Five Conditions That Affect Your Creativity

What conditions inspire you creatively?

 

Have you had days like this?  You sit down in front of your computer determined to write 1500 words by noon.  By 9:00 AM, that first word is yet to be written.  At 9:30, you are looking to polish rough drafts of earlier works.  When 11:00 rolls around, you’ve abandoned your computer entirely, seeking inspiration from television or magazines.  You’re 1500 words short of your goal when lunchtime arrives.  In the middle of the afternoon you’re washing clothes or cutting the lawn in an effort to feel productive.  When the sun sets, you’re lamenting another day lost. 

Does this ever describe you?  Are you sometimes feeling pressure to write?  You are certainly not alone.  Writers, artists, musicians or anyone involved in creative endeavors occasionally feel drained of inspiration.  It is sometimes called burnout or being stuck in a rut.  For those who create using words, it’s called writer’s block.  When this occurs, most of us dig deeper inside and force ourselves to carry on, particularly if our livelihood depends upon our writing.  Self-determination is essential, but it is also important to look around and make certain the conditions to inspire one’s creativity are optimal. 

What conditions inspire you?

You have probably trained yourself to look inward for inspiration, but many external factors affect your ability to create.  If any of them aren’t right for you, your work may be adversely affected.  Listed below are five factors that can affect your creative productivity.

 

 

What inspires you?

Do you need a clean work space, or do you thrive in clutter?
Do you need a clean work space, or do you thrive in clutter?
Do the mountains bring out the best in you?
Do the mountains bring out the best in you?
Or does the desert speak to your soul?
Or does the desert speak to your soul?
Perhaps the power of a storm inspires you...
Perhaps the power of a storm inspires you...
...or the beauty of a winter snow
...or the beauty of a winter snow
Many of us find inspiration in children at play
Many of us find inspiration in children at play
And when the inspiration to be creative call to us, we answer
And when the inspiration to be creative call to us, we answer

Five conditions that affect you creatively

 

1.)  Time of day.  When are you at your best?  Do you feel most inspired early in the morning, or are you a night owl?  It is important to manage your day in a way that maximizes your energy and enthusiasm.  Some people want to get busy before the events of the day encroach upon their thoughts and focus, while others prefer to get their mundane tasks finished first.  The self-awareness to know when your best work is accomplished is paramount to your success.

Mix things up and see what happens.  The best part of your day might currently be devoted to household chores.  Even if you know when you’re most productive, you may simply be bored with your routine and need a change of pace.  A new or adjusted schedule might be sufficient to jump-start your creative impulses. 

 

2.)  Working environment.  The environment you have created to work in will always affect your productivity.   You likely have already determined the physical environment most conducive to positive results.  You know if you require clean, organized surroundings or if you thrive in clutter.  You have learned whether peace and quiet is a requisite, or if you need background noise or activity to flourish.

Change your environment if you’re struggling.  Go to the library or a café to write and see if a change of scenery improves your productivity.  You might simply be bored with your surroundings and need something new to look at once in awhile.  You don’t have to sell your house—just get out of it once in awhile.

 

3.)  Pressure.  Do you thrive under pressure, or does it stifle you?  Many deal with pressure as an everyday and even a welcomed part of their lives and cope with it easily.  Some see pressure as a motivating force, but there is no shame in admitting that you don’t do your best work under stress.  If pressure inhibits more than it inspires you, it is important to take action.

Are you feeling pressured by people?  Is a spouse or friend in the background, whispering in your ear to get a “real” job?  Do you sense an element of condescension from acquaintances who believe writing isn’t a legitimate occupation?  You might not be in a position to ignore their feelings but if your work is important to you, you must develop a support network for when you need a boost.  Your network can take many forms and include friends and relatives, other writers or fans of your work.  If negativity is hindering your creative process, it’s time to turn to those who believe in you.

Perhaps you’re feeling pressured not by people, but things.  If you’re struggling with bills, the car is making an odd sound or there is an illness in your family, address these issues before moving onto your work.  You won’t solve your problems in one morning, but anything you do to contribute to their solution will free your mind to create.  Pay your bills before starting your work, or call the mechanic and make an appointment for your car.  You will feel more at ease and ready to work.

 

4.)  Goals.  Goals are necessary to the creative process.  Without a goal, there is no focus or follow-through.  When you’re struggling, the temptation exists to abandon one project for another and still another—ultimately, nothing gets finished.

It is important to keep your goals from becoming pressure.  A goal to make a living as a writer can be inhibiting if you’re struggling creatively.  A desire to write an article a day can quickly feel like a deadline. 

