just open an email draft and type out a few key points. Then you can save it to your drafts or email it to yourself without any worry of losing the spark of creativity.


4.    Evernote – If you’re like most people these days with your phone being an essential part of your person at all times of the day then the Evernote app can come in quite handy. Evernote allows you to jot down notes or talk them out and record them, take photos, and craft monster to-do lists, and then syncs the content with all of your devices.  Added bonus: it’s free.

You aren’t always going to be able to sit down and write when an idea sparks your creativity, but you can be prepared to take down some notes in any given situation as long as you’re prepared. Find a note-taking solution that works for you that way you’re never caught off guard when writing creativity strikes. With each of these options appealing to a different type of writer you’re sure to find one that fits you and your style. 

Author Bio: Heather Smith is an ex-nanny. Passionate about thought leadership and writing, Heather regularly contributes to various career, social media, public relations, branding, and parenting blogs/websites. She also provides value to nannies by giving advice on site design as well as the features and functionality to provide more and more value to Nannies.net and families across the U.S. and Canada. She can be available at H.smith7295 [at] gmail.com.

~~~~~~~~~~
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Karen Cioffi
Multi-award Winning Author, Freelance/Ghostwriter, Editor, Marketer
Writer’s Digest Website of the Week, June 25, 2012

Find Karen’s eBooks on writing and marketing at:
http://karencioffifreelancewriter.com (see the sidebar for titles)

Karen Cioffi Professional Writing Services
http://karencioffifreelancewriter.com/karen-cioffi-writing-services/

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Reawaken Your Creativity By Revisiting Your Childhood Pleasures

Revisit Your Childhood Pleasures to Spark Your Creativity

Inside each and every one of is a small child with a creative heart and soul. Most small children have boundless energy and enjoy living in the moment. They spend their days involved in creative and imaginative play. As a result of this spontaneous way of being, children experience joyous emotions. When you tap into your blissful inner child, you are able to shift your writing in profound ways. This week spend some time observing a toddler at play. Notice how the small child unabashedly displays his or her emotions and follows his or her inner voice. Record your observations and your experience in your journal.


As we mature, we learn from those around us that our desires are not always socially acceptable. From an early age, we are urged to conform to societal norms. Others insist that we share our toys when we want to play alone, urge us be nice when we feel angry or demand that we use the toilet before we are truly ready. Misguided parents use food to reward our behavior when we adhere to their standards. This causes confusion as we begin to view food as a prize instead of life sustaining nutrition. As a result, we learn to mask our genuine emotions and our creativity is diminished. During adolescence, the voice of our inner self is further silenced as we are encouraged to constantly look toward the future instead of living in the present. Well-intentioned parents and teachers may steer us away from a profession in the creative arts and encourage us to pursue a career that will provide us with a stable income and job security. As a result of this conditioning, many adults find themselves unhappy in their personal and professional lives and turn to food for comfort.

Journal Exercise: Find Your Inner Child

This week, honor the small child within yourself by revisiting the activities that brought you the most pleasure as a child. In your journal, make a list of all of the activities that you delighted in when you were a youngster. Think of the things that you used to do that made you lose track of time. Don’t dismiss items because they seem silly or unproductive. Examples of pleasurable childhood activities include; roller-skating, finger-painting, making cookies, playing with dolls, dancing to loud music, horse back riding, and playing in a sandbox. Or maybe you enjoyed writing letters to friends or arranging parties for your dolls. After you complete your list review each item and try to recall the feeling each activity evoked within you. For example, playing with playdoh brought caused you to feel excited as you experienced the endless possibilities of your own creativity.

This week, spend at least thirty minutes doing the activity that brought you the most pleasure in your childhood. Give yourself permission to be silly and spontaneous. Leave the office a half-hour early to go for an impromptu bike ride or trip to the playground. Notice how your serenity increases and your sense of possibility expands on the page.



ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Aileen McCabe-Maucher is a writer, licensed clinical social worker/psychotherapist and registered nurse who has helped many people find inner peace and discover their unique
life purpose. Aileen has fifteen years of experience providing individual and group counseling to a diverse client population. She is a graduate of West Chester University of
Pennsylvania, Widener University, University of Delaware, and The Gestalt Therapy Institute of Philadelphia at Bryn Mawr College. Aileen studied yoga and the chakra system at The Yoga Lifestyle Center in Paoli, Pennsylvania. She is the author of the
book, The Inner Peace Diet, which was published by Penguin/ Alpha Books and released nationwide on December 2, 2008. Aileen can be reached via email at innerpeacediet@gmail.com

A sample of Aileen's first book,The Inner Peace Diet, can be found here:
http://www.amazon.com/Inner-Peace-Diet-Permanentebook/
dp/B001RWQVQC/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1317419274&sr=8-2

Sunday, December 15, 2013

7 Ways to Overcome Writer’s Block

Guest Post by Ken Myers

Sometimes the hardest thing to overcome in writing is the inability to write. You may have all these great ideas swimming around in your head, but they’re meaningless if you can’t get them down on paper. Nothing is more frustrating than staring at the screen, waiting for something to come pouring out of your fingertips, only to be left with nothing more than a blank page. It can be disheartening, frustrating and even leave you feeling hopeless. This inability to write, known as writer’s block, is a mental block that keeps you from being productive as a writer. Whether you write for your profession or for a hobby, writer’s block will be something you will face at some point. However, you can overcome it. Here are a few ways that you can beat the infamous writer’s block and get back to work:

1.    Start Writing –This sounds deceptively simple. Just write! Easier said than done, isn’t it? However, I don’t mean you can just start being creative when you have writer’s block. What I mean is that you need to go through the actions. Our bodies and minds have connections that we are not consciously aware of, so even though your mind may not be cooperating, you can force your body to go through the action of writing. Write about how much you hate writer’s block. Write about what is on your desk or what you can see from your window. Write one word over and over again. Just write. The act of writing itself is often a trigger for creativity. Keep in mind where and how you are writing as well. If you usually write at your computer in your office with your headphones on, then go through the whole experience. Do not just think you can plop down in the living room and write the same way you would in your office space. To get the full effect, the entire atmosphere must be prepared for you to do some serious writing. If you always write in the mornings, then sit down at the same time and write. You can actually fool your body and mind into believing you are being creative BEFORE you start being creative. I am not saying that this always works, but many times you’ll find yourself writing for real before you are even consciously aware something has changed. Habits do matter.


2.    Do Something New – If the first way didn’t work for you or you don’t want to try it or you just can’t do that right now, then try this next way. Sometimes writer’s block is not due merely to uncooperative minds. Sometimes you are just burnt out or out of new ideas. When you write every day or very frequently you can easily run out of fresh things to talk about. This is compounded if you do not have anything new coming in. Routine is great, but you need to shake things up once in a while. Do something new. Try out a new hobby or sport or activity. Check out a play or a new band. Join a club, volunteer at a food bank, eat at an ethnic restaurant. Everything new you do adds to your experiences, and that means you have more to write about. If you can’t get out and do something new then go online. Invest yourself in a new group. Cat people, gamers, sports fans – they all have forums, groups and websites online. Most groups love new members and are more than willing to introduce you to their passion. New genres of books, new types of art, and even new television shows can open up your mind to new ideas and get your creativity flowing again.

3.    Change Your Perspective – Related to doing something new, try viewing your writing in a new way. Look at what you want to write from a different perspective. For fiction writers, if you are writing from the hero’s perspective, try being the villain for a while. How do things change? How do characters look from the other side? You may get insight into a whole different world within your writing, which can help you want to write again. For non-fiction writers, you know you have an internal bias. You are for or against whatever you are writing about, no matter how balanced you try to be. Instead of being balanced, why not play Devil’s Advocate and be vehemently opposed to your natural viewpoint? Writing as your own critic can open you up to flaws in your argument that can actually enhance your viewpoints and make them stronger. Or you could change your own mind! Both fiction and non-fiction writers can also look at their idea from the reader’s point of view. What if a teenage boy read your writing? A retired lawyer? A police officer? A factory worker? A parent? Looking at your writing from a new point of view is sure to open your mind to new possibilities.

4.    Find Inspiration –Another way to open up your creativity is to find inspiration. Inspiration can come in many forms. Many of us are inspired by other writers. Reading something by our favorite author can often stimulate our own creativity. Or something by a new author can spark an idea we may not have imagined. Some people find inspiration in nature. Like Walden, getting out into nature and back in touch with the Earth can inspire new ideas and concepts. Being out in the woods alone, by the sea shore or at a calm lake can be both relaxing and invigorating to the mind. Other writer’s find inspiration in people. People watching at a park or gathering place can fill your mind with new characters. Talking to people about their lives can spark inspiration. Although many writers are not going to invest in a biography, the stories people tell become part of your memories and can inspire future writing. Visual art and beauty can also open the mind to new ideas. From sculptures to abstract art to photography, the visual aspects can inspire ideas.

