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.
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?