The Creative Toolbox That’ll Keep You Inspired
What do you do when you don’t feel like writing? Write anyway.
Write ANYTHING you can think of.
If you’ve promised yourself that you’ll write 2.000 words per day and you’re just not feeling it, I don’t care if you write down your grandma’s family spice cake recipe. Sit your butt down in the chair, put your hands on the keyboard, and string some words together. Write a thank-you note to your nail tech. Start your Christmas shopping list. Put some words on the screen. (Or on paper, if you’re a paper enthusiast.)
The point is this: You can’t edit what isn’t there. When you wake up tomorrow and see a blank page, you can’t say, “Yeah, I can improve upon that.” BUT, if you write down some crap, if you ramble a bit—even when you don’t feel like it—you might end up with a diamond in the rough. And then, when you wake up the next day, you can look at it and say, “Yep, that’s crap, BUT, I think I can do something with it.”
Building Your Toolbox
What if a teacher said, “Yeah, I don’t feel like teaching today?” Or a bus driver said, “Nah, I’m not driving today.” And so on. Thing is, we all have our jobs, and some days are better than others.
For creatives, some days we feel more inspired than others. On the days when you feel less inspired, that’s when you turn to your toolbox. Don’t have a toolbox?
Here you go! (These are top secret and highly in demand toolbox items, so feel free to share.)
Yep. Feeling bereft of ideas? Plots feeling plain? Look no further than your own bookshelf for inspiration. Take a break from writing and escape into a good book. Stop forcing ideas and just enjoy the words of another author. You’ll relax and feel your own creative energy fill back up.
If you’re anything like me, school supply time is the best time of the year to go shopping. The smell of new pencils, pens, and paper…that’s enough to wake up the storyteller in me and spark new, creative ideas. Try getting a new journal, a new pen, or just open a favorite old journal—and just start writing.
Advice from Other Writers
Take time out to read advice from other writers in your field. Whether you’re a creative writer, a business writer, or an everything writer, those who do what you do are a great inspiration when you’re looking to stretch your skills and push your creative limits.
Your peers are a fabulous source of inspiration and information! You are all working on growing your careers, and that means almost everyone is willing to share tips and ideas. When you build a peer group you trust, you’ll have a place to go for moral support and honest feedback.
Go for a Walk, Go to the Mall, Weave a Basket
Take a break. Sometimes it’s just not happening, and that’s ok. It’s not forever. No one has taken your keyboard until the end of eternity. Slowly step away from the desk and the blinking cursor and step out into the fresh air. Forget about plot lines, taglines, calls to action, whatever you are trying to write—and look at a damn bird. Take deep breaths, look at pretty things, and try again tomorrow. (You’ll be surprised at how this often turns out to be the best solution.)
Here’s the thing. If you’re a creative person, you understand other creative people. And all of us know that there are days when we feel like we could paint the Sistine Chapel and days when we don’t feel qualified to paint the front porch. Days when we could write the companion to War and Peace and days when we aren’t qualified to write a grocery list.
It ebbs and it flows. And the best creative writers and designers just roll with it and learn to find their muse wherever she shows up.