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A lot of people in the writing-focused Facebook groups I am in have mentioned they’re depressed and don’t feel like writing. One of the most common questions asked is, “How can I get my creativity back on track?”
What I have found is the advice one person gives doesn’t always work for someone else. You must try many different things to find what works for you.
Here is a list of different tactics you can try to get your creativity back on track:
- Take a walk, exercise, go outdoors, or run errands. Movement can help spark your creativity.
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- Take a hiatus. Take as long as you need. A hiatus can last from a few hours to years. I took one for four years, from 2013 until 2017. The four-year break gave me fire and passion to not give up on my writing. I was so tired of not writing that I needed to write.
- Work on another creative task: baking, cake decorating, sewing, cross stitching, knitting, crocheting, drawing, sketching, playing an instrument, singing, redesigning a website, using Photoshop or graphic design software, or whatever you feel like doing. Often, doing another activity can kick-start your creativity somewhere else.
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- Set an amount of time you will allow yourself to feel blocked, then force yourself to get out of the slump. Don’t let it control you, but… [Read More]
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All of us have busy lives. Full-time jobs, family, and school are some common ones, but there are many more. How can we find the time to write when we have so much going on in our lives?
Track How You Spend Your Time
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The first step is to track how you spend your time. Take a week to record every activity you do during the day and the approximate time of day you do them.
For example, mine would look something like this:
- 8:30 a.m. – 9:00 a.m. Wake Up/Morning Routine/Breakfast
- 9:00 a.m. – 10:00 a.m. Social Media
- 10:00 a.m. – 11 a.m. Writing Time
- 11:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. Homework for School
- 12:30 p.m. – 1:00 p.m. Lunch
- 1:00 p.m. – 2:00 p.m. Writing Time/Reading/Appointments
- 2:00 p.m. – 4:30 p.m. Social Media/Free Time
- 4:30 p.m. – 6:00 p.m. Cook/Family Dinner/Wash Dishes
- 6:00 p.m. -7:30 p.m. Meetings for Groups
- 7:30 p.m. – 9:00 p.m. Wind Down/Bedtime Routine/Reading
- 9:00 p.m. – 10:00 p.m. Try to Fall Asleep
This works for me because I need plenty of time to fall asleep because of my insomnia. I don’t have many responsibilities, either. Yours may look different.
You may ask why I am qualified to help you find time to write if I have no responsibilities. I’ve worked, gone to school, and finished the first draft of a novel at the same time.
This exercise is about tracking how you spend your time. Don’t judge what you are doing. Just record what you do and when.
Find Potential Writing Time
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Now that you have a week’s worth of records, the next step is [Read More]
As an avid reader of romance, I have read numerous novels where the hero and heroine fall in love for no reason. It simply serves the plot. This is not what we want as readers. We want characters that fall in love because they are meant for each other. They have to be perfectly matched and have complementary traits. For most writers, this is hard to achieve. However, the solution to this problem is simple.
Character Creation is Key
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If you don’t spend time getting to know your characters before you start writing, it is a lot harder to achieve the kind of relationship readers want. Writing before you know your characters requires a lot of editing to get their relationship to where it needs to be.
Trying to fit characters to a plot has the same hindering effect. The choices characters make in a given situation are because of their personalities. It is a lot harder to fit a character’s personality to actions instead of figuring out what a character would do based on who they are.
Build One Character at a Time
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By focusing on one character at a time, you are better able to [Read More]
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This is another article that I wrote for Coffee House Writers. You can find the full article with this link. I hope you find this helpful!
An Editing Process for Pantsers
The 18th of July was the one-month anniversary of finishing my first full-length novel. You may have seen my article “Starting Over: Mirroring Kristin Cashore’s Process Of Writing Bitterblue,” published earlier this month about the process I was planning on using to edit the novel.
Well, plans have changed. I admit I’ve never edited a longer piece of writing before. The editing process is a bit of a mystery to me.
I have read lots of articles about how to approach editing, but few seemed to lend themselves to the way my brain works. Being a panster, a term for someone who doesn’t plot or plan before writing, means a lot of methods for editing aren’t aimed towards your process. Plus, a lot of these methods didn’t tell me how to approach each step. They just gave a basic rundown of the process involved without going into detail.
I ended up cobbling several methods together to get what I think I need for this specific project. I have a general idea of what it needs to improve.
What methods did I choose to include in the editing process?
First off, I wanted to read through and separate the scenes. I placed a hashtag between each of the scenes. Then, I filled out an index card with a couple of questions. These questions were:
- Who is in the scene? I wrote down the names of each character that makes an appearance. I made a note if they only appear for a portion or leave in the middle of the scene.
- What happens? I made a short synopsis of the events in the scene.
- When does it happen? This has three parts to it.
- I included the day number during the timeline of the novel (Day 1, Day 2, etc.,).
- The time of day the scene happens (early morning, morning, early afternoon, afternoon, evening, night, late night,).
- And the day of the week (Sunday, Monday, etc.).
- What is the POV Character’s Goal? What are they trying to accomplish? Do they [Read More]