Goals do not need to be approached in an all-or-nothing way, particularly when dealing with burnout or writer’s block.  They must remain manageable in order to be inspired by them.  Adjust accordingly to keep goals challenging without making them so daunting they inhibit you.  Temporarily scale back your expectations when you’re struggling, but never abandon your goals.  Raise the bar when you’re back to your normal self.

 

5.)  Intangibles.  Being in the presence of things we appreciate inspires us.  If we accept into our lives the things which speak to our soul, it will respond in kind.  A thunderstorm might spur some of us to creativity—for others, perhaps music is a trigger.  Many are moved by mountains, the ocean or a desert.  Some find it easiest to hear their creative voice speak in solitude, while others come alive in the midst of a crowd.  A few will be inspired by a field dotted with flowers in the summer, and others find meaning in the midst of a December snow.  Some will watch children at play while others look to God.  Find whatever touches your heart and immerse yourself—you will find your creativity, as well.

 

Reconnect with your inner self

 

Creativity can’t be forced and sometimes it just isn’t there, but it never leaves you—it simply lies dormant, waiting to be reawakened.  No one else can motivate you, but everyone can learn what inspires them to flourish as creators.  It isn’t enough to focus on your work—how you focus on it matters, also. 

If your creative instincts are currently hiding from you, act immediately to reclaim your power.  Recovering your creativity is regaining access to one of the best parts of yourself—the part that makes something from nothing or touches another person in a meaningful way.  It expands your consciousness and makes you more than you once were.  It is special.

 

 

Comments 125 comments

Kaie Arwen profile image

Kaie Arwen 6 years ago

It is definitely best to be in a "good place" when the creativity creeps up. I am admittedly easily distracted, but I always think of it as a plus............... never one to miss anything! Every condition you listed has affects on people; some conditions more than others. I love the advice to "go somewhere different," Yes, I'm easily distracted, but I can also easily sit in a bookstore or an outdoor cafe and never notice the movement around me. It's not the people, or the movement, it's just the change of environment. Trading in the dogs barking, which is something I hear............ for the everyday movement on a street........... that can clear my head!

This was wonderful........... thank you! Kaie


Dolores Monet profile image

Dolores Monet 6 years ago from East Coast, United States

Mike, if we wait around for the inspiration to strike us, nothing would ever get done, or only rarely. When writing, there are plenty of other aspects to it like research and editing, putting our work up on the old HP. You have made some excellent suggestions here on goal setting, environment, and locations to help spur us on!


Peggy W profile image

Peggy W 6 years ago from Houston, Texas

I echo the others. Your suggestions were all good ones. Liked the photos by the way...the Nature ones best. I am always inspired by Nature.


mysterylady 89 profile image

mysterylady 89 6 years ago from Florida

Mike, this was a VERY well written hub, lucid and with excellent suggestions. Many thanks!


equealla profile image

equealla 6 years ago from Pretoria, South Africa

Mike if anybody tells you to get a "real job", give me their personal details. I'll sort them out, and you just continue writing.

My, my, we just cannot afford to lose you here. OK?

Good article, splendid advice and inspirational. Thanx


Mike Lickteig profile image

Mike Lickteig 6 years ago from Lawrence KS USA Author

Kaie, thanks for your comments. I spent much of the day Saturday staring at my blank screen, and a change of scenery helped. I have to get out of my home office once in awhile, and I can feel rejuvenated in a cafe or bookstore. There are some great little places to hang out in my home town also, so I find it rewarding to "relocate."

Thanks for your kind words, they are so greatly appreciated.

Mike


Mike Lickteig profile image

Mike Lickteig 6 years ago from Lawrence KS USA Author

Dolores, you are so correct, we have to work whether we are inspired or not. Sometimes when that blank screen keeps staring at me, however, I have to change the equation to regain my focus. We do what we have to, and there is never a shortage of tasks when trying to earn a living through writing. That much is certain.

Thanks for stopping by, I am always appreciative of your comments.

Mike


Mike Lickteig profile image

Mike Lickteig 6 years ago from Lawrence KS USA Author

Peggy, thanks for reading. I'm glad you liked the photos--a couple of them I was quite pleased with. Nature inspires me as well--as a writer, an artist, and as a photographer. I particularly love the mountains, and a snowstorm always brings out the creativity in me.

Thanks again for reading.

Mike


Mike Lickteig profile image

Mike Lickteig 6 years ago from Lawrence KS USA Author

Mysterylady, I appreciate your most kind words. Thank you very much for reading.

Mike


Mike Lickteig profile image

Mike Lickteig 6 years ago from Lawrence KS USA Author

Equealla, thanks for your encouragement. I've heard the "get a real job" speech in the past, but fortunately no one has said anything like that to me lately. I am honored to have people as kind as you supporting me--it really does help. Thanks again for your kind words.

