Archive for the 'Motivation' Category

10 Ways to Jumpstart Your Writing When You’re Feeling Uninspired

(I’m busy fighting dragons, so I’m reposting an old favorite today.)

  1. Take a break and do something else for a while before returning to writing.
  2. Freewrite until new ideas start flowing.
  3. Take a shower or bath—muses are known to be particularly inspirational during bathtime! And here are some products so you don’t have to run dripping for a pen and paper.
  4. Just keep writing, and see if you make a breakthrough.
  5. Work on a different writing project.
  6. Take a walk. Turn off your brain and experience the world through your senses.
  7. Do something else creative for a while, like drawing, singing, making a collage or playing with clay.
  8. Meditate or do a creative visualization—try this one if you’re dealing with a persistent inner critic.
  9. Read a book. Let someone else’s words flow over you.
  10. Write something silly or just plain bad. Don’t judge yourself. Sometimes if you start writing, no matter how uninspired you feel, your muse eventually shows up and sprinkles a little magic on the page.

How do you break through those uninspired moments? Share your creative coping methods in the comments.


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Dozens of Inspirational Videos for Writers

Quick post today to point you toward this wonderful site: 37 Lectures Every Writer Should Listen To.

I haven’t heard them all, but they include advice from famous authors, discussions of craft, ideas about inspiration and motivation, tips for getting published and the role of writing and writers in society.

With everything from short YouTube clips to longer TED videos on a variety of topics, you should find something that speaks to you here!

Creative Inspiration vs. Writing as a Job

This article from Fuel Your Writing brings up a wonderful point. James Chartrand discusses author Elizabeth Gilbert’s talk on creativity at the 2009 TED conference. He highlights her belief in inspiration as something that comes from outside the writer as opposed to genius within the writer.

Chartrand mentions this moment in the speech, when Gilbert discusses talking to her absent muse:

Listen, you, thing, you and I both know that if this book isn’t brilliant that is not entirely my fault, right? Because you can see that I am putting everything I have into this, I don’t have any more than this. So if you want it to be better, then you’ve got to show up and do your part of the deal, okay? But if you don’t do that, you know what, the hell with it, I’m going to keep writing anyway because that’s my job. And I would please like the record to reflect today that I showed up for my part of the job.

Chartrand says, “I think this is brilliant. We’re used to not thinking of our creative endeavors as a job. A job is what makes you money, and then you write because you have to or because you want to or because you need an outlet for your creativity.” He goes on to discuss the importance of showing up for your muse, just as you expect your muse to show up for you.

I believe we should do everything we can to encourage inspirational moments, and that we must grab them hard with both hands when they arrive. I also believe in the “butt in chair” philosophy of writing—if you’re serious about it, it really is a job as well as creative playtime.

What do you think?

Copyright @ Sandy Ackers, Strangling My Muse: Struggling to Live a Creative Life in a Stressful World, http://www.stranglingmymuse.com

10 Ways to Jumpstart Your Writing When You’re Feeling Uninspired

  1. Take a break and do something else for a while before returning to writing.
  2. Freewrite until new ideas start flowing.
  3. Take a shower or bath—muses are known to be particularly inspirational during bathtime! And here are some products so you don’t have to run dripping for a pen and paper.
  4. Just keep writing, and see if you make a breakthrough.
  5. Work on a different writing project.
  6. Take a walk. Turn off your brain and experience the world through your senses.
  7. Do something else creative for a while, like drawing, singing, making a collage or playing with clay.
  8. Meditate or do a creative visualization—try this one if you’re dealing with a persistent inner critic.
  9. Read a book. Let someone else’s words flow over you.
  10. Write something silly or just plain bad. Don’t judge yourself. Sometimes if you start writing, no matter how uninspired you feel, your muse eventually shows up and sprinkles a little magic on the page.

How do you break through those uninspired moments? Share your creative coping methods in the comments. And don’t forget to vote in the poll!

Copyright @ Sandy Ackers, Strangling My Muse: Struggling to Live a Creative Life in a Stressful World, http://www.stranglingmymuse.com

Bribe Your Muse

When creative malaise sets in, the temperamental Muse may require an unconventional cure. A few years ago, I decided to start writing in the mornings before work again. But my neglected Muse covered his ears and whined whenever he heard me coming.

money

So I negotiated a deal. For every hour-long writing session achieved, I gave myself a dollar to buy the iPod I’d recently acquired a burning desire to own. I couldn’t buy it until I “earned” the money by writing.

The bribery worked brilliantly. And by the time I purchased the iPod, I’d created a morning writing habit.

Copyright @ Sandy Ackers, Strangling My Muse: Struggling to Live a Creative Life in a Stressful World, http://www.stranglingmymuse.com

Write or Die

typewriter

Quick post today to mention Write or Die, a truly evil application that provides negative reinforcement whenever you stop writing.  I’ve tried it; it works.


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About Sandy Ackers

Sandy

Kaizen-Muse Creativity Coach and Writer.

To learn more about Sandy, click here: About Sandy

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Meet My Muse

Click here to read the post discussing my relationship with my somewhat pesky male muse.

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