We all have creative slumps, but there are plenty of ways to boost your creativity.  Looking out into the week ahead can be an overwhelming feeling; almost as overwhelming as the dreaded blank page! It can feel like all hope for a creative week is well and truly lost. As a writer or editor, it’s crucial that you have a vast toolkit that you can rummage through to help you blast through any problem that you face with ease.

 

Fortunately, creativity is like a muscle and the more you use these tools and techniques, the more creative you will become. So what can we do to strengthen this skill and leap over those creative slumps?

 

Keep a journal

 

We’ve talked about this a lot on The Book Editor Show, but if you’ve missed us talking about all the great benefits of journaling, you can find the podcast here and an article here.

 

People watching

 

Other people can provide great inspiration. Just sitting down and watching the world move around you is a surefire way to get the creativity bubbling beneath the surface. Not only does it provide inspiration, it strengthens your awareness. Becoming more aware of yourself and your surroundings can do wonders for your creativity!

 

Write it down NOW!

 

I’m terrible for forgetting things. I regularly have an idea and tell myself that I’ll write it down later. I’ve learned the hard way the importance of recording that idea or thought immediately. After all, it only takes ten seconds to whip your phone or journal out and make a quick scribble! By doing this, your mind will become habituated to searching for ideas and connections.

 

Do something mindless

 

You know that huge pile of dishes that’s been sat there since last night? It’s time to get stuck in! These kinds of tasks occupy us just enough to keep us alert and focused, but leave plenty of room for ideas to come pouring in! Hate the dishes? Mow the lawn, fold the laundry, anything! Give it a try! Not only can it help your creativity, you’ll be left with a tidy home to boot!

 

Try something new

 

Make this a week for a new experience. Schedule that piano lesson or dancing class you’ve always wanted to do. Sure, there might be a hundred reasons why you could NOT do it. But it’s time to stop making excuses. Doing something new is an amazing way to light that fire inside! It could even give you something to write about!

 

Listen to music

 

Music can lift our spirits and take us on an emotional rollercoaster; our mind can travel far away! It’s these very journeys can that fill up that creative well all the way to the top! Stuck for ideas? Try a movie soundtrack, or something classical. Listen to something you’ve never listened to before.

 

Just write anyway

 

Hopefully these tips have given you plenty to work with this week, but out of them all, this one is the most precious skill to strive for. If you’re stuck in that creative slump and not sure where to go, just sit down and write anyway! Write regardless of how you feel. If you’re really blocked, you could try freewriting, but practicing the ability to just sit down and write will repay you tenfold in the future.

 

Have a fantastic week and as always, keep writing, keep learning and build a better book!

book editor show peter turley new

 

Peter Turley is a writer, editor, blogger and podcaster living in the North West of England where he grew up. He reads, writes and edits fantasy fiction and co-hosts www.thebookeditorshow.com with Clark Chamberlain. Follow him on Twitter @PDTurley