Masters tales

Ways to get creative…

How do you get creative? If you are stuck in a rut and have either writer’s block or are just not able to write, how do you burst the bubble and come out pens smoking?

I have commitment problems with my writing – I find it very difficult to continue a long project… I have so many new ideas and writing is hard. It takes time and I have so many other stories to tell!

But how do you start writing on a long-term project if your creativity is in hiding? For me I have to relax. Go for a walk or sit and read something. Then I get out the pad and I plan what I’m going to write. Sometimes I don’t have to and the writing will just flow, but other times I have to see the writing more as a job. I make a list of what needs to be in the chapter and then I work systematically through it.

But does this stifle your creativity? All I can say is that with my writing it doesn’t matter what I write, I can always improve it or cut it, but if it is done and on paper, or screen, I feel like I have done something. The longer a dry spell lasts the harder it is to break so I don’t allow any to survive beyond half a day.

Every day I write in the morning and in the evening. If one of those I find that my creative muscle is cramping then I’ll give it time to straighten out but if it still refuses to work, I’ll then stretch it and make it work.

The creativity doesn’t come easier with practice but the art of using what you have does. So that one small idea, like a puddle with an oil slick on it, can then become a story and lead to a murder mystery. The imagination that came up with the original idea is as random as a lightning strike but the skill of teasing it out from random thoughts is a skill that gets easier with time.

To get creative I would recommend relaxing and if that doesn’t work, make a list about what you want to write and then force it. Even if the creativity is like squeezing blood from a stone. Don’t leave it too long, the longer I leave it the harder it is to get back into the writing swing.

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