5.    Get Active –Sometimes writer’s block can be more physical than mental. You are just plain tired. The human body was not meant to sit in one place for long periods of time. After a while you get knotted up, achy, sleepy and distracted. Instead of fighting to be productive in these circumstances you should get active!Do some jumping jacks and stretches at your desk, go for a walk outside, take the stairs up and down, turn on your favorite song and sing and dance along with it. Getting your blood pumping gets your mind moving and prevents those pesky aches and pains. When you do sit down again you will feel full of energy and ready to get started.

6.    Make an Outline – One thing that often happens to writers that makes it hard to write is that they have too many ideas at once. Sometimes your head gets filled up with all these great ideas and you can be scared to pick one in fear of forgetting the others. Get around this by writing everything down. Take quick notes on your ideas, fleshing them out briefly so that you don’t forget them. Once you figure out which one you want to focus on, create an outline. This does not mean you have to write according to your outline. You can still go with the flow and let your writing shine. However, having an outline available helps keep you on track when you get bogged down. You can easily look over and see what was coming next without having to keep it all in your head. It is much easier to focus on the now without having to keep track of the future as well. Writing down your ideas and creating an outline frees up your mind to concentrate more on what you are doing and can help you overcome a block.

7.    Turn Off Distractions – Last but not least, distractions can be a huge reason behind writer’s block. You may not even be aware you are being distracted sometimes. Things like construction noise, people talking, movements and even the climate can affect your concentration. Not to mention phone calls, texts and social media. The constant barrage of sensory information can overload your brain, making it impossible to focus on writing. Help your brain regain its calm by turning off the distractions. Shut down your phone, unplug the internet, shut the door or window and turn on some white noise. Many times you can control the distractions around you. White noise, nature sounds, and instrumental music can all help you block out disturbing sounds and keep you focused on your writing. People can also be a distraction, especially if you work in an open office or from home. Try to set strong boundaries with your co-workers or family. Let them know that you are not to be disturbed during set hours when you are writing. Having a set time to write frees you up to not answer emails, phone calls, or even open your door. It is not wrong to make time to concentrate, and if you make it a regular thing then you will be disturbed less and less frequently.

Writer’s block can be hard, but it is not insurmountable. Don’t give in to the feeling of hopelessness and frustration; instead, act to overcome it. There is always something you can do. From getting away to getting focused, you can overcome writer’s block and be productive once again.

About the Author:

Ken Myers is a father, husband, and entrepreneur. He has combined his passion for helping families find in-home care with his experience to build a business. Learn more about him by visiting @KenneyMyers on Twitter.

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MORE ON WRITING

How to Write Satisfying Endings
Preserving the Old in a Digital World
Writing Murder Mysteries – Understanding Profiling



Monday, January 17, 2022

Growing Your Writing Practice


By Deborah Lyn Stanley

We’ve been writing and developed certain habits. Maybe this is a good time to improve our practice, or even call it our custom: our personal way of working.

First, let’s list the reasons why we write.
1.    To explain what happened and why it matters,
2.    To hold dear things that would otherwise be lost through the passage of time,
3.    To embrace the writing process for personal discovery, to make sense of things,
4.    To stretch our imagination and write more creatively,
5.    We make connections as we write and see more clearly, because it’s greater than just us.

Second, what stalls our process, or what holds us back?
1.    Expectations of perfection break our stride,
2.    The critic inside cripples with thoughts of  “you’re just not good enough”,
3.    Creativity is a vulnerable place, under attack it breeds anxiety and then we flounder at the keyboard’s blank page

To grow confidence and build a stronger writing life, let’s further develop our everyday custom and practice of working.
1.    Give yourself a special place to write, for just writing: A place of quiet, a place to listen, and a place of inspiration with a view window.
2.    It’s a place that speaks of “well-being” that surrounds you with your favorite books and reference materials.
3.    Include a keepsake that grounds you in the positive, to reflect on the best moments of life.
We need that positive energy to spark our creativity and develop our thoughts.

What changes can you make to your writing space to give you more energy and creativity?


We want to share our work. Only do so to the right person, ideally someone of similar nature, who respects and appreciates you.

