As a writer, I often get the blank page syndrome. There are times when I can write, write and write and it seems like words are flowing under my fingers, straight on the keyboard and there are days when I feel completely empty for any creative endeavors. There are moments that make me question the fact that maybe I am not meant to write which is a terrible thought to consider when I spend hours and hours at my computer, entertaining myself with stories I am creating in my mind. It does seems that sometimes, creativity has run out.
So how do I get out of the rut? Here are few of my tips to come up with sparks of ideas that can sometimes turn into bigger projects. Please don’t hesitate to share what is your process when you need to be creative, especially if your passion has become somewhat your day job and you need to be productive about it!
I have downloaded this app called Brainsparker (free on the Apple Store): every day I get a reminder to pick up a card with a sentence or suggestion meant to spark some creativity. I wouldn’t be able to use this as a starting point to an entire novel but it is a great tool if you wish to shake things off a bit, change your style for a day or come up with some ideas.
Studying can be as simple as reading books: library card (for when I was super broke), downloading e-books to read during the commute or paperback. I like mixing genres and end up usually reading multiple books at the same time. Multi-tasking might not be best when reading but I think my brain likes the mix of fiction/non-fiction, classic/science-fiction so it knows where to draw inspiration and reference.
Creative writing classes are great too but can cost more than a simple book. There are also meet-up groups in cities: it’s worth checking depending on your creative outlet if there is a place where you can meet mind-alike people (co-working spaces, coffee shops, museums, art centers…).
I draw a lot from my life. Break-ups and heartbreaks are great to write poetry and I am sure a few songwriters would agree with that. What life is throwing at us can be an inspiration: thanks, Gloria Gaynor for I Will Survive. Welcoming all emotions might be a good way of understanding better humanity and maybe, after all, art could be our way of expressing humanity?
Day-to-day life can be a great source of creativity. If you have watched The Florida Project, you will probably remember that depending on the perception we have of our reality, we can make life an amusement park or a prison. Nature, the ocean, the stars, architecture, familiar noise that we have categorized as “background noise”, music, everything can be a great starting point for a creative act.
Ultimately, creativity comes from within us. Creativity shouldn’t be standardized or art wouldn’t mean the expression of the self. We might be showing Humanity but it is done from a standalone point with our own individuality and interpretation of it. It should be cultivated and not ostracized. Tools are there to bring it out to the world and challenge our own vision of who we are as artists.