I am told that authors, if we ever wish to hit to spotlight, must follow trends and it seems to me that its trendy to title your writing blog posts "(insert numeral here) ways to (insert your topic of choice"; hence my title. Thank heaven, though, I have a bit of an imagination and my content isn't going to be dull. In fact, it's rather a mockery of a title. Do you see the cliche?
What is a creative juice?
"Inspector, when I found the body of this poor author there was a...a puddle near his head."
(Inspector looking quite interested) "Was it blood?"
(Witness falters) "N...no. It was...green. Like Mountain Dew."
"Ah," says the Inspector, twirling an imaginary mustache, "His creative juices. Nasty business, seeing them spilled. Starting them flowing...now that's another matter entirely."
No no. We want no creative juices here. Sometimes, however, you'll get stuck or feel dry or in some way feel not much like writing. And darlings, as writers we can't really afford that. You know there are such things as deadlines; one can't be a baby about it. So here, my people, is a list of ten things to do to start feeling creative again:
1.) Hang over the edge of the couch and have a friend or family member lie on the floor, looking up at you. Pretend their chin and mouth are the nose and mouth of a face and talk to each other. Talk, that is, if you've any space between laughing. This is a childish game, but then, children are renowned for their creativity.
2.) Finger paint. Again with the kiddos, but I swear this works. Finger paint is just solid good fun. I made something that looked like I could sell it in a gallery for millions out of my two-year-old brother's Crayola paints.
3.) Do something irrational. Not like "believe in monsters" or "talk yourself into wearing your coat inside-out." I mean something like walking through frosty grass barefoot, or through an icy puddle bare-foot. Or having sock-skating competitions in the kitchen.
4.) Make a bowl of cookie dough and share it with your family. Don't bother baking it. Who wants a cooked cookie when you can have...this? (The FDA is giving me the hairy eye-ball. I shall pretend ignorance and lick a spoon in their direction.)
5.) Find something you like driving through and drive through it always. Please use common sense. I am assuming you aren't fond of crashing through buildings or crowds of people or areas plainly labeled "WET CEMENT". For me, I get a thrill out of driving fast through the massive puddles on our dirt driveway every time I leave the house. Even better if they're frozen over and I get to make mini ice-floes.
6.) People-watch. Yeah, it's a given. Watching people will always end with inspiration and amusement on your part. Unless you're a terribly invasive sort of watcher and end up getting slapped. For instructions and a diatribe on the sport, go here.
8.) Make hot buttered toast and cut it in triangles. 'Nuff said.
9.) Watch a Disney movie. Just you try watching Tangled and coming away with nothing.
10.) Clean a room. I don't believe in or practice Feng Shui for many reasons, not the least of which is because it's basically Common Sense-ical House-Keeping With a Cool Asian Name, but I'm serious when I say that cleaning your office, your kitchen, your entire house (if need be) will aid and abet your creativity. Sometimes you put writing in front of responsibilities and your neater side (presuming you have one) will not let you concentrate while things are in an uproar. Also, I swear that sitting on your botto for too long presses some "Kill Inspiration" button. The manual says you can reboot to factory settings by doing something vigorous, whether housework or a walk.
As I look at the list above I noticed that most of the items could be labeled under "Relaxation" and "Having Fun." Guys, the king of your fictional kingdom might have his head on a chopping block but (hopefully) yours is quite intact. Leave your little people in peril for fifteen minutes and clean a bathtub, drive through a puddle, or paint with your two-year-old. Your mental and physical health will thank you and perhaps buy a copy of that novel when it finally comes out.
What do you do to reboot the creativity?