Mike


coffeesnob 6 years ago

Mike,

this is good stuff. I really like number 5 - it inspires me :-)

"Being in the presence of things we appreciate inspires us" I find it so easy to write when I am surrounded by that which moves me. It doesn't necessarily have to be a positive thing either. Even the hardships of life inspire me to write because they have somehow touched my soul. Here lately I have seen some in a class I am teaching, who are hungry to learn more about God, and it inspires me. The touch of dusk around my country home, My grandkids, the antics of animals, there is so much inspiration all around me. I am moved by the some of the simplest things in life. and it it true what you say that being in the presence of things we appreciate inspires us. Thanks for writing articles that inspire

CS


Mike Lickteig profile image

Mike Lickteig 6 years ago from Lawrence KS USA Author

CS, thank you for the wonderful comments. It is clear that you are cued into the things that feed your soul, and that is so wonderful to see. There is indeed inspiration to be drawn from even the simplest things in life, if we can take the time to notice them. You have done so to great advantage.

Thanks again for your comments, I so enjoy finding that you have read my work.

Mike


Just A Voice 6 years ago

Mike~

This was a great hub. Made me think a lot about how I write. Gave me some food for thought on how I might jump start myself when I feel stumped.

Once in a while I have this idea in my mind, but while it's sounding great in my head, everything I write isn't even close to what's reverberating around in my mind.

Maybe I need to try a change of venue, or time of day.

Thanks for the good advice.

Hope you are doing well my friend.


Mike Lickteig profile image

Mike Lickteig 6 years ago from Lawrence KS USA Author

Voice, thanks for stopping by. I know exactly what you are describing. An idea can be great in my head but what comes out is sometimes mediocre or perhaps even inappropriate. I frequently switch around the time of day I write, but don't change venue near-often enough. I'm a bit eager to do that soon since I mentioned it.

Thanks again, I always look forward to your comments.

Mike


WE5 profile image

WE5 6 years ago

Mike,

Good job. This Hub is concise and well written...and very accurate. I have been blocked often over the years and always find a way out. My method is by changing what I'm doing. I write sometimes, I play music (guitar) sometimes, I paint and I draw. When one isn't working the other might be. If none are working it's time to get out and exercise!


eli grey profile image

eli grey 6 years ago from Philadelphia, Pa

Very nice hub. I most definately need a change in scenery. Being down in my basement with hardly any light is a huge setback.


shazwellyn profile image

shazwellyn 6 years ago from Great Britain

The party is always in my head and I rarely run out of ideas. My problem is the demands of family life!

Great hub, as always Mike :)


Arthur Windermere profile image

Arthur Windermere 6 years ago

Hey Mike,

Looks like I got you thinking about creativity. I think the tips you give here are great. But sometimes no tricks work. Some days listening to Mozart will really stimulate me and other days it seems to be a hindrance. Often browsing the Amazon bookstore will really stimulate me and sometimes it becomes an excuse not to face work.

I think one important thing to understand about Inspiration is that you can put yourself in the disposition for it and it still might not come. When I used to read spiritual literature, the saints would describe periods of 'spiritual dryness,' when they're doing all the same things they used to do that got them spiritually inspired, but the feeling of inspiration has left them. Approaching art is like approaching god. You'll have periods of desolation and all you can do is keep yourself in the right disposition. So these tips are all great for that.

I also think we shouldn't feel discouraged if we only write one really good sentence, or even just revise an old sentence, instead of writing two dozen sentences. Sometimes focusing on one small thing to the point of tedium and making sure it's absolutely perfect--which is something that can be done even without Inspiration--can really get Inspiration flowing. How or why does it all work? I dunno. It feels like magic sometimes, doesn't it?

Cheers!


McHamlet profile image

McHamlet 6 years ago

Useful and interesting. You've really thought the issue through. Thanks a lot.


Paradise7 profile image

Paradise7 6 years ago from Upstate New York

Terrific hub, Mike. You know it, too! I find inspiration from the stories of other writers and what their lives were like, what they went through to create...Dostoevsky, Dickens, Jane Austin, the Bronte sisters...

I think we all need the necessary focus and self-discipline, and it's also necessary to handle the mundane details, get them out of the way and off the mental tablet before settling down to work in earnest on a creative project.


dallas93444 profile image

dallas93444 6 years ago from Bakersfield, CA

Perhaps it is similar to the pig. The chicken made a contribution to my breakfast: the pig made a 100% contribution! Great hub. When I am focused and committed, I feel there is nothing I cannot do...assuming I have the required resources available.


