If I have one rule when it comes to writing, it’s this–keep doing it. Oftentimes, real life stress or other commitments force those all important creative juices to stall. It happens to the best of us, and sometimes it’s best to go with the flow. But that doesn’t mean you don’t have tools at your disposal to keep the mind sharp and the words flowing. Here are a few things I do when the reserves are dried up and I need to keep on track.
Start a blog
Sounds easy, right? That’s because it is. And better still? It’s fun! Share the inner workings of your brain with the world. It will give readers an insight into who you are and will keep those thoughts a whirling.
Get down with some flash
Flash fiction is an awesome way to stretch the mind and learn the value of tightly written work. Set a word limit, choose a theme, and stick to it. It’s a great exercise, one that can be used to your advantage if you enter contests. I have two shorts that have been contracted in this way.
Visit the author blogs you enjoy and partake in the topic at hand by leaving a comment
There is nothing as daunting as facing a group of your peers and having your voice heard. But if you want to sound smart, yet approachable, you’re less likely to type something up and slap it onto a blog of someone you admire. This is a great way to focus on what you want to say and condense it into a small paragraph or two. You’ll also make new friends in the process.
Make it an experiment in fun
Want to know a little secret? I write picture books for my seven-year old daughter. I create the stories (she’s the heroine, of course), draw the illustrations, print it out, and slap it into one of those nifty plastic folders with the sliding grip. It’s not Junie B. Jones, but if my daughter is happy with it, so am I. Why? It’s a great escape, forces me to write for the target audience, and allows me to relax. Not interested in that? Then try writing something else you might not usually: poetry, horror, sci-fi. The shift will be sure to challenge you, and when you write for fun, you have nothing to lose.
Even if you don’t want to and the day is crap, write something. It can be a paragraph, a few sentences, or an entry in a journal. The point is to keep the motherboard in check. Sometimes, you’ll break through and it will be gravy. Other times, you’ll trudge through it and praise a higher power when you’re finished. Either way, it’s always good to be on top of your game.
Now that I’ve shared, why don’t you do the same? How do you keep writing fresh? I can’t wait to read your comments and suggestions!
Jaime AKA J.A. Saare