It seems a common occurrence with writers to think they are in good company. You share your article or story, and the crusher follows. It happened to me too. I read my essay in a quaint critique group and the leader crushed, distorted and joked as feedback. I quit writing for a few weeks until I realized what was going on, pulled up my bootstraps, bowed out of the association graciously, then continued writing. It seems we need these kinds of experiences to discern what, why and with whom to connect.

Consider joining a group or organization of writers for support, companionship, and ideas, while nurturing your writing. It has to feel right, chemistry matters. Then be specific when you share your work by asking for exactly what you want. Some feedback is on point and strengthens your work; others are just bad advice or resemble a “takeover”. Learn, by experience to judge what is of value to you and what is not.

It’s A Journey We Are On, A Journey Of Discovery,
Practice and Process, Always Learning  

 

Deborah Lyn Stanley is an author of Creative Non-Fiction. She writes articles, essays and stories. She is passionate about caring for the mentally impaired through creative arts.
Visit her My Writer’s Life website at: https://deborahlynwriter.com/   
Visit her caregiver’s website: https://deborahlyncaregiver.com/

Mom & Me: A Story of Dementia and the Power of God’s Love is available:
https://www.amazon.com/Deborah-Lyn-Stanley/
& https://books2read.com/b/valuestories

 

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Wednesday, November 17, 2021

Creative Writing Practice

 


 Creative Writing Practice by Deborah Lyn Stanley

At a loss for story ideas? How about randomness to boost you into new patterns of ideas?
1.    Open a book to any page, choose a word from the first sentence.
2.    Open another page in the same book and choose a word from that first sentence.
3.    Put your two words together — imagine a story or a poem.

Today, we’ll look at two creative writing strategies.
First:
Writeriffic II written by Eva Shaw

Following a class through www.ed2go.com, I purchased Writeriffic II to continue creative writing studies, increase my self-confidence, and to find my writer's voice.

It is a great little book full of gems and encouragements throughout Chapters 1-19. Then practice follows with creativity assignments in Chapters 20-54—assignments designed for fun, taking risks and writing creatively.
Via Assignment #21, I wrote a fun story choosing Cinderella and Robin Hood as my protagonist duo. I added 10 words found in the dictionary—words new to me, ones I don’t commonly use.
It’s fun—try it! 

https://evashaw.com/writeriffic-ii-creativity-training-for-writers/

Second:
Writing the Wave by Elizabeth Ayres

Elizabeth presents her creativity formula for building original creative writing projects through fun steps to gather story ideas.

As you work through the book, as I am, you will become aware of various techniques to generate raw writing material in layers. You will use boxes, lists, circles, step by step.

Then focus on our viewpoint choice and use it to launch into character descriptions. Thus, we’ll have raw material with potential.

As we travel though the book, we identify the main idea and develop it in an organized fashion with structure in Part 2.

With our piece in progress, we move on to Part 3 and troubleshooting the issues that have come up in the usual course of a project. Polish the work by adding life and strength to our text and expressions.

Creative writing with Elizabeth Ayres is a different way of working to generate new material, whether it is articles, stories, essays or books. Elizabeth teaches a step by step; don’t skip ahead method. Sometimes her language and approach seem like a foreign language. Keep traveling, jump but keep going (as I do). There is something to learn that likely will equip for better writing and ideas.
https://www.creativewritingcenter.com/about

Good practice points for a satisfying writing life:
•   Don’t wait for inspiration. Do something you love, play, it will spark ideas.
•   Set aside your best time to write for 20-30 minutes, make it an appointment and keep it.
•   Let go of perfectionism! It defeats playfulness.
•   Change things up—write by hand, write on scraps of paper, be messy, break the rules, do whatever works to stay playful!
    Forget mistakes. You can fix them easy enough on the next draft.

Just Write!
Love the Process

Deborah Lyn Stanley is an author of Creative Non-Fiction. She writes articles, essays and stories. She is passionate about caring for the mentally impaired through creative arts.
Visit her My Writer’s Life website at: https://deborahlynwriter.com/   
Visit her caregiver’s website: https://deborahlyncaregiver.com/

Mom & Me: A Story of Dementia and the Power of God’s Love is available:
https://www.amazon.com/Deborah-Lyn-Stanley/
& https://books2read.com/b/valuestories




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Tuesday, May 18, 2021

Tips for Getting Known

Tips for Getting Known: Platform – Brand - Content

Your Platform is a useful necessity for all authors whether you write essays, articles, blogs or books, fiction or nonfiction. Brand is who you are. You are your brand, built by words, images and delivering as promised. Success depends upon visibility. We communicate with clarity and offer valuable information through our websites because Content is King.
