Writing can be tough on good days and nearly impossible on bad days.Â I can usually manage a few words for a blog or a personal essay, but fiction can stop me in my tracks.Â Over the years, I have found some tips and tricks to help jump start my writing when the coals are burning low.
1.Â Â Â Â Â Make a character folder.Â If I run into interesting people or see a striking (good or bad) face in a newspaper or magazine then I clip it out or write it down and put it in a folder.Â A great character can really get the creative juices flowing.
2.Â Â Â Â Â Eavesdrop.Â Iâ€™ll still bits and pieces of conversation that I will put in a dialogue folder.Â Be careful though.Â I once got caught writing out a story a lady was telling ;).Â When I get stumped, I refer to real conversations to get me going again.
3.Â Â Â Â Â Go on a trip â€“ in your imagination or even online.Â Look up a place you have never been before and then write a short story about that location.
4.Â Â Â Â Â Look up your family history.Â You might be surprised at the numerous stories your heritage has hidden in it.Â Make your family history into a book that can be given out at Christmas or just use the colorful characters in your past to get your own story flowing.
5.Â Â Â Â Â Write a tall tale for your children (or nieces, nephews, cousins, etc).Â Take an event from their lives and then add lots of exaggeration and humor.
6.Â Â Â Â Â Read.Â Just the other day I was stuck in the doctorâ€™s office.Â Instead of being annoyed, I skimmed several magazines and got some inspiration for future articles (which I jotted down in the notebook that I carry in my purse).Â I also read a few articles to get an idea of the style that magazine was looking for, incase I decide to query in the future.
7.Â Â Â Â Â Write a poem â€“ just for fun.Â It doesnâ€™t have to be publish worthy, but it does have to be from the heart.Â Unable to get my thoughts going one morning, I wrote a poem about our crazy cat.Â I still work on it when things arenâ€™t going the way I want.Â It gives me a break and lets my mind wander.
Writing doesnâ€™t have to be a chore.Â If you change things up and look for creative outlets, writing can be an adventure every time you pick up a pencil (or sit down in front of the computer).