Friday, January 16, 2009

Creativity Boosters

We've all felt like we've been up against a brick wall at one time or another with our writing. Here are some creativity-boosting tips for busting through writer's block.

1. Free write. Set a timer for ten minutes and just write. If you're writing in a journal, you may want to have a prompt or ask yourself a question. Write the prompt or question at the top of the page and go. If you're working on your book or an assignment, review your notes or what you last wrote and then write for ten minutes. Start each writing session this way. Getting started is the hardest part of the writing process for most people. Allowing yourself the freedom of free writing, without censure, lets you begin.

2. Have several projects. In the event that your novel's characters are being totally uncooperative, switch to another writing project. This is a good time to think about headlines for a press release or to work on your query letter or proposal. Or perhaps you have an article you're working on or an idea for an article you want to pitch to an editor. A caveat: Stick to writing projects and stay off the Internet. If you start to answer email, you'll be pulled away from writing. Even worse is to work on "research" via the Internet. An hour will pass and you'll have not written a word!

3. Read your journal or take out the notebook you keep with the notes you've jotted down for stories. If you don't keep a notebook, begin immediately! Write down any thoughts about characters, scraps of overheard conversation, or events that stimulate an article idea. Keep this notebook with you at all times. And, always, always have a pen. Part of developing the creative habit is to be prepared. How many good ideas have you lost because you didn't write them down?

4. Take a break. If the words are truly stuck, try something else entirely. Take a walk, sew, paint, cook, read or do some activity you enjoy. Be sure to return to the page, though, within a short period of time.

Portions of this article are reprinted from 4Ps to Publishing Success: Get Your Manuscript Off Your Desk & Into Print by Shelley Lieber. If you liked the article, you'll LOVE the book! A complete step-by-step guide to getting published. Find out if you need 4Ps to Publishing Success>>>

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