What do you do when you have moments of inspiration? For me it seems to come and go. I’ll spend weeks, months even, without a creative idea. Nothing. It’s like the well is dry. (I’ll talk about what to do during those times in just a bit.) Other times it’s like a waterfall of ideas. Story idea after story idea, project after project flood my imagination.
Those are golden days. I LOVE those days. And I’m just sure that you have them too. So what do you do? How do you harness all of that magic and leverage it?
1. Write everything down.
When you’re going through a highly creative period it’s vitally important that you grab your ideas and make them solid. Write them down and while it’s perfectly okay to jot your ideas on whatever piece of paper is available, I strongly recommend anticipating these glorious times and creating a system to organize your creative inspirations. Find a journal, a notebook, or even a shoe box full of note cards. Just make sure you don’t lose that inspiration.
2. Set aside your life
If possible, when you’re having these creative explosions consider taking time to honor them. Now, I completely understand that you have responsibilities and you may have a full time job or two. Take long lunches. Wake up early to luxuriate in your creativity. Work well into the night on your creative projects and if you can swing it, take a day off. Call it a creative vacation, well not to your boss, but to yourself.
3. Don’t force a choice
Sometimes when I have seemingly great ideas rushing at me, I feel the need to choose one and focus on it. Unless there is one idea that is calling to you with a loud and dominant voice, don’t force yourself to choose one. It’s okay to occasionally bounce from project to project. Trust yourself and allow the process to evolve naturally. You may start with three different story ideas but eventually, you’re going to shift your focus to one. Set the others aside. You can always come back to them.
Now to the times when you’re not feeling so creative. Those dry spells… Here are a few tips.
- They’re normal. Relax
- Work anyway. Keep working on your current work in progress. If you don’t have a work in progress, pull out one of those ideas that you had back when your imagination was having fun and work on that.
- Don’t stop writing. Keep writing because here’s what I’ve found…those creative days multiply and become more common when you consistently exercise your imagination. When you write every day, or almost every day, you train your brain to regularly embrace creativity. You’ll still have those fervent times and they’ll be grand but the slower days can be just as wonderful.
p.s. You can also grab a copy of my romance story starters for those times when you don’t know what to write about. Kick start your imagination.