For writers and creative people, their creativity is the only real asset they have. And that is pretty cool considering that creativity doesn’t actually cost anything (great for you, you misers!) But it can be extremely difficult when you’re in a dry spell. The ideas at these moments either never bud or just all seem pointless and boring.
So, in general, this article would help three sorts of people:
- Professionals with a creative writing background
- Creative people in general
- People who wish to become creative
So, if you fall into either of the aforementioned categories, (and seriously if you don’t, what are you even doing in life, bruh?) then proceed to the following secrets to creativity.
Although most of this articles deals with ‘Writers’, you can easily substitute that word for your own profession.
To free yourself from the dry spell, you need to go back to your roots and these are observations. Whether we realize it or not, observations are the basis of each and every creation in life. We unconsciously sense and remember a thought, a feeling or an idea and the creative people are the ones that can produce something magical out of it.
Remember that creativity is a gift that cannot expire; it is unending and infinite. Even with a thousand articles written, the world and its colors are vast enough for you to find new dimensions and genres to write about. So, it is impossible to wake up one day and realize that you ran out of creativity and don’t know where to buy more (trust me, I’ve looked everywhere!) What you need to do know is start noticing the little things in life and recording them in any medium that you can.
One similar attribute that all the most successful men of the world have is reading. This is not just for writers but for anyone who wishes to have a creative mind. No matter how much you think you know about the world and life in general, there will always be people who know more or have seen something you haven’t. Creative people always read with a receptive mind and absorb ideas of the writer. Reading extensively would help you gain information and ideas to palette out in your own method. It would also help you find contrasting elements in the world and make you realize the importance of respecting them.
The best investment for a creative person is books so go down a bookstore and buy a new best friend!
Writing something differently:
Each writer has their own distinct style and through their years they gradually become accustomed to it. The important thing to remember is that it’s not necessary to maintain your style throughout your life. Styles should be changed in order to keep the writing from sounding monotonous. Although changing the writing style within a single article, story or novel would just be plain absurd and confusing for the reader, but it is advisable to start something new with a new writing style.
Some people have two unique styles of writing so in that case you might want to switch to the more unconventional approach. The idea is to change things up and write something contrary to how you would usually write it. You might even pick up a topic and jot down your views about it and then write something totally opposite to refute them. This is not only a good therapy for breaking the creativity barrier, but also a great exercise to learn new viewpoints.
Writing something for your own self:
Writing professionally can be a challenge because there usually comes a time when you’re not in the position or mood to write and you just have to. This is usually the case for writers having to meet deadlines. Unfortunately, deadlines to not alter with one’s life scenarios.
At such a moment, it is important to keep the juice flowing by writing something not for the money but for the simple pleasure that you wish to derive from it. For patrons of the art, it never is about the money. You owe it to the art to enjoy it while you earn from it and if you’re not enjoying, then the gravity of your words would expire very soon and you would run out of ideas.
Besides, once you’re done writing something for the pleasure of it and you realize that it’s good enough, you might even consider sending it out for professional publication (cos’ we don’t mind a few extra pennies, do we?)
Writing at a place other than your usual:
We all have that writing-spot where we turn on our laptops and type away (or put pen to paper, if you’re into the aesthetic of it.) At times, it is even hard to write somewhere else since we are so accustomed to the surroundings of that spot. Having a writing-spot is nice because when a writer enters that spot, he feels more into the zone. And once a writer is in his zone there is no stopping him.
But the issue arises when you’re having difficulty in reaching the zone itself. Many find it a helpful technique to change your writing spot or try some new place to write. Psychologically speaking, a new place would bring a new environment which might induce new emotions and thoughts. The changing of your surrounding might lead to the popping of more ideas into your minds induced by the environment itself. The roots lie in moving away from your comfort zone.
Watching TV shows:
Have you ever realized that you somehow pick up the accents or the distinct sense of humor that a character has when you watch it over and over again in a tv show? (Thank you, Chandler Bing!) Consciously or unconsciously, we began thinking and acting like the people that we see behind the screen and that isn’t out of the ordinary. One might even notice that we tend to pick up “trademark” dialogues of our friends when we spend too much time with them. Robert Zajonc, a psychologist at the University of Michigan event went far enough to state that over time, couples unconsciously mimic each other’s facial expressions and by the time they get old, their faces look far more like each other’s than they naturally were!
