I’m on deadline. Okay, I’m past deadline. But I’m stuck. This happens to me on every book, and yet every time it scares the bejeepers out of me. What if I can’t push through? What if my career is over? J
Thankfully, I always do push through, somehow—as His Highness reminds me whenever I emerge from my office, whining. He knows that I don’t need another pity casserole at my Poor Me Party. Instead, he offers a bracing, “You can do it!” and goes back to work.
He’s right. I can. I just have to take a deep breath and remember what’s really happening. I’ve been writing for so long I’ve drained the creativity well. I need to grab a bucket and get some more!
Here are some of the best ways I’ve found. Only two rules: It can’t involve my book directly, and it must make my inner child smile.
1) Play with paints and scissors. Others call this “art journaling,” but that sounds a bit lofty for my rudimentary efforts. I don’t expect to be super good at art, and so there’s no stress involved. I genuinely play.
2) Commune with the outside world. I walk. I smell the flowers, listen to the birds and wind in the trees, meet the neighborhood dogs. Here’s one fabulous owl I encountered on a long evening stroll.
3) Listen to music. I have about a thousand songs on my iTunes list, and 900 of them are ones I wouldn’t inflict on anyone else. I am a born cornball, and I love the silliest, most sentimental oldies ever. So I put in my earbuds and blast away. My daughter recently sent me an old Conway Twitty song we used to share, called “I Don’t Know A Thing About Love.” If you know it, you know what I mean about silly/corny.
4) Read. I rarely read romances in this phase—way too stressful. Often the book is so clever I feel I could never measure up. But all the other genres work beautifully!
5) Write. Yes, you saw that correctly. To escape writing, I write. But always things that are very different from my day job. Right now, I’m in a poetry-writing spell. The poems are mediocre, at best, but I don’t expect them to be great, so I don’t mind. I’m putting together a bunch of short poems about the great loves of my life, one for each. (The loves are not all people, just for the record. J )
Those are my top five well-fillers. They’re all free, or almost free, and they work! I can return to my desk, ready to pick up my own story and write like the wind.
How about you? Do you have any great ideas for filling your creative well? I’d love to hear them! I’ll give away a copy of BETTING ON THE COWBOY (or any of my titles, if you’ve read that) to one poster today!
***Kathleen's winner is Kaelee. Please contact Kathleen directly with your mailing address!***