I was excited to sit at my desk and write this morning, but when I logged on and puttered around a bit, I lost all interest in writing. It was as if my desire to write a blog post was like a balloon with a slow leak.
“I have to write something!” I lamented. I had a writing challenge to consider.
I poked around my “unpolished gem” file, otherwise known as place I put writing I think I may use someday but have not quite finished yet, and found the makings of an article rich in images and ripe with one of my favorite topics.
I did some editing and adding of photos and instantly, I had a new blog post.
I still thought, though, I should write about how I dealt with the slow leaking balloon, though.
- Move away from the keyboard. DO NOT putter on twitter or pinterest or facebook or linked in or your email. Your intention is to get words on the page, not gush over other pages. REMEMBER THIS first and foremost.
Do something other than writing but still creative. I worked on very simple collages of old dictionary pages and vintage illustrations from a children’s book. Along the way I learned Thalia is “The Muse of comedy and idyllic poetry” which intrigues me and may become another blog post or I may name a future character Thalia.
- Move. If you are able, walk around the block. Do the twist, wildly, up and down the hallways of your house or apartment. If you don’t end up laughing (naturally) do it again and laugh unnaturally until you get to laughing naturally.
- Use free flow writing (on a paper with pencil and pen) as your dearest friend. One way to use it is to put a paper and pencil at your kitchen table. Get up and do the twist around your house, wildly, until you are laughing and then start to write from the simplest and most effective prompt in the world, “I remember….”
- Take photos with your phone or camera, inside or outside your home. Experiment with taking photos of things you don’t normally photograph. Take some macro shots. Take some shots of the ceiling or the sky. Stack up your favorite books (or current reads) and take shots of them.
Once you patch the slow leaking balloon of writing situation, take steps to help you the next time this comes up.
- Keep an “Unpolished Gem” file.
- Keep a notebook of random thoughts and ideas.
- Revisit your “Unpolished Gem” file and your notebook regularly.
- Pull images and stories from the newspaper as prompts and put them into your notebook for future use.
- When you watch your favorite television show, notice what topics are being discussed. Pay attention to how the actors, the director, the writer and all the other crew members are telling the story. Write your observations in your notebook.
- While waiting in line at the check out, scan the sometimes ridiculous magazines that are lined up in all their colorful glory in hopes you will buy them. What headlines either draw you or repulse you? What images work the best. Since you will be carrying your notebook with you always, scribble in your notebook or use your cell phone to take notes and then email the notes to yourself to put into your unpolished gem file when you get home.
Collect quotes as a hobby. I am a new GoodReads member. I was shocked at how few quotes they had for one of my favorite women writers, so part of my fun in reading women writers is to add the quotes I find in their collection on GoodReads. I tend to make activities like this just for fun and for me? It works. Collect from your reading or search for quotes along the line of what you are writing, say “inspirational quotes” or “Virginia Woolf” quotes. You name it, you’ll find it.
- Give yourself a limited time on Pinterest – no more than five minutes. Find a couple images to repin and then use those images to prompt some free writing. If you don’t know where to start, start with a visual description. What do you see in
- Remember WHY you write. I write because I am deeply in love with words and believe the world will experience positive transformation via writing and other arts. My contribution to this change is to use my writing (and my ability to write) to make the world a better place. If you need to write your “WHY” on a notecard or poster and pin it beside your monitor, do it. Your writing will be rejuvenated.
© 2013, 2016 by Julie Jordan Scott