Friday, April 26, 2013

Filling the well

Filling the well

Sometimes there’s a detachment. That spark that you rely on to keep the well springing over with life has left you dry, and there’s not a drop to leave you with even the slightest amount of juices flowing. Because we don’t write in the real world we need to get our inspiration from a made up world. So how do we accomplish that when the creativity just isn’t there? My last blog was about writer’s block so this one offers some ideas on how to remedy the problem.

Activity with other authors can be helpful. Blogging together as we do here at JUST THE WRITE CHARIMSA creates a good mix of different writers to share their ideas. Other thoughts might be teaching a workshop, attending chapter meetings and getting together with other writers can all be helpful. Sometimes we just need other authors to inspire us to get back into our story or they see a loop hole we missed. Brain storming together makes the chore more fun and may take us some place with our story that we never dreamed of. If it’s difficult to get out amongst others there are a ton of online classes to choose from. There are times when I’ve learned something new and it makes all the difference with whatever I’m struggling with.

Since I’ve started writing I don’t read as much but that’s one of the best ways to get the creative juices flowing. When you are inspired by a story it usually helps things along with your own. Conferences can be a great way to make contacts with other writers. I went to six in a row when I first started writing but the cost started to catch up with me so I’m more selective with how often I go. But those first few years were invaluable for me to learn the craft.

Some more simple ideas are to use colors in your writing according to the mood of your scene or entire story. Colors can affect ones mood and also our writing. I like to take a quick walk with the dog each day just to get some sun and step away from the computer. Something that’s helped me to get revived is to listen to music. I have my favorite songs on my iPad that are easy to access and can change my slump into some auditory inspiration.

Writing exercises, peeking at other author’s websites, social networking, and the news can also be motivators. But my favorite is people watching. There’s nothing like the creative ping when you hone in on someone and create their entire life by just a few short glances, it helps create more in depth characters.

These are just a few ideas. I’d love to hear more from other writers… 


Jillian Kent said...

I agree with you, Beth. I recently felt very frustrated with my writing life so I made my own encouragement list for myself and used it as a blog post. You can listen to whichever one calls to you here:

With all the changes going on in publishing it is both exciting and kind of daunting as well. I decided to go to Ridgecrest next month just to try and get on track with what I want to do next.

Beth Shriver said...

Jillian, I can totally relate to what you mean by finding ways to stay inspired. I'll be sure to check out your blog!

Darrel Nelson said...

You have included a great list of tips, Beth. Thanks for that. In addition to what you said, I found something else that has helped me over the past while. Along with doing writing exercises, I've been doing physical exercises. Getting in better shape and dropping a few extra pounds has helped because I have more energy, which has helped me during the mid-afternoon, I-need-a-nap doldrums.

Beth Shriver said...

You're right about that Darrel, I have back pain and it helps to get up and work those muscles:)