So, how can that help with your writing? Consider that you’re writing a really complex character and need to research him thoroughly. Why not munch on some popcorn while you do it? One example for this could be that if you’re writing a character that’s going to escape prison, you might want to watch “Prison Break”? This way, you’ll be able to get a good cinematic view of a similar character and story. You might even find many great elements to add for your own.
Writing on a medium other than your usual:
Writers have a very specific audience that they build with years of hard work and patience. This audience is the dearest thing to us as it is the receiver and appreciator of our work. Sometimes, when you’re having a bad phase, it even feels like a betrayal to them to produce below par writing. It might help if you change your medium and write for a new audience. Why not even create a new parallel audience for your new form of writing? Having a new audience means that you’re free to write new and different stuff and reestablish your stylistic approach towards your literary work. A new and a different audience might even give you new feedback that might help your writing juices flow.
If you’re a professional writer who writes for a magazine, you could try writing for another one. If you write online serialized novels or stories on a website, you could try a new story or a website, building everything from scratch. If you’re a writer who just writes for the fun of it and sends it to his friends, you could send it out to some other friend(s) and get new feedback.
Writing an article on “Ten ways” to do something:
Trust me, this is a pro tip. Have you ever noticed that almost every other article on the internet starts with 7 ways to do this or 12 tips to ensure that? It’s not just a trend that everybody’s following, the truth is that writing such articles is an easier task.
Before you start writing, you jot down some points and give them shape before explaining them in your article. Now the benefit of writing such an article is that those points end up becoming your headings and while writing, your only task is to take up the individual point and express it in the best manner possible.
Also, the audience in general has become accustomed towards articles of the kind and are somehow attracted towards them. So, if you want to follow a trend that’s easy and not stupid at the same time, then you should better go with this one.
Venturing into new genres:
We all have really rigid opinions about our own writing and what form suits us the best. The truth is that we have a comfort zone and leaving the confines of that zone either feels too hard, or you think it’s too late.
My advice would be to venture into new genres. If you’re a fiction writer who writes romance stories, you could try mystery or thrillers for a change. If you’re a comedy writer, who says you can’t write horror? Changing genres might even decrease your audience but that’s not necessarily bad for you.
Taking my own example, I wrote my first serialized Romance novel on a website. The responses as well as reviews were great! But the downside of it was that I could never reach the top 1000 ranking of the genre because the market was just too saturated. The reason wasn’t that my writing was bad, the market required strenuous advertisement and I did not have the time to invest for that. I started writing my second serialized Thriller novel on the same medium, even lost some of my audience because of that. The readers were fewer than my previous story, but I still made it to the top 150 of the genera.
The point that I’m trying to make is that sometimes you’re just not fitting in the market and there is a need for change. Non-fiction writers have their own niche and invariably stick to it. If you’re writing about human Psychology, you still can have the ability to write tech savvy articles. It’s up to you and your own practice.
You know when you’re finally writing something and it’s flowing great but suddenly you have this overwhelming urge to sleep? THAT’S SATAN MAKING SURE YOU DON’T CREATE SOMETHING GREAT!
This is a very important exercise for a writer as writing in different sittings can cause the mood to disrupt. Obviously, it does not apply to novelists because you would probably die without sleep by the time you’re done. But for work of such magnitude, you need to break it down into rational segments like a chapter or a heading. Leaving a segment in the middle can cause some valuable points to disperse from your mind.
Take a break:
You might want to kill me for saying the exact opposite of what I’ve just said but the fact remains that sometimes we are exhausted beyond our limits. It is important to understand that better ideas generate from a well rested mind. Maybe you’ve just gassed out and need to take a week off from the holidays. Relax in this time and try to do all the stuff that you had been planning on but were too busy to do so. More often than not you’ll find new inspiration in hidden places.
Talking about your Ideas:
It is always great to talk about your ideas with someone. It is specifically required when you know someone who might have more knowledge than you about the subject that you’re wanting to write. Talking to such people is like reading a book, sometimes even better. The reason is that humans have the ability to convey knowledge to the receptive mind at rates unimaginable for books. A whole life worth of experience could be squeezed out into one long conversation and that conversation could suffice you for the entirety of your writing project.
Even if you do not have an expert on the topic, you might want to consider discussing your ideas with a friend who might be able to give you feedback. This gives you an idea of the general receptiveness of the public towards your writing. Arguing with contrasting viewpoints can also help you attain a broader vision.
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