 
Getting Known is all about providing content of interest.
Your Platform includes all the ways you are visible to readers:
•    Communicates your expertise quickly with clarity
•    Where to find you online, books, magazines, etc
•    Optimized metadata, SEO and keywords
•    Consistent delivery of valuable content
•    Balanced creativity and business

The Essential Commonplace book:
Useful and informative content makes for great visibility, thus using a commonplace book is essential.

Have you ever lost an idea because you couldn’t jot it down? Writers have been carrying notebooks for centuries, so I thought I’d mention commonplace books. Renaissance humanists of classical scholarship began using commonplace books as a form of study and note taking.  

There’s just too much to recall and consider further later. A commonplace book is uniquely yours, a central storehouse of knowledge. It is a helpful resource to gather your notes of wisdom, impressive sayings, and practical applications. As you read, collect what pops out; capture an idea by making notes, scribbles and comments.

Let your commonplace book become your treasure store of ideas and wisdom. It will help you realize what is most important to you. Organize it as you wish, in traditional format, diagonal snippets, and vertical standout points. It’s your book and best handwritten with your doodles and diagrams. Like Melissa Donovan says, “There’s something about the tactile experience of writing in a notebook that seems to boost creativity.”

During corporate meetings, I’ve used ringed notebooks to capture significant points of the meeting, schedule and plans. I wrote every which way, no one could make sense of it but me. However, with these notes I recalled where I was, what the meeting was about and my next steps. I’m sure you have a method also.

As a source of creativity, use your commonplace book, your everyday book, as a resource for writing your next article, essay or blog post.

Helpful Links:
Melissa Donovan, Author, Coach, Teacher, Editor of Writing Forward
https://www.writingforward.com/  
 

Deborah Lyn Stanley is an author of Creative Non-Fiction. She writes articles, essays and stories. She is passionate about caring for the mentally impaired through creative arts.
Visit her My Writer’s Life website at: https://deborahlynwriter.com/   
Visit her caregiver’s website: https://deborahlyncaregiver.com/
Available on Amazon --- Mom & Me: A Story of Dementia and the Power of God’s Love 


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Wednesday, April 10, 2019

Creativity & Work-Life Balance

Creativity & Work-Life Balance
When was the last time you did something creative just for fun? 

If the answer doesn't come to you immediately, you are missing out.

There are many benefits to being creative. Among other things, it helps with critical thinking, relieves stress, and is just plain fun. Whenever you are having a particularly stressful day - or even if you are not - a creative endeavor will add much needed adrenaline, motivation, and spark. And just a few minutes can make a huge difference.

Here are ten creative things you can do today or any day.

1. Doodle or Sketch. You don't need to be artistic to make art.

2. Take Photos. Just about everyone has a camera on their mobile phone. Take a walk and take some pictures.

3. Write a Poem. April is #NationalPoetryMonth. Celebrate.

4. Turn on Music and Dance. Regular dance breaks also help with your physical health. 

5. Write a Story. Just for Fun!

6. Garden. The bonus: flowers to beautify your home or something good to eat.

7. Cook. See what you can make with the ingredients in your fridge or pantry. 

8. Bake. Yum. 'Nuff said.

9. Craft. Sew, scrapbook, knit. The options are endless. 

10. Write a Letter. This is a fun exercise. Plus it will make someone's day. 

For more on the power of creative pursuits, check out the recap from my #GoalChat on this topic.

* * *

How do you incorporate creativity into your work-life balance? Please share in the comments.

* * *

Debra Eckerling is a writer, editor and project catalyst, as well as founder of The D*E*B Method: Goal Setting Simplified and Write On Online, a live and online writers’ support group. Like the Write On Online Facebook Page and join the Facebook Group.  She is author of Write On Blogging: 51 Tips to Create, Write & Promote Your Blog and Purple Pencil Adventures: Writing Prompts for Kids of All Ages, and host of the #GoalChat Twitter Chat. Debra is an editor at Social Media Examiner and a speaker/moderator on the subjects of writing, networking, goal-setting, and social media.

Growing Your Writing Practice

By Deborah Lyn Stanley We’ve been writing and developed certain habits. Maybe this is a good time to improve our practice, or even call it o...