Life has this way of happening whether we want it to or not, in ways that we often have no control over. No one can control all aspects and by extension all outcomes. We can have the greatest desire to complete a project, but if something gets in the way, then that is the way things must go down. Right?
The most important thing to do is keep pushing. Keep thinking about it. Keep playing with potential scenarios and keep going back to read what you’ve done so far to make sure that you keep your head in the game.
These are some of the devices that I use to reengage when I feel like I’ve gotten off track with a writing project:
- RSS Feed — I’m subscribed to the websites and blogs of people I find interesting and not all of them write about writing. It’s just as important to keep your head in the game as it is to redirect. Because my current genre of choice is SFF, I’m subscribed to sites that cover topics such as science and science fiction, psychology, health, writing, current news events, and politics.
- Talk it out — You don’t have to talk to another author, just someone who is interested in your story. Why? When you relate the progress of your story, this may prompt your patiently listening friend to ask questions. Questions breed new ideas.
- Pictures — Pictures are inspirational as you may know if you’ve been following Sallie’s blog here. Pictures are stories and they don’t say the same things to everyone. Spend five minutes gazing at a picture that has caught your fancy. Write a poem, write a drabble, write a six sentence story. Just write. Pictures are like setting your imagination over an open flame…it makes everything boil.
- Reread — Each time I reread any one of my WIP, I find some little tidbit that could do with enhancing or editing. Sometimes the best progress you can make in a story is by moving backwards.
- Music — No head banging or dance tunes please…at least not for me. Music is inspirational and like pictures can whet the creative appetite. I’ve come upon some of my best writing music while watching anime and movies. I find that instrumentals work best for me. I like writing action and intrigue to the OST of Riddick and more somber scenes to the OST of Book of Eli. I also like Radiohead’s newer stuff. Freeplaymusic.com offers music of all types for free download and usage. I like their ambient section.
The most important thing one can do for their art is to keep producing but it is important to have a clear definition of what that means. Producing for us writers doesn’t always require actually putting the words down. The time we spend in our heads talking and more importantly listening to our characters is priceless to our craft.
What techniques do you use to keep the writing verve?
(Originally guest-posted 08/2012 at http://yesterdaydaugher.blogspot.com/2012/08/5-tips-to-keep-writing-verve-by.html)