If you have been writing for any notable amount of time, someone will, at one point or another, ask you where you get all of your ideas from. Different writers have different answers. Most do not even know how they come up with their ideas for creative writing. They simply accept the fact that every once in a while they are overwhelmed with a tidal wave of creativity as their minds seemingly regurgitate one mind blowing idea after another.
While it is true that creative writing is rarely this easy, there are people who do not seem to struggle in this arena. However, even the most creative of minds eventually meet an obstacle. What happens when your creative well runs dry?
TIPS ON WHAT TO DO WHEN CREATIVITY RUNS OUT
Writing takes out a lot from authors, and they oftentimes run out of steam at the most inopportune times. It’s nothing to panic about, for this happens to all authors. Every creative writer, even the best of them, eventually runs out of ideas. So, what do you do? Do you simply throw your tools down, put your hands up and walk away?
If you’ve been trying your hand at creative writing for a long period of time to no avail, there is hope. Don’t succumb to the myth that there is little you can do besides torture yourself if your creative barrel is empty. Creativity is a well that, while it is bound to dry up at some point, can always be refilled. ChatEbooks lists down some tips that have helped writers from all walks of life rejuvenate their creativity:
Don’t stop reading. All creative writing requires dedicated reading, and this is especially true when your creative juices begin drying up. Find a book you love and start reading. Explore new genres. Read to your heart’s content, even about topics that have nothing to do with your creative writing project. This will enlighten you on what works and what doesn’t. But more importantly, it will ignite creative sparks even while reminding you of the joys of writing.
Find a Hobby
Find something to do that is completely disconnected to reading or writing. There are a billion options – photography, cooking, painting, volunteering, gardening, music or even cross-stitching. Get out of the writing mindset and work on another activity that you enjoy. This will rejuvenate your mind and eventually ideas will begin welling up. Your creativity cannot reset until you do this.
Accept Your Flaws
Let go of your perfectionism. I know this totally contradicts the “always do your best” cliché that you’re probably accustomed to hearing. But believe it or not, some actually advocate allowing yourself to be bad at your craft. They encourage continuous writing even without the benefit of creativity, and they feel you should just accept the low quality of your material and keep it moving. Why? Essentially giving yourself permission to suck will take a lot of pressure off your shoulders and you will eventually begin writing better.
Our minds are connected to our bodies so if we treat our bodies poorly, our minds won’t function properly. The right activities will get the blood and oxygen flowing to your brain which will in turn enhance your creative writing abilities. The options are endless – take daily walks, enroll in a gym, join marathons, do yoga, go swimming or biking. This will release endorphins and improve your mood. Ultimately you’ll feel more optimistic and you’ll be in a better position to overcome your writing obstacles.
Creativity is like the wind; it seems to come and go as it pleases. If you are dedicated to your craft, don’t’ give up. There are always steps you can take to prime the pump and get your creative writing juices flowing. This is true even when you cannot seem to string two decent words together. The key is perseverance. Determine to keep writing no matter what happens.