Writing is tough work, but at the same time it’s a bug that I can’t seem to shake. I can’t imagine my life without it even with all of its challenges. I budget my time for writing projects, promotion, clients, and studying crime trends. Sometimes it’s a difficult life to balance and I find that I need to have some other creative outlets to calm and balance my mind.
I haven’t experienced the infamous and sometimes taboo condition of “writer’s block”, but I have experienced difficulty writing high tension scenes (usually involving serial killers) and the feeling of burn out or exhaustion seems to accompany it.
I’ve managed to put together a list of 5 tasks that help to keep my writing balanced and it actually helps to boost my creativity. When I return to my writing, I find that I feel refreshed and energized. My perception has shifted and I begin to see things more objectively.
Here is my list of creative mind boosters:
1. Take a walk.
It’s simple. Easy. Even if you’ve walked your neighborhood a million times and you think that it’s boring or uneventful. This time, really look at every detail that surrounds you. Every plant. Look at the architecture of your neighbor’s houses: windows, doors, fences, porches, and garages. Look at the sidewalk or road. What’s changed? How does it look at this particular time of day? Imagine how the road was constructed and who might have worked on the construction. Run a story through your mind.
2. Check out your thesaurus.
For me, I find that I like to use similar words when I describe action in my books. Jot down 10-20 action words that you like to use and then look them up in the thesaurus and make a list of alternative words. Apply these new versions of your favorite action words into sentences and keep as a handy reference for your projects.
3. Write down a recent event or dream.
Write freestyle. Don’t’ worry about grammar or spelling, just go for it. Write about your trip to the grocery store or friend’s house in as much detail as possible. Or, write about a dream that seems to stay with you. Have some fun with this writing task. Elaborate on your story and use the full extent of your imagination in the process.
4. Read a book in a completely different genre.
Pick up a book that’s in a genre that you never read. If you like mysteries and thrillers, pick up a historical romance, fantasy, or sci-fi book. Or, if you only read poetry or memoirs, pick up a high-action thriller. You can always learn something from every book you read and by reading a genre outside your comfort zone you will find some interesting details in the plot and character development.
5. Apply your creativity to another hobby.
Spend some time doing another creative outlet, such as drawing, painting, crafting, or needlework. My favorite creative outlet is photography and I love to create my own story through pictures of places that I like to frequent.
I found that I took frequent breaks to go on walks and take photos to ease my writing stress when I’m working on my Emily Stone Series.
The next time that you feel like you need a break from writing try one of these fun outlets to settle your mind and calm your inner writer demon.
Award Winning Author & Criminologist