Ways to Find Your Creative Edge

I managed to eek out 500 words tonight.  There has been a bloody war going on in my head, and I have written myself into such a corner. Do I put this chapter into the trash bin, and start over? 

I've struggled with the last two thirds of this book.  The last book finished itself.  I am don't even remember typing much of the ending.  I know I cried, but I think some other part of me was doing the writing.

This latest book hasn't been as easy.  Part of this has been the fault of medical issues.  A switch of a medication tied my creativity up in a straight jacket.  It took me a little while to realize what was happening, and coming back has been a slog through one hell of a quagmire.

So how do you get back that zeal you had a few months ago?

I attended a writing workshop over the weekend, and found the energy in the room, plus the passion of the speaker helped to push positive vibes my way.  Going to lunch and talking with other writers about craft, industry and gossipy girl stuff helped oil some of the creaky gears in my mind.  Learning new ways to look at writing pushed the door open even wider.

I keep hearing the same thing over and over, and I think eventually I will let the universe teach me the lesson.  I need to create an inviting space for my creativity.  I need to honor my skill by honing and polishing it.  When I sit down to write, I need to acknowledge the work ahead, and look at it with joy instead of "OMG WTH have I done. This book is DOOMED!" 

Maybe you light candles, have a soundtrack for writing, have a hot cup of tea or whatever it is that gets you into the mind frame you need to have to weave together the story battering around in your head.  I think you need to have something to help trigger you into the headspace to write well.  This might mean you spend a little while writing the crap that comes before the good stuff.  Practice makes perfect right?

Perhaps the one factor I needed reminding of was READING.  I know when I am struggling with a story, I tend not to read.  My kindle books gather dust while I watch television or stare at the ceiling.  The one huge take away from the workshop this past weekend was to read more.  I know to do this.  I love words, story, and characters.  If I am not reading, I am not feeding my brain the input it needs.  Plus, your brain is a muscle.  It needs the workout.

So in short:

  1.  Find a group of writers to connect with.
  2. Attend a workshop or class.
  3. Read, Read, Read. Doesn't matter what. 
  4. Create a space to invite creativity in and then honor it.
  5. Have a routine to help get you back into the story you NEED to write.

If you don't sit down to write, you won't ever get to the end.  Don't you want to know what happens?  I do!

So what do you do to keep your creative edge sharp?