Ann Lee profile image

Ann Lee 6 years ago

Inspiration comes in the most unusual place sometimes...and sometimes it's looking at the ordinary in an unusual way. Good hub. Just wrote one myself on "How to Earn an Income from Writing."


cosette 6 years ago

very interesting hub Mike. i have never really been able to pinpoint what sparks my creativity, and this hub provides some answers.

for me i have only been able to notice what stifles my creativity, like overwhelming duties or a constant stream of interruptions or dealing with difficult people. it's strange but when writing for work with deadlines and whatnot it never suffers - i guess because it is a different kind of writing and i know if i don't a lot of people will be inconvenienced and i won't get paid...but i do have many creative writing pieces that i have been ignoring. your hub made me think about them, so thank you for that.

rating UP and useful :)


cosette 6 years ago

oh and congratulations on yet another 100 score. i have been seeing you on the front page a lot lately, so kudos! :)


JoshuaBlack profile image

JoshuaBlack 6 years ago from Michigan, USA

This is a reallly motivational hub. You have a ton of great content out there. I look forward to following in your foosteps.

-Joshua Black

The Underdog Millionaire


BeccaHubbardWoods profile image

BeccaHubbardWoods 6 years ago from Outside your window...

the best way for me to write is to run a hot bath, light some candles, turn the lights off, and turn metal music on in the background. works every time. ;) problem is, with two little ones running around i have to find time to bathe!!!

wonderful tips, Mike. as always, i enjoyed reading your hub. i also find a muse is vital in my writing, be it stress, anger, happiness, or someone in particular.

you're right, it cannot be forced. i've sat for hours at a time staring at a blank page and nothing comes. other times i've woken from a dead sleep and picked up a pen and written until my hand hurt. inspiration strikes when it wants to! : )


kai777 6 years ago

Thanks Mike! these are some very good tips. Just starting out I have felt a little intimidated wondering if "writer's block" would be a problem for me. I am most definitely going to follow these tips so that I can keep producing work that is of great quality. I look forward to reading more of your work.


Gemineye profile image

Gemineye 6 years ago

Sitting around staring at a computer screen has happened on more than one occassion for me. It's extremely frustrating to me, and yes I know the whole "1500 words by noon theory" - and before you know it, the day's over, and I look back in anger of wasted time.

I try to edit other work and /or research for future projects. I love researching, I find it relaxing and so interesting (dork) and of course extremely important to any subject matter that is being written about.

Music, also seems to help me get through blocks as well. Great tips, every single one of them.


epigramman profile image

epigramman 6 years ago

five conditions that affect your creativity: and you have all five .... absolutely essential for the novice who wishes to be liberated by this epitome in creative hubbing!!!

And that hallowed title belongs to you my friend!


lorlie6 profile image

lorlie6 6 years ago from Bishop, Ca

Hey Mike-Great hub. Creativity is often in hiding, for me at least. But one part of the process is doggedness and perseverance. I know it's somewhere 'in there' and I will not allow it to elude me forever! :)


SusanAdele profile image

SusanAdele 6 years ago

This is where I am right now... guess it would be called "artist's block." I have just gone thru a bout with cancer and have lost my ambition to draw ANYTHING. I need to find my creativity back. It disturbs me that I feel like I don't have anything left in me. I am going to run thru your list and see if it can jar something in me. Thank you for your encouraging Hub.


Mike Lickteig profile image

Mike Lickteig 6 years ago from Lawrence KS USA Author

WE5, thanks for reading. I mix up my routine a lot also, and I frequently rely on exercise, especially if nothing else works. A trip to the gym does wonders to clear the mind. I appreciate the kind words about my hub. Thanks again.

Mike


Mike Lickteig profile image

Mike Lickteig 6 years ago from Lawrence KS USA Author

Eli, yes--get out of the basement and get a change of scenery, especially if there is no natural light. I draw and paint in my basement, and I occasionally find it to be detrimental. I work down there because I can make a mess and leave it, but I have to get out sometimes, also. Thanks for reading and commenting.

Mike


Mike Lickteig profile image

Mike Lickteig 6 years ago from Lawrence KS USA Author

Shaz, thanks for stopping by! I always appreciate your comments. I commend you for your creativity and the ability to keep the ideas flowing. I do understand the demands of family life encroaching...

Usually I can keep the ideas coming also, but when I'm stuck I'm REALLY stuck. That's when I have to change the routine a little. Thanks again for reading, and come back any time.

Mike


Mike Lickteig profile image

Mike Lickteig 6 years ago from Lawrence KS USA Author

Arthur, you did indeed get me to thinking a bit about creativity with your work. And, as always you have raised some fine points (I particularly like your phrase "approaching art is like approaching God"). We can't force creativity to spring from us--it may be a river, but it is not a spigot. Some days we can turn the tap and nothing happens. It is also important not to beat ourselves over the head on down days, as you suggest. That becomes a pressure all its own and can contribute to the problem.

