Creativity is one of the main tools of a writer. It's is a writer's prerogative and mainstay. But creativity needs to be fed, like anything else. There are moments when we don't feel creative, whatever the reason, and that hurts us terribly. Because without creativity we, writers, are just not ourselves.
Today, Josh Boyd talks about ways to help us think creatively and I hope you enjoy this article as much as I did.
The world is often pushed by creative thinkers. Even scientists are creative in their own way as they think outside the box and find solutions that no other person could see. Nikola Tesla’s recounts of his visions of theories and inventions are nothing short of poetic. The question is though, can you make yourself think creatively? Is it an innate ability or can it be manifested? It is certainly true that there are those that find this task much easier than others, but there are ways to encourage creativity to emerge from those whose brains seem entirely absent of it.
When you’re writing, each sentence is of importance. This means giving care and thought to every word. Some do think that this is a bit over the top, but would you expect an artist to be careless with some of his brushstrokes? Always keep this in mind and look to see if there is a different way to write something. Evaluate your own words and don’t allow yourself to go into automatic mode to push your story along. Just as every part of your book is a chance to wow a reader, it is also a chance to bore them. A quote from Anton Chekhov sums it up perfectly:
“Don’t tell me the moon is shining; show me the glint of light on broken glass.”
Another way to help is to get inspired. This is simple to do in many ways. What was the first thing that gave you the idea to become a writer? Go back to it and get yourself going again. It is easy to become stale and formulaic without a boost of inspiration now and then. Re-gain your enthusiasm and creativity will come with it. Search out new things too to keep your mind fresh. That doesn’t mean ripping off other people’s ideas though. Look at the ways they have tackled problems to help you think differently. Also you’ll be surprised how a rubbish book will get your mind cranking as you think to yourself, “I can do something 100 times better than this! If they can get published, so can I!”
Go outside. Absolutely anywhere at all. If you can go somewhere you’ve never been then even better. If you’ve sat in the same place trying to come up with that perfect piece of dialogue or clever way to introduce a character and got nowhere after hours, it is time for a change of environment. Your brain needs stimulation and even just a fifteen minute walk and some fresh air can do wonders to unclog your head. You never know, you might encounter someone who inspires you to create your best character. You have to work hard to be a writer, but don’t see this as a break. Anything that helps you to do better work is all part of the task at hand.
The simple thing is don’t be disheartened if you suddenly think you’ve lost it. Writing and creativity is not like sport wherein once you gain an ability you’ll only lose it if you stop practicing. The mind can work in mysterious and very annoying ways, but if you start to lose confidence in yourself it’ll only get worse. Stick to your project even if it takes years. Fight through the bad times and enjoy the good times because you’ll have plenty of both. Keep inspired, invigorated and confident and creativity will come to you.
Crunch based in Brighton. He is also a regular contributor to Freelance Advisor.