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Stimulate Those Creative
Many writers lament never being able to find
enough time to sit down and do what they love best -
WRITE! But some of those same writers have a bigger
dilemma - when they do finally sit down to write, their
creativity just won't shift into gear.
Let's look at things you can do to not only awaken your
creativity, but stimulate it so that it's there whenever
you need it!
It is a common belief that writers will sit down and
write their tales the same way that readers read them -
from beginning to end with no stops. If all writers did
this, then nothing else would get done!
For the past five days now, I have left the computer
permanently switched on and left a Word document open.
Whenever I get a free moment, I sit down and continue the
story where I left off. Sometimes I'll get four or five
paragraphs out - other times I'll get a few pages. I'm on
a time-budget, so this is all the time I have to spare.
This approach is effective (for me) because when I sit
down at the computer, the compulsion to get on the
Internet is driven away by the sight of my
work-in-progress staring at me...
If you were to begin an excercise program, the first
thing you would learn is to warm up those muscles before
beginning anything strenous.
Your mind is no different.
Before diving straight into your story, take a few
moments to scribble out something else - write an email,
post something to a discussion group, scribble down some
thoughts about what you intend to cover during your next
Warming-up is a great way to begin any writing session.
You will quickly develop a pattern that your mind will
recognize as being a prelude to the actual creative
When was the last time you took the time to 'warm-up'
your creativity muscles?
Many writers spend a lot of time staring at the blank
white word-processing page, waiting for it to magically
fill up with black text. Boring!
Create a 'mood-setting' for your words, and
watch the tone of your writing reflect the atmosphere on
I am currently writing a short story that needs
an ethereal feel to it. A misty blue background,
coupled with the Papyrus font gave me the
atmosphere I needed to stay focused - right on my
But when it comes to
horror, I prefer the darker, more sinister
options that give me the feel for what I'm
Of course, you don't send your story out to editors
looking like this. That's the beauty of the word
processor. Simply go into the "Edit" menu and
choose "Select all" and put it all back to the
dull black-and-white when you're done.
Music has the power to invoke the most amazing thoughts,
feelings and memories in almost everyone. For a creative
person, utilizing the power of music to enhance your
writing can be a huge adrenalin kick!
No mood setting is complete without the right sounds.
Right now, I have the newest single from the band Live
playing through the house. Yes, it's 8 am in the morning,
but I'm the only one here and that's the sound I needed
to make this piece happen.
Don't be afraid to use music you wouldn't normally listen
to. For example, the Eminem CD got me through a quite
difficult fight scene where I needed to build a lot of
anger. That wasn't easy, as I'm not normally an angry
person (and I don't normally listen to Eminem) - but I
used the appropriate sounds and colors to keep the tone
of the scene focused.
Classical music can be a great stimulus for just about
Try what works best for you.
Many writers feel that they have certain 'times' in which
they work best. For example: I am normally a night owl.
My fiction comes out more freely at night, and often I've
found myself still tapping away at the computer until 2
am in the morning (even though I'm supposed to be awake
and getting ready for work at 8 am).
The reverse is true for non-fiction writing in my case.
My mind seems to think in a more logical manner when I
first wake up.
What is a writer to do? The obvious answer for me is to
wake up an hour earlier than I need to and get those
non-fiction ideas down while they are fresh. I also
forego the television (and refrain from aimless surfing!)
at night in order to let my creative side go wild.
Try to work in the hours that make you feel the most
Word-processors are quickly replacing the good old
fashioned pen for many, many people around the world.
Just as it is becoming normal to write an email rather
than scrawl in a card, it is also becoming standard
practice for writers to type out their ideas.
For those writers who can type fast enough to keep up
with their thoughts, this can be a great way to get ideas
out quickly. But writing your words out in longhand on a
notepad can give your writing a different 'feel'.
For example: I can type much faster than I can write -
and yet the very act of taking the time to write out a
scene slowly with a pen gives a completely different tone
to my work. For me, the words are more poignant and the
ideas more solidly drawn. For some reason, my longhand
work requires a little less editing than my typing.
Perhaps this is because my mind is racing ahead while my
hand struggles to keep up, giving me plenty of time to
plan what will happen next?
No matter which method you use, always remember that you
are the master of your own writing career. Whatever
awakens your creativity can only be a good thing!
Copyright 2003 Lee Masterson. All right reserved.
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