Slumps happen. Sometimes they're life-induced--no matter how much of a superwriter you are, it's not easy to balance giant life changes and normal writing habits. Sometimes they're creativity-zappage-induced--everyone hits a point where you just don't feel like writing. Or thinking. Or being creative or imaginative at all.
Either way, when you decide to get back in the swing of things, I find two things help.
One is a schedule--more on that on Thursday.
The other is finding your happy place.
No, seriously. I don't do the tortured artist thing. Even if I'm writing something deep or introspective or dark (umm, as deep or dark as I can get, anyway...), I find I do much better if I start with a smile. Or at least not a scowl.
So I've identified a few things that never fail to put me in a better mood--and a more optimistic mood is a better writing mood, at least for me. Because if you're feeling like a giant pessimist, you start to ask those awful questions like "why am I doing this anyway?" and "I'll never pull this off." Not good. Smile instead.
1) This song. Old Crow Medicine Show, "Wagon Wheel." It's playing now. I am smiling like an idiot.
2) Taking a walk. Unless it's disgusting outside. But as long as it's over 40 and not pouring, fresh air and a little sunshine gives me energy.
3) Change of scenery and someone who makes better coffee than I do. Occasionally decamping to a coffee shop or bookstore shakes things up enough that I fall out of any slump I might have tripped into by accident.
4) Doing something else creative. For me, it's often sewing. Even just thinking out a new project wakes up the sleeping creative areas of my brain and gets them excited to be working again.
All these things are pretty important to me right now--the past couple weeks I've been moving, and nothing steals all your time or energy like an inter-state move (who knew that starting electric service could be such a time-consuming pain in the rump?). Now it's time to dust off and get back in the action--happy place, here I come!
What's your creative happy place? Is there a song, a place, an inspirational quote or picture that gets you ready to write?