It is also important to remember that writing doesn't have to be a complex thing, and I am frequently guilty of this. When Shakespeare wrote "a rose by any other name would smell as sweet," well--only one word in that sentence has more than one syllable in it. Of course that is a remarkably eloquent line, but sometime I wonder if we don't recognize eloquence in our own work when it is there. It is far too easy to get discouraged when we shouldn't be.

Thanks so much for your insights, your comments add a wonderful perspective. Take care.

Mike


Mike Lickteig profile image

Mike Lickteig 6 years ago from Lawrence KS USA Author

McHamlet, thanks for reading. I appreciate your stopping by.

Mike


Mike Lickteig profile image

Mike Lickteig 6 years ago from Lawrence KS USA Author

Paradise, thanks for stopping by. I have to get some mundane tasks out of the way before I can sit down also, or they will occupy my thoughts. Bills, for example--if they gotta be paid today, I can't put 'em off until the end of the day; I have to get them paid first.

My variation on reading about famous writers is to read about famous people--biographies of famous people occupy quite a bit of my reading. I find myself seeking common themes while seeing what made a famous person successful. That is my version of not reinventing the wheel. If a number of folks did the same things to achieve their goals, maybe I should, also.

There is no substitute for focus or discipline, however. It has to be there or we won't make it in anything we do. Anyway....

Thanks for stopping by, I always appreciate seeing you here. Take care.

Mike


Mike Lickteig profile image

Mike Lickteig 6 years ago from Lawrence KS USA Author

Dallas, thanks for stopping by. The feeling that anything is possible is magnificent, isn't it? There are certain periods when one's focus is complete, and everything just seems to fall into place. If you have to be somewhere at 2:00 PM, you leave at exactly the right time to get there; you picked up exactly the right amount of groceries for the money you had to spend on them, etc. Most importantly, the things you do come out the way you want them, whether it is writing, drawing, music or planting a garden. When it happens just right, it truly does feel good.

Thanks again for stopping by.

Mike


Mike Lickteig profile image

Mike Lickteig 6 years ago from Lawrence KS USA Author

Ann Lee, thanks for reading. Looking at something in a new and unusual way can lead to amazing results. Here on HubPages, I particularly enjoy the way Ralwus writes in such an ordinary and direct yet inspiring way. His writing is so concise, and it seems to me that it is because he has learned to see mundane things in a fresh way. His work is a joy to read.

Thanks for stopping by, I appreciate your comments.

Mike


Mike Lickteig profile image

Mike Lickteig 6 years ago from Lawrence KS USA Author

Hi Cosette! Thanks for stopping by. It sounds from the way you describe your ability to write to meet deadlines that perhaps pressure helps you. It does in fact serve as a motivation force for some folks--perhaps for you. I don't do as well under pressure as I used to, which might be a result of being a bit older and having less energy and mental agility to bring to the table.

Oh, and thank you so much for your kind comments. In an arena with so many outstanding writers, when I see the 100 score I sometimes wonder if someone stole my avatar. Thank you for noticing, I am appreciative (and thanks for rating me, as well).

Mike


Mike Lickteig profile image

Mike Lickteig 6 years ago from Lawrence KS USA Author

Joshua, thanks for the kind words. I appreciate your taking the time to read my work. I will admit I find your "title" interesting: The Underdog Millionaire. Sounds like a story there. Thanks again.

Mike


Mike Lickteig profile image

Mike Lickteig 6 years ago from Lawrence KS USA Author

Becca, it's so nice to see you back. I enjoyed your latest work. Yup, little ones running around can certainly change the equation, but from the quality of your work, it looks as if you deal with the distractions quite well. As far as a particular person or feeling as a motivator, I can work from positive feelings but I find the negative ones don't work as well for me as they used to. I vent too much and create too little. (You do far better utilizing your emotions than I do, I believe.)

Well, it's nice to see you back, and thanks for stopping by. Come back anytime.

Mike


Mike Lickteig profile image

Mike Lickteig 6 years ago from Lawrence KS USA Author

Kai, thanks for stopping by. I think at some point writer's block gets to everyone, and it is important not to let it stop you. The creativity never goes away for good.

Thanks again, and good luck with your work.

Mike


Mike Lickteig profile image

Mike Lickteig 6 years ago from Lawrence KS USA Author

Gemineye, thanks for stopping by. I will resort to editing, but I have to admit I'm not really a fan of the research part of it. On occasions I have even had another person help in this area. I must admit I stared at the screen a bit before writing this hub, and cursed myself at the end of a wasted day. It is curious when inspiration comes from a lack of inspiration, but I guess I'll take it however I can get it.

Thanks again, I appreciate your comments a great deal.

