How does it work?
Can you force yourself to be creative on command?
Where does inspiration come from?
What do you do when you are not feeling creative at all?
What is a creative life?
All important questions often with unsatisfying answers.
A short answer is that each person must answer the questions about living a creative life for themselves.
The long answer, especially for people who want to live a creative life, is that there are no answers.
To ask myself these questions, I find that I, myself, don’t have answers. The inspiration for the work I do comes from so many different places. For instance, the story I am currently working on came from a bedtime story I told my grandson and I’m not even sure where the inspiration came from that night.
On days when I am feeling decidedly uncreative, I find that naps help. When naps aren’t working, I have a few other things that I try to jumpstart my creativity:
1. Read – Often this is a nonfiction type book because if I fall into fiction, I may never crawl back out again.
2. Seek out nature – I may take a walk, find some water or just wander around my yard, I find my head clears, and I can work again.
3. Story Prompts and exercises – I don’t use these very often, but I have been pleasantly surprised because they work.
4. Spend time with others – Just getting up from my desk and interacting with IRL people seems to reset my brain.
5. Take a break – There are times when nothing works except to walk away and not even think about the work for a while. Your WIP will be there when you get back, and everyone needs a break.
Other writers have different tactics, and I am always interested in what they do. The one thing that I have discovered is that those who are focused on their work don’t wait for inspiration. They show up to the blank page and just work.
Most of the time this works for me too.
I’ve been reading Gabriela Pereira’s DIY MFA book and following her blog posts. She describes her oracle box which has several items to help her stay inspired. Some of the items included in her oracle box are dice for different writing exercises, a word box with different words written on pieces of paper, and an image box filled with photos from magazines or postcards. All of these help her to stay inspired.
I believe I am going to create an oracle box and fill it with those things that inspire me. I’ve already started with a Pinterest page called Story Inspiration. I now need to round up some other things to fit into a box.
How do you stay creative?