I talked in my last post about my muse. How do I tempt my muse back from vacation?
Here are a few tricks I use:
Rest. It seems like an obvious one, but just resting myself physically can do wonders.
Meditation. During times when I have a lot of negative energy around me (i.e., negative people I can’t get rid of), I find prayer and meditation often help to refocus my mind. I usually do this daily, a few times a day. On the days I can’t do this, I’ll just take a few deep breaths to get me through.
Empty the mind. Related to the one above, I often do little things to help clear my mind and help me think. This is usually by playing a silly game on my phone that doesn’t require me to think too hard. Two games I really like for this are 1010! and 2048. They’re just simple games that let my mind wander, and I usually end up working through a problem (whether it’s plot-related or personal-related) by the time I’m done.
Focusing on a different creative project. #Confessiontime: I have another book I’m writing. Actually another series of books. Do these have anything to do with Valleria? NO. Am I going to publish these? Probably not. So why I am writing them? Because I’ve found that focusing on a different creative project can help jog my creative juices, which in turn help me to refocus on the book at hand. The alternate series I’m writing is just for fun – there’s no pressure, no deadlines. It’s just FUN. Even writing 100 words in that project can warm me up creatively so that I’ll write 1000 words in the next book I do want to publish.
Always be creating. Related to the one above, just continue to be creative. It can be so frustrating when you want to write something but you can’t think of the words to write (or type). Working on anything else creative could help. I also do crafting (mostly papercrafting – cardmaking, paper planning, etc.), watercoloring, even organizing can jump start the creative part of my brain. Doing anything design-related helps, too. Even little things like working on a book cover or updating my website can help me. INSPIRATION IS EVERYWHERE. Once I realized that, it wasn’t hard for me to find inspiration to fuel my creative needs.
Don’t think about the next scene. I used to write linearly, meaning I’d start at the beginning of the book and just write all the scenes in order. I don’t do that anymore. Because of how my life has changed (and how my brain has changed because of it) I usually feel stuck at some point and can’t think of how to start the next scene. So, now I often jump around in my books. I’ll think of a scene I want to write at the end of the book and I’ll write that instead, even if I just finished Chapter 1. What’s the point of staring at the words “Chapter 2” and not writing, when I could be writing Chapter 22 instead? While some in author community might scoff at you, just tell them to shut the fuck up. At the end of the day, you’re getting words on the page and closer to a finished book – that’s all that matters. A good editor will help you make sure your book stays consistent in the end, so don’t worry about it now. Write the way that works for you, even if it means skipping scenes or jumping around a little.
What do you do to be creative? What tips do you have for tempting the muse? Comment below and let me know!
This is Post 16 of 100 as part of the #100DaysofMKAuthorLife.