Stimulate your Writng Brain though other activities.

A few days ago, I sat down with one of the coloring books my grandchildren bought me for Christmas and spent a few hours coloring and listening to music. The combination of the two opened my mind to creative thoughts about my current WIP. It was awesome to relax and then grab a pen and jot down those things that came to mind as I freed my brain from thinking about words and enjoyed the creation of color on the page. I felt refresh and invigorated after I complete my page.

Writer’s minds get blocked and creativity stymied from time to time. Stepping away from the keyboard and finding a few other creative outlets can restart and unblock creativity.

Coloring is a great outlet for me. I’m not always staying in the lines and I’m sure my color choices would not win any art prizes, but it doesn’t matter. I’m coloring for me alone.

I have friends who doodle-a lot. The simple act of scribbling seems to pull the solution to a plot twist to the front of their mind.

Some prefer puzzles whether Sudoku, crossword or jigsaw these activities stir a different part of the brain allowing the writing part to relax.

Writing a chapter with pen and paper stimulates the mind in a different way than pounding on your keyboard. It slows down the thought process as you write the words legibly on paper. That is a challenge for me as my penmanship is atrocious. But often handwritten chapters have the most interesting lines in them. When I type them into my manuscript I’m impressed with the creativity I achieve with pen and paper.

Music stimulates the senses and many writers find it helps put them in the mood to write. Historical authors may play the music of the period the story is set in. Some find specific styles of music set the mood for the scenes they are writing. For me music loosens tension and relaxes me. I usually prefer typing in silence but a prelude to the creative process I love music.

I have friends who knit, work in the garden or exercise allowing the mind to focus on something else while the subconscious is plotting scenes.

Pegg Thomas knits a shawl to represent every story she writes then she gives it away at her book launch. She even produces the wool from her own sheep. Boy does she get her creative juices going.

Another option to getting those manuscripts finished is dictating your words. There are software programs you can use. Some writers like to use the dictation app on their phone and then transcribe it. There is a dictation app in Word that makes it easy to plot your story out loud. (It’s in the Home tab.) I find the Read Aloud app (Review tab) in Word helpful as well. Anytime you hear your words read it helps you see what needs fixing.

A key to keeping your creative juices moving is finding those things outside of your hands on the keyboard that keeps your mind engaged with the story.

Coloring may sound like a waste of time or writing longhand and transcribing is time you could have used to type a complete chapter. All these things are not a waste of time but a stimulus for creativity.

Writing is hard work and leaving your computer chair on occasion or having your manuscript read aloud can refresh your creativity should be on every writer’s schedule.

What do you do refresh your mind and get the creative juices flowing?


Colors in My Mind: Releasing Creativity through Hobbies

coloring  pages

Adult Coloring books release stress and stimulate creativity.

I rediscovered a wonderful way to relax and destress. A way to get the juices flowing again in the creative side of my brain. I’d seen adult coloring books while Christmas shopping. Adult is probably not the best word to connect with coloring books—but I digress. I now have one thanks to my son blessing me. The intricate patterns force me to slow down and take my time.

Writers tend to have their brains full of words and concepts. When I color, my mind shifts to color hues. My hand, which spends many hours at the keyboard, now uses its muscles differently as I grasp the pencils and fill in the patterns.

colored boat small

Coloring the intricate details helps me slow down.

My brain and small motor skills focusing on this activity help release stress and rev up my creativity. It’s like defragging a computer. Hidden empty space is rearranging so your computer’s brain has more space to store data. I’ve found coloring releases the words bogged down somewhere in my mind. Silent prayers flow out removing burdens. And my mantra—I can do all things through Christ—reemerges. For lack of a better word—It’s Awesome.


Other author friends engage their brains in jigsaw puzzles, Sudoku, photography, quilting, sewing, crafts and playing instruments. And those writers with real artistic ability actually do oil painting and pottery. Each of these people find these activities the perfect defragger for the creative side of their brain.

colored fish-small

A large colleciion of colored pencils helps me create my imperfect masterpieces.

Every writer needs some other creative outlet beyond the written word to maintain mental alertness.

Aside from reading what is your favorite non-writing activity that destresses and restarts your creativity?

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