by Karen Ball
As promised last week, when all else fails to spark your creativity, give one of these a try. They almost always work!
1. Do something relaxing. Take a pad and pencil or a mini-recorder along to capture ideas when they spark. Some relaxation ideas:
- A nice, long bath
- Play with your pet. If you don’t have one, go to the dog park and borrow one!
- Go to a movie
- Cook something you love
- look through old family photo albums
- take a nap
2. Rewrite a well-known story to make it a different genre. For example, turn the opening chapter of Tale of Two Cities into a thrilling car chase. [It was the best of cars, it was the worst of cars...]
3. Gather together some toys (yours from childhood or your child’s), sit on the floor, and think up a character and history for each one.
4. Exercise can be adult play. Rollerblade, racquetball, tennis, swimming, running, biking, whatever works for you.
5. Draw. Don’t worry if your horse looks like a dog, just draw whatever comes to mind. Use as many or as few colors as you want. Try different mediums: charcoal, pencil, crayons, chalks, paint, etc.
6. Play with words. Try:
- Work with words.
- crossword puzzles
- word games
- Scan the dictionary, looking for words that strike you. Come up with definitions for them, then see if you were right. Keep a list of these words and use them when you write.
- play Outburst, Scrabble, anything with words.
7. Do the Dewey Dance. Walk through the library, pulling books at random from the shelves. Start out with a couple from each numerical section (000-099, 100s, 200s, etc.). Sit and skim through your stack, jotting down whatever is triggered.
8. Make a list of topics you want to write about some day. Give it an upbeat title: Brilliant Writing Ideas, Masterpieces I’d Love to Write. Keep the list for a time when you’re wondering what to do next. Pull it out. Flesh it out. Have fun.
9. Work with your hands. Sometimes the best thing you can do is physical work with your hands. Try:
Painting a room
Baking bread, even if you’ve never done it before. There’s nothing like kneading bread to work out frustrations!
Building something, whether with PlayDoh, Leggos, or wood. There are great, simple plans online for all kinds of things.
Making a flower arrangement
Grooming your pet
Whatever you try, do it with an attitude of just immersing yourself in that activity. Don’t try to chase creativity. Instead, let it go and focus on something else. Usually the best way to bring it back to life is to stop trying!
Blessings to you, and here’s to a year FULL of creativity!