Mike


Mike Lickteig profile image

Mike Lickteig 6 years ago from Lawrence KS USA Author

Epigramman, thanks for the comments and for the kind words. I am grateful whenever anything I say or do is of benefit to someone else. Good luck with your work, and thanks again!

Mike


Mike Lickteig profile image

Mike Lickteig 6 years ago from Lawrence KS USA Author

Lorlie, thanks for stopping by--hope you're doing well. When I was younger, I used to worry that creativity might "go away," but while it hid itself from me for extended periods of time, it never went away completely. You are absolutely correct that it must be coupled with perseverence in order to find its form. But, as I was so pleased to discover as I grew older--no, it doesn't go away.

Thanks again for stopping by and offering your insights.

Mike


fastfreta profile image

fastfreta 6 years ago from Southern California

This is a hub that is sorely needed by me now. I have been going through a dry writing spell for sometime now, and these points that you made has inspired me to move forward. Thanks Mike.


Mike Lickteig profile image

Mike Lickteig 6 years ago from Lawrence KS USA Author

Susan (Adele), thanks for reading. I'm so sorry to hear that you've been dealing with health issues, and I hope things improve for you. It is certainly hard to unearth your creativity when facing problems with your health, but hopefully you will find a spark of inspiration within you. I suspect you will find it a blessing and (hopefully) therapeutic. You have my best wishes for good health and an improvement in your situation. Please take care and be good to yourself.

Mike


Mike Lickteig profile image

Mike Lickteig 6 years ago from Lawrence KS USA Author

Fastfreta, thanks for stopping by. I am always honored and humbled to learn that anything I write can be of help to someone--I'm glad you found this useful, and I hope that it helps you regain the spark of inspiration inside you. Thanks again for your kind words.

Mike


Shona Venter profile image

Shona Venter 6 years ago from South Africa

Thanks Mike. You have hit the nail on the head regarding writers block. As a new writer, this still happens to me fairly often, but after reading your hub, it has given me the confirmation that was needed, as to what I need to do to 'snap out of it.'

As a fellow nature lover, I understand completely about spending time within nature to gain inspiration. There is nothing like an early morning bike ride, armed with nothing but my camera, and accompanied by nothing more than the calls of nature.

Voted up.


Pollyannalana profile image

Pollyannalana 6 years ago from US

I am more inspired to write at night and when I wake up I see a dozen mistakes! But I wouldn't call myself a serious writer. My best books finished I haven't even looked at since I have been here and I was so in love with them, lol. I haven't even gotten a copyright on either of those anyway. I never get writers block, maybe because I am woman, hear me roar, lol.


JannyC profile image

JannyC 6 years ago

Loved this article Mike.I can so relate. Stumbling this one my friend.


Lady_E profile image

Lady_E 6 years ago from London, UK

Cheers Mike - very useful tips. Sometimes, when no idea comes at all, I feel like doing a headstand to wake up my brain. lol.

I really like the paragraph on "intangibles" and will concentrate on this more - thanks to your Hub.

Best Wishes. :)


Cari Jean profile image

Cari Jean 6 years ago from Bismarck, ND

This is great - I'll come back to it when I'm having writers block! For me, I like to write near a window - seeing what goes on outside gives keeps my creative juices flowing.


Mike Lickteig profile image

Mike Lickteig 6 years ago from Lawrence KS USA Author

Shona, thanks for reading. We are in agreement that nature can boost one's spirit and creativity. There is a bike path a short distance from my house that leads to a small lake, and I love to walk along the trail when I am in need of an inspirational boost. It isn't the mountains or the ocean, but it isn't bad. I go there often.

Thanks again for reading, I appreciate it very much.

Mike


Mike Lickteig profile image

Mike Lickteig 6 years ago from Lawrence KS USA Author

Polly, thanks for your comment. I find all my mistakes from the night before in the morning, as well. Never get writer's block because you are a woman (hear you roar)? Sounds ideal--I wish being a man did the same for me (lol)..... So what are the books you have finished and put aside upon arriving here about?

Thanks again for stopping by.

Mike


Mike Lickteig profile image

Mike Lickteig 6 years ago from Lawrence KS USA Author

Janny! Nice to see you here! You must be quite busy these days, although I have seen you on RedGage a bit. Thanks for stopping by and for the Stumble. I hope you're getting along well.

Mike


Mike Lickteig profile image

Mike Lickteig 6 years ago from Lawrence KS USA Author

Hi Elena! It's been many decades since I have been able to do anything even remotely resembling a headstand, so I will have to take your word for its effectiveness. I do sometimes do some yoga if I'm feeling stifled creatively, and it does offer a clearer head on occasion.

Thanks for stopping by, and I really liked your latest hub on inspirational quotes.

