Whip the Muse

Some Tips and Tricks to get you out of a slump for the New Year

A Penny for your Thoughts

1: If you always write on the computer try writing on paper. Scribble, doodle, write your heroine’s name in goofy cursive like a teenager in love with the hero’s last name. Getting away from the screen now and then may help boost your creativity.

2: Mundane everyday boring, chores. Get them done. Time yourself. Make a game of it. What chore do you hate? What chore do you kind of enjoy doing but would never admit it? What chore does your character hate and why? Write a paragraph or three about them doing this chore, why they are doing it, and the thoughts going through their head while completing it. Do they procrastinate? Do they do an extra perfect job so they don’t have to do it again too soon? Or do they rush through it, leaving obvious signs that they rushed it, hoping they won’t be asked/forced into doing the chore again?

3: Do you keep a journal? What kind of journal is it? What about the characters you write about? Do any of them keep a journal and what would they write about? Which character have you created that you’d least expect to keep a journal but secretly writes everything down?

4: Get up and Get Moving. Turn on some music. Dance like no one is watching. Turn on music you listened to as a teenager. Remember why you liked that music and how it made you feel. What music do your characters listen to? What did they grow up listening to? What’s the song that makes them happy regardless of what’s going on around them? What song can they no longer listen to because of some horrible experience related to it?

5: Go out where there are people. Yeah, people. The mall is great for people watching. You can grab a coffee, tea, or smoothie and sit in the food court. You can sit on a bench. Our local mall has little areas with televisions for people who are just hanging out waiting for their kids or spouse. Listen to people around you – preferably without being creepy or obvious. Keep notes on the conversations you overhear. Take notes of what people are wearing and how they are behaving. Are they having a good time? Does their laughter sound a little fake? How would your characters behave where you’re at right now?

These aren’t the only things you can do. There are many ways you can get a boost to your creativity. Listen to writing podcasts. Listen to audiobooks. Listen to a book you’ve read a paper or digital version of. Does the narrator make them sound the same way they did in your head? Look at writing prompts. Buy some story cubes or go to a randomizer website for plots. Even if you don’t get anything directly from prompts or random generators, something might spark another idea and ignite the fuse that brightens up the sky with flashes and bangs.

Also, it’s better than staring at a blank page. 

Do you have a New Years Resolution? I do: More and More Writing. Better Writing. More Writing.

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