What do we need for nourishment? Food. When we eat food, we feel better. Our body feels sustained. It might also depend on what you eat, but that is neither here nor there. Actually, I’m eating as I write this article (Hahaha, no really). But how do we feed our creativity when we’re trying to think of material for writing a story? I’m not talking about writer’s block. I’m talking about putting some oomph into your story, something that stands out to readers. The answer to this question will vary from individual to individual because we are all different. Below are some ideas on things you can do to wake up your creative mind.
Listen to music (I hear classical music is good for this).
Do a craft of some sort.
Put a jigsaw puzzle together. You’d be surprised how much this works.
Create ideas with some one else. Hey, two heads are better than one.
Take a drive somewhere that appeals to your senses.
Look at beautiful photos and imagine yourself inside the picture. Use your senses and describe it.
As many of you know from a previous post, I finished my second novel this past July of 2022. Since then I’ve been editing, re-editing, and then editing some more. How many time does one need to read their work before it’s polished? How ever many times it takes. You will know when it’s just right. When you’re done with editing it, give it to another editor who knows what they’re doing. They have those editor’s eyes that will see something you missed that you didn’t think was an issue. Also, give your final draft to a beta reader (or a test reader). Yes, you want to do this. They will give you valuable feedback about your story. Trust me, if there is part of your story that isn’t making sense, your beta reader will spot it.
Before you go beyond the editing YOU are doing, read your story/manuscript backwards. Yes, start with the last page of your story and read each paragraph starting from the last paragraph and working your way backwards. Doing this will allow your brain to focus more on the mechanics of each sentence rather than the story. Think about it. When you are reading a story, the story is flowing through your mind. Your brain is focusing on the story itself and not on the mechanical issues you may have that must be fixed. Therefore, you will end up missing mistakes that need to be fixed. By reading it backwards, the story itself won’t get in the way.
What do you love? What do you think a lot about doing? What is your dream? Many people go through their life dreaming about something they want to do/achieve but never do it. Maybe the opportunity never presented itself. Maybe waiting for that opportunity isn’t the answer. Maybe you have to decide to just go for it and stop making excuses. Ultimately, it is your choice.
My dream was to be an author. I achieved that, and I keep on going with it. Yes, there are obstacles that get in the way. That doesn’t mean I don’t stop. That just means I work around those things. When something comes up and I am not able to work on my manuscript, I am thinking about my story. I am plotting in my head. I am writing in my journal. You might think that just thinking about your manuscript/story doesn’t constitute working on your novel. OH, but I think it does. The way I see it, when I get back to the actual writing, I am ready with the words, and I end up typing like a mad woman, HAHAHA. Being consistent is what it’s all about. Stay on task, whether you are working on it in your head or on paper/computer
Here are some must do’s in the world of book writing (some but certainly not least) :
Write everyday. If something gets in your way and all you can do is jot down ideas and thoughts in a journal, do so.
Come up with a target word count to reach everyday and reach it, whether you are writing in your journal or on your computer.
Read other books of authors who have been at it for a long time. Truth be told, they know more than you do because they’ve been at it for a while. Learn from them.
You get better by editing and rewriting. I like to edit after all is said and done because it frees up my mind for sticking to the story and getting it on paper.
Rejection. That nasty word. Nobody likes it, but that makes you better as well. When someone gives you constructive criticism and tells you they didn’t like something in your story, listen to what they’re saying. Think of what they are saying from their point of view. Then fix it, if you think what they are saying holds merit. Remember, it’s your choice. After all, it’s your work. But don’t get upset over rejection. It’s part of the process of writing.
Have fun with your writing, and think of these must do’s as part of the process of making it fun for yourself. You are at the wheel. Where you steer your story and how you achieve that dream is up to you.