What do you do when you don’t feel creative? I’m not talking to those folks who don’t feel creative ever! I’m talking to those whose job requires them to be creative from 9-5…and then some. And I’m not talking about writer’s block. Regular visitors here know that I think writer’s block is just a way for a writer to be lazy…but I’ve already made that argument.
No, what I’m talking about are those days that you get up and stare and the computer and just don’t want to mess with your hero. You’ve got these ideas running around, but you don’t want to put them down and move them around like a puzzle. You don’t want to have that conversation with the antagonist that will give you insight into his motivation. Again, I’m not talking about the normal hesitations or anxieties writers feel when tackling tasks like that. I mean when your want to ain’t doing what it’s supposed to do.
I had a day like that recently. It coincided with laundry day and so I blamed it on the laundry all day. But then when I sat down that night to write in my journal, I just didn’t want to. I mean, I had stuff to add—Brittany and Brett supply an endless stream of journal material. I just didn’t want to do it.
It scared me a bit.
I got over it (I’m writing this, aren’t I?). But it did make me wonder what sort of strategies I should take to get the want-to back in gear. Often, I just shift to something else (writing wise, I mean). Sometimes I get up and do the dreaded house and yard work that I certainly don’t want to do. I find that doing some of the chores gets my mind going and prepped for writing. Mowing the lawn, as much as I dread it, is a good chunk of time when I can just let ideas cook without interruption. I don’t think writers cook their ideas much anymore—too big of a hurry to get it out there.
Another thing I do is read. Actually, reading is probably the number one strategy for me to get the want-go going again. The funny thing is, I find that I’m inspired by all kinds of writing. I’m inspired by the good stuff because I want to be able to replicate things that they’ve done. I find that even the bad stuff inspires me in a couple of different ways: 1) I think if it can get published, then my work can; 2)I want to be sure when I write it doesn’t come out that that!