Today I woke up to the sound of snowblowers. Yes, folks, it is officially that time of year again…sigh. Of course in MN we don’t do winter here half way, no sir, it is always go big or go home. So MN went big, currently 2″ and counting, and I, of course, stayed home. Granted it did help that I already had the day off (though I do still have to go to work tomorrow… le sigh).
What does this mean for me then? A day of hot tea, writing, and of course eventually shoveling the driveway. On the flip side I was actually planning on spending it at the Library anyways but quickly nixed that plan. Funny enough though, part of the reason I was going was because I have a book due back today but I’d rather collect over due fees than go out in this.
“One does not go out in the snow if one can avoid it.” Pretty sure that is a legit MN proverb.
Did I mention I’m currently watch vehicle number two try to get unstuck from what seems to be a rather sticky street? (correction it has just been updated to three… nope four now including the mail man).
Well as I continue to write as the snow falls outside my window I can only hope it brings inspiration and dreams of a much more snowless place.
Ever go to bed the night before thinking of all the things you’re going to get done tomorrow and how productive you will be and then when tomorrow gets here you suddenly don’t have the stamina you though you would and your productivity is left wanting? This is like my everyday off. All I want to do is sleep, read, watch tv, or bike. None of which includes writing, selling my scripts, or building my website.
See that comic up top? That is like my everyday when it comes to writing. Sometimes I think that maybe if I were to change my surrounding environment that would help but I’ve worked from home, the library, coffee shops, restaurants, and the like. I think maybe I should cut myself off from social media and the internet completely but distractions come in other forms like cleaning my bathroom, or suddenly needing to clear that pile of papers on my desk, or discovering I am out of milk and therefore having to go to the store.
Good intentions are great but they are just that, intentions. Unless there is a purpose or actions behind them they are meaningless. I need to get back on track so that my intentions become actions and that I don’t just wish I will be productive tomorrow but know that I had been productive today.
As a writer I come up with stories all the time and frequently keep them in a notebook just to keep them straight. A lot of the time the stories are simply concepts or one liners that come to me, or even lines of dialogue that don’t really fit in anything else. But just because I create what I think are great ideas (at the time) it doesn’t necessarily mean that I follow through with those stories. Sometimes they remain just a line or two in my notebook and sometimes they evolve into something more.
The important thing about story creation is just allowing yourself to create the story. A lot of times I put pressure on myself to get things done by a certain time or try to force the story to come out. But the problem with that is sometimes the story suffers because of this pressure or I just want to stop writing altogether because it not longer seems fun. Writing isn’t always going to be fun and easy for me but if I lose sight of the enjoyment of it, it just becomes monotonous joyless work and that is the worst kind of work.
That’s being said here are some fun ways to keep the creative juices flowing:
Eat Something Delicious. Have you ever been upset with your writing while eating cheesecake or strawberries? Didn’t think so. Just be careful not to get those delicious things on your keyboard. Yeah… not fun.
Think Big Picture. When I create a story I start by making index cards or checklist with the main plot points. I create the whole story with this. A lot of times I get frustrated with writing the more detailed stuff of stories like the what the scene looks like and what the characters are wearing. I come back and look at the big picture of the story and it helps me to get grounded again.
Reread What You Wrote. I know there are some cardinal rules out there about writing first and rereading once you finished. But sometimes I like to go back and read what I’ve done. It throws me from the writer seat into the reader seat. I get to the end and go “that’s it?!” then laugh because obviously I haven’t written anymore.
Take a Walk. There is a park by my house that I love to stroll through. There is something about it that moves my creative spirit. Find that place for you and visit it whenever you need a break.
Close Your Eyes. Not to sleep! But to imagine the story as it plays out. A lot of times I get trapped trying to keep up the details of the story. I’ll have five characters in a room and finish a scene only to realize I lost one of the characters in the story. They were there and then they disappeared. To keep track I stop and imagine myself viewing the story with as much detail as possible then translate that to the page.
Tell the Story to Someone Else.When you have to explain your story to someone you start to see the parts that are missing, especially when they ask questions about certain things. It’s easy to have the whole picture in your head but telling the story to someone else helps you to realize just how whole the picture is on paper.
Listen toMusic.Usually when I write a script I create a playlist of music that is specific to the feeling of that script. When I play the music it stirs emotions in me and I put that toward the script. It also helps me to stay focused in the moment of writing.
It important to find ways that help you keep your writing fresh for you, that way you finish can be just as strong as your start.
Got any other ways you keep creative juices flowing? Let me know below.
To be the best you can be you must always continue to learn. As part of this, every week I will share a resource that I have found helpful and that hopefully you would find helpful too.
How to Write Great Blog Posts that Engage Readers
by Steve Scott
This was one of the first books I had picked up when looking to start this blog again. The big thing that hindered me when it came to blog writing was simply having nothing to write. I had built up several blogs before this that had started out strong but then eventually died.
Before starting this one I had to assess just what it was that made me stop. Was it time constraints? Yes and no, but really I could make time if I wanted to. Was it a lack of material? Sometimes yes, but one of the blogs I was doing was an indie movie review blog. There are tons of indie movies out there so really no lack of material. Then what?
I’d realized that I lacked a clear outline and focus of what my blog was truly about and why I was doing it. I also realized that I was using the same type of blog posts again and again and I was seriously craving some creativity. So thus the blogs faded off into a slow oblivion.
What this book does is lays out the basic set ups of blog posts and the usual types blog posts fall into. What makes this beneficial is that you learn how to build a good blog post and start to get and idea of how to structure your blog.
I really needed a kick to get this started because otherwise this would have remained empty and just another failed attempt. This book helped with that and I hope it can help you.
How to Write Great Blog Posts that Engage Readers by Steve Scott is available here on Amazon and the best part, it’s a good about of information and resources and it only costs $0.99!