Mike


Mike Lickteig profile image

Mike Lickteig 6 years ago from Lawrence KS USA Author

Cari Jean, thanks for your comments. I understand your desire to work next to the window. One reason I can't write in my basement is the lack of windows and natural light--I found myself feeling very stifled. Turned the smallest bedroom into an office and here I am....

Thanks so much for your comments, they are greatly appreciated.

Mike


Hi-Jinks profile image

Hi-Jinks 6 years ago from Wisconsin

I like point 5. Writer's Block cause could be from lack of living. Many writers might start out as college students only to know about their high school years.


Mike Lickteig profile image

Mike Lickteig 6 years ago from Lawrence KS USA Author

Hi-Jinks, you're so correct. A lot of aspiring writers don't have many real life experiences to draw from. It shows in their work, and writer's block can be the result. In this situation, of course, inspiration will not be forthcoming because the well to draw from is not yet sufficiently deep. Anyone in this situation must realize things will improve in time.

Thanks for your observations and insight.

Mike


hypnodude profile image

hypnodude 6 years ago from Italy

Another great article Mike, very useful. Rated up, useful, stumbled and shared with followers. :)


tonymac04 profile image

tonymac04 6 years ago from South Africa

Thanks for a useful and enlightening Hub. Much appreciated

Love and peace

Tony


samboiam profile image

samboiam 6 years ago from Texas

I love writing early in the morning. It seem the later in the day it gets the less the creative juices flow. Thanks for a great hub; voted it up.


Patti Ann profile image

Patti Ann 6 years ago from Florida

Excellent! Rated this hub up! I have also found that a nice long walk outside will stimulate my thoughts and put me back on track.


Mike Lickteig profile image

Mike Lickteig 6 years ago from Lawrence KS USA Author

Hypnodude, thanks for stopping by. I always appreciate your kind words. Hope life is well for you these days, and thanks for the rating and stumble.

Mike


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Mike Lickteig 6 years ago from Lawrence KS USA Author

Tonymac, thanks for stopping by and reading, I appreciate it a great deal. Take care.

Mike


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Mike Lickteig 6 years ago from Lawrence KS USA Author

Samboiam, thanks for reading. Like you, I find myself inspired early in the day. I tend to do pretty well early in the morning and late at night--the middle of the day is not so good for me. Thanks for your comments, I am appreciative.

Mike


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Mike Lickteig 6 years ago from Lawrence KS USA Author

Patti Ann, thanks for reading. I go for walks to get the creative juices flowing, also. I will usually head out for a bike path/hiking trail a few blocks behind my house that leads to a small pond. By the time I return I usually feel rejuventated.

Thanks for reading, I appreciate your comments a lot.

Mike


Garlic Angel profile image

Garlic Angel 6 years ago from Dublin

Hi Mike great hub, I also loved reading the comments. We all difer so much but that's what makes it so interesting.. sure it would be a very boring place here on hubpages if we where all the same.. Yes it is very hard to push out idea's at times as a few of the hubbers's have mentioned, when you have 'family demands' on you...Yes a walk with Mother Nature is a great way to get your creativity out..

Again great hub thanks again Mike Garlic Angel :-)


John B Badd profile image

John B Badd 6 years ago from Saint Louis, MO

d time of day and pressure affects me the most. I like to write late, which would be ok if I was getting paid for it but I have to get up early to get paid, lol. And I do better under pressure, which might explain why I write better late, or it may just be more peaceful after 11pm.


Mike Lickteig profile image

Mike Lickteig 6 years ago from Lawrence KS USA Author

Garlic Angel, thanks for stopping by. The diversity of writers here at HubPages is very much part of what makes membership enjoyable, and it is quite interesting to see how different things move us. Mother Nature is very inspirational, and I make good use of a little trail leading to a lake a short distance from my house.

Family can be a big help or a huge distraction depending upon the circumstances..... I think the support of family balances out well in the end, though.

Thanks so much for stopping by, I'm glad you enjoyed both the hub itself and the many comments it inspired.

Mike


Mike Lickteig profile image

Mike Lickteig 6 years ago from Lawrence KS USA Author

John, it's interesting to hear that you write better under pressure. I do quite a few things better under pressure, but I've found writing is not one of them. I am also fond of writing in the morning, but as you can see it's after midnight and here I am.... sometimes we just do what we have to, don't we?

Thanks for reading, I appreciate your comments.

Mike


ptosis profile image

ptosis 6 years ago from Arizona

1500 words a day?! Holy Hogsworth Batman! I was aiming for 400 up until now - after reading your article. Thanks!


Mike Lickteig profile image

Mike Lickteig 6 years ago from Lawrence KS USA Author

Ptosis, I wouldn't worry too much about the 1500 words thing. I managed about 250 today on an article that will require major editing. Some days are clearly better than others.

