Hello, good morning and happy Tuesday-that-feels-like-a-Monday! I hope you had a lovely Labor Day weekend, and awoke bright-eyed and bushy-tailed ready to carpe the hell out of this diem and overcome whatever challenges life throws at you!
Just kidding. I’m over here drinking coffee like it’s my job.
I’m very excited because today I’m beginning a new weekly topic. Regular, scheduled, dependable content? Say whaaaaaaaaaa?!
No need to check your browser, you’re still in the right place.
Today I’d like you to meet: Take 10 Tuesday! Special thanks to my beautiful, radiant, unicorn rainbow of a (non-blogging) friend Abby for this idea. Every Tuesday from now until the end of time (maybe even after, if I can convince the authoritative bots in the inevitable apocalyptic robot uprising) I’m going to teach you stuff you can do in only 10 minutes. So let’s get started!
Because I just spent three full days cranking out half a rough draft for a new book and showering minimally (okay, fine…not at all), I’ve got creativity on the brain. So today, I give you:
5 Ways to Get Your Creative Juices Flowing in 10 Minutes
So fun! So creative! So caffeinated!
1) Go for a short walk or run
Some people really enjoy exercise. I am not one of them. But I have recently learned that few things are better at clearing my mind than a nice horrible run jog. When you’re feeling stumped – whether you’re a writer, composer, painter, what have you – lace up those tennis shoes and hit the pavement. For me, plots seem to work themselves out and characters reveal their secrets while I’m dying and huffing for breath.
2) Do a lightning round
I like to do writing sprints when I get stuck. No rules, no “this isn’t good,” no “but that’s not where this scene should be going.” This is an experiment, a writing exercise. Just write – anything at all. Who knows what you might learn about your characters when you give them 10 minutes to run free.
3) Look at inspiring images
At my house, I have three cork boards cluttered full with images I think are inspiring in some way. They hang on the wall in my office, and when my brain turns to mush I like to look at them. Some images are abstract art pieces with bright colors, others are compelling illustrations, and others are gorgeous photographs of beautiful places.
4) Take a shot
Point your finger and call “lush” if you want, but this trick is a good one. Hemingway himself said “Write drunk, edit sober.” Granted, Hemingway was frequently drunk off his a-s-you-know-what, according to history, but I still think this could hold some merit. When you’re stuck creatively, and feeling insecure or untalented in your stuck-ness, a nice healthy glass of wine is a great way to rediscover your mojo and get back on that horse.
Dear god, please let it only be a metaphorical horse. I absolutely cannot condone riding horses while drunk. It sounds very unsafe.
5) Get back to work
Real talk: sometimes, you’ve just got to power through. Trick your mind into ignoring the idea that you’re stuck, or creatively blocked. You’re only as blocked as you allow yourself to be. (Points finger at self.) Additionally, don’t give up because your creative endeavor –be it writing/drawing/cooking/competitive dog grooming– temporarily gets difficult. Frankly, if it were easy everyone would do it. If you push through the tough parts, you’ll be back in the flow before you know it.
There you go, those are 5 ways to get your creative juices flowing when you’re stumped in only 10 minutes. I hope you liked the inaugural edition of Take 10 Tuesday, and if not – I hope you lie to me and leave me a comment telling me you did.
So long and happy creating!
—The Wife in Training