This week’s blog prompt at YA Highway is When you need creative inspiration, where do you go? My first, off the top of my head response, the shower, is a little too cliche, so I’ll offer up some other options.
First of all, I don’t so much pursue that creative spark as find ways to leave myself open to it. That’s why the shower, cliche as it is, really does work to get me past a creative logjam. For me, writing is a problem-solving exercise and for some of those problems, I need to be away from the manuscript for clarity.
Some favorite ways to spark my creativity:
• riding my horse
• conference workshops
With the first three, I can’t just grab a piece of paper to jot down notes (well, I suppose I could when I meditate, but that would defeat the purpose of meditation). I don’t have a phenomenal memory, so instead I’ll work through the solution in my mind enough times to ingrain it (I hope) well enough that I’ll remember it later.
I often end up brainstorming with my husband when I’m driving, which leaves him to take the notes. At a conference, I’ll have either a notepad or notebook computer to jot ideas down.
There’s a theme here: I need to put my brilliant ideas in writing as much as possible. Often once I’ve written them down I don’t need to refer back (the act of writing sets it in my brain), but if I don’t inscribe them somehow, they dissolves like mist. Frustration ensues.
Regarding the last item on my creative inspiration list–conference workshops–I should mention that I don’t find inspiration in workshops about inspiration. Oddly when I’m sitting listening to an agent speak about the publishing market or a bestselling author talking about their career, solutions to my current writing problems start popping up in my brain. I guess just being in the milieu helps me be creative.
So my secret to creative inspiration–walk away from the problem, give your brain time to clear. And the answer will flow right in.