Thanks for reading.

Mike


betherann profile image

betherann 6 years ago from Montana

Great hub! I voted it up.


Mike Lickteig profile image

Mike Lickteig 6 years ago from Lawrence KS USA Author

Betherann, thanks for reading. I appreciate your stopping by.

Mike


prettydarkhorse profile image

prettydarkhorse 6 years ago from US

well written and very helpful advices, Awesome. Sometimes I am pressuring myself too much. I can work in an environment where it is noisy and all, I just dont want clutter, it also help when I take a walk, relax, I danced and go silly at times, then I work again hehe. Thanks Mike and take care, Maita


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Mike Lickteig 6 years ago from Lawrence KS USA Author

Hi Maita. I work in clutter too often because I'm naturally messy, but like you I would prefer it to be a little neater. I pressure myself too much also--I need to take a step back some days and just relax.

Hope you have a great weekend.

Mike


Shrikrishna Meena 6 years ago

Excellent article, Gained first time such a lot of useful information on any article according to my interests.... Really, While reading I was traveling in another state of mind....

Thanks for writing this, appreciate your work.


Mike Lickteig profile image

Mike Lickteig 6 years ago from Lawrence KS USA Author

Shrikrishna, thanks for reading. I'm glad you found my work so interesting, I am very appreciative. I hope you will stop by again to read more at some point. Thanks again.

Mike


DonnaWallace profile image

DonnaWallace 6 years ago from North Carolina

Mike, the beginning of this article just described my day! I love that you explained how to find the right time of day to write. I've been fighting my night owl habits for years, but now that I've finally accepted it, it really makes a difference.


ralwus 6 years ago

I don't ever experience a block. Maybe some day I might. I just wish I had more time for it. I will return here if and when I do for the tips. Every story, poem or essay that was or ever will be written is right there on your keyboard. All you need do is start typing, it will come. It's all there in those keys.


Mike Lickteig profile image

Mike Lickteig 6 years ago from Lawrence KS USA Author

Donna, thanks for stopping by. The article described my day about a week ago--it was pretty ugly. It did get me thinking about what helps and what does not, however... and things are better (for me) now, at least for the moment.

If you're a night owl, then you just have to accept it. I was for years, but it's starting to turn back the other direction now.

Thanks again for stopping by, I'm glad you found my article helpful.

Mike


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Mike Lickteig 6 years ago from Lawrence KS USA Author

Ralwus, your writing is so honest and genuine, it doesn't surprise me that you don't struggle to write. I usually don't have troubles but when it does happen, it's pretty bad.

Well, thanks for stopping by, my friend. As always, it is an honor to find that you have visited my pages. Take care.

Mike


ralwus 6 years ago

oh but the honor is all mine Mike. You are good at what you do.


Mike Lickteig profile image

Mike Lickteig 6 years ago from Lawrence KS USA Author

Ralwus, thank you for the kind words. Have a great weekend.

Mike


ultimatepotential profile image

ultimatepotential 6 years ago from India

This seems interesting and factful, No wonder I get affected easily when I need to be creative the most ;-)


Mike Lickteig profile image

Mike Lickteig 6 years ago from Lawrence KS USA Author

Ultimatepotential, thanks for stopping by. Many of us get stuck when we most need our creative "juices" most. We can shake up our routines and often regain our spark, however.

Thanks again for reading, I appreciate it.

Mike


Joy56 profile image

Joy56 6 years ago

great hub. Just pressed hubbers at the top of the page and you came up first. Well done, 100 score ....... I always knew you were the best.


Mike Lickteig profile image

Mike Lickteig 6 years ago from Lawrence KS USA Author

Joy, thanks for reading. When I read your comments and learned I was at the top of the list, I thought, "Nah... must be someone else." Holy cow, I really was there! Thanks for letting me know--it is kind of fun to see myself sitting at the top of the page, especially considering all the wonderful writers that are here. It is very much an honor. Thanks again for letting me know, and I appreciate your stopping by.

Mike


Tusitala Tom profile image

Tusitala Tom 6 years ago from Sydney, Australia

I know this sounds vain, Mike, but I've been writing for over forty years and never experienced writers block. I think that might be because I never sit down to write until I feel the urge to do so. The urge can be habitually formed, of course, like a certain time of the day. I find that when I'm on a major project and the ideas come, perhaps when in bed or in the shower, I jot them down straight away. This is important, for it sends the necessary signal to that great big Collective Unconscious we're all hooked up to to keep pouring out its creative blessings...

Oh, and I'm also into Automatic Writing. But that's something else again.


Mike Lickteig profile image

Mike Lickteig 6 years