Sunday, October 06, 2013

5 Ways to Keep those Creative Juices Flowing

Sometimes the well is just dry. The creative spark is fizzling. Your soul is famished. You want to write or paint or create, but you're tired, stressed, or cluttered in mind.

This has happened to me, and through the past few years, I've developed a few strategies to help me break through the dry spell, and I'd love to share them with you.

1. When I find writing difficult, I often try creating something else. I crochet and I cross-stitch. Working to create something other than fiction frees up that part of my brain to work on my story subconsciously, to roll ideas around while my hands are busy with something else.

Here's the project I'm currently working on:

Here's how far I've gotten on the cowboy sampler.
What the finished sampler will look like.

2. Take a walk and enjoy some nice scenery. Especially in the fall when the wind is a little crisp and the colors are so amazing. Let your mind soak in a different vista than the blinking cursor on the blank page.

Some of the trees on our property. 
3. Take your laptop or notebook and pencil and find another place to write. Sometimes a change of workplace can jump-start those creative thoughts. For me, this usually means a trip to the coffee shop or library. 

Me at Dunn Brothers Coffee shop, my office away from home. 
4. Talk to someone who refreshes you. Find someone who recharges you, who makes you laugh and makes you think and makes you feel better. Face to face conversation is the best, but Skype, phone, or even email will work in a pinch. I have a handful of people I can turn to that always give me a boost. 

My beautiful daughter, Heather, who is always up for a mother-
daughter chat.

5. Watch a movie or read a book that you love, something that evokes a lot of emotion in you, that makes you feel. Creativity flows out of your feelings, your emotions, because you're trying to evoke emotion in the one who reads your work or views your art. I have a few go-to movies and books I like to read when I need recharged.

John Wayne movies, Dick Francis and Grace Livingston Hill books,
Elizabeth Peters and Essie Summers novels...those recharge me.

So, how do you recharge your batteries? A bubble-bath? A weekend away? A chocolate bar?


  1. I love to crochet, but I haven't picked it up in ages. My local ACFW group recharges me, and playing with my five-year-old also keeps me more creative. :)

    1. Kids are great at recharging and draining batteries simultaneously.

      I got all crocheted out this summer when I made a granny square afghan for the first time. (And probably the last...those little squares drove me crazy!)

  2. These are all fantastic ideas. I like to take walks or simply sit on my patio with a cup of coffee or tea and enjoy the scenery. Music helps me too. Sometimes the right song with the right rhythm can spark creative juices.

    1. You are so right about music! I love to listen to country music because of the stories contained in the songs.

  3. Excellent ideas, Erica! So glad I popped over here today.
    As much as I hate housework, doing dishes or mopping a floor can help me relax my brain enough to think again. Also, something about the water surging over me in the shower releases ideas.

    1. I'm glad you popped over here today, too! :)

      I do find the shower conducive to unclogging my brain's pathways, too. Or a hot bath. What is it about water?

  4. Outstanding ideas.

    I take a step back from the computer and enjoy nature, watch old movies, or just take a simple bubble bath. I do something that I really enjoy...just for me. I find it helps the creative juices to flow again.

    1. I love to watch old movies, and I love bubble baths. I'm wondering if I combined the two and watched a movie while I was in the bath, if I'd get double the benefits....naw, probably just get electrocuted or a stiff neck from craning to see the tv through the bedroom door. :D