Friday, July 22, 2016

Tips to Refresh & Refill Your Creative Spirit

by Edie Melson @EdieMelson

We all have way more things to do than time to do them. But lately it seems that more and more of my writing friends are facing serious issues. Often we have to keep working, even when the world is crashing around us. But that’s when the necessity of feeding your creative spirit becomes non-negotiable.

When life gets insane and and I’m running on empty what I want to do is pack my bags and leave on vacation. But I don’t often have time to lay out for a couple of weeks and recover. There are still more commitments and deadlines looming in the near future.

So how do I keep going and find a way to feed my creative spirit? I do a little inventory and then get my schedule down to the basics.

Evaluate Where You Are
Take an inventory and rate your mental fatigue.  When my mind is like a muscle that’s been overworked it needs time to recuperate. To give it the time it needs, I’ll be watching the clock while I’m working and taking frequent breaks during the day. I’ll wander around my yard, have lunch with a friend, or just sit and enjoy a TV show.

Next I’m looking at how disrupted my routine has become. Many of you know I keep a pretty regular schedule. I have to, I’m too easily distracted as it is. A schedule helps me focus and stay productive. But the past few months my schedule has consisted of sitting in front of the computer for twelve to fourteen hours a day, seven days a week. No one can sustain that kind of workload for any length of time.

So I’ll become very rigid with my schedule (including the break times). This will help me stay on track, even as I give myself time to recuperate. My writing time will be shorter and my breaks a little longer.

The third thing I’m looking at is how starved my creative spirit has become.  I need something to rekindle that creative that’s burned so low in my soul.

Here’s how I’ll get some nourishment in my starving creative well:
  • I’ll be spending more time reading—for pleasure. I may try a new author, or revisit an old favorite. I plan to go where my whims lead me. NOTHING from my to-do reading list allowed!
  • I’ll be doing some things that spark my creativity, like jewelry making or knitting. Something creative, but not something I do for money. Just opportunities that encourage my imagination to soar.
  • I’ll be going to the movies. This gives me the opportunity to immerse myself in worlds that other creative geniuses have imagined and most important, much-needed time with my husband and with friends.
  • Finally, I’ll be finding a time for a short vacation. It may only be a one-day trip into the mountains or a local park, but my husband and I need the unplugged time with just each other as our focus. 

Now I’d love to hear from you. How do you refill and refresh your creative spirit? Share your suggestions in the comments section so we can all learn from each other.


Edie Melson—author, blogger, speaker—has written numerous books, including While My Soldier Serves, Prayers for Those with Loved Ones in the Military. She’s also the military family blogger at Guideposts.org. Her popular blog for writers, The Write Conversation, reaches thousands each month, and she’s the director of the Blue Ridge Mountains Christian Writers ConferenceConnections: Social Media & Networking Techniques for Writers is a print expansion of her bestselling ebook on social media. She’s the Social Media Mentor at My Book Therapy, the Social Media Director for Southern Writers Magazine, and the Senior Editor for NovelRocket.com. Connect on Twitter and Facebook.

2 comments:

chappydebbie said...

I enjoy papercrafting as a way to unwind. I also have a hidden-objects game that I play..something that helps me to zone out and escape for awhile. It keeps my brain sharp while allowing me to have some fun. Of course, I read as well...that's a given.

CHERRILYNN BISBANO said...

Edie, Thank you for your insight. I have been in and out of emergency rooms this last month with my sister. As I stood there I took mental notes as I listened to the screams of a man getting his broken leg set, the beeps of the machines and the doctors conversations. I examined the faces of loved ones, nurses, and physicians. I observe my own emotions and my sisters. I know this does not sound refreshing, but annotating the details gives me creative ideas for a story. My first novel has an emergency room scene.
Now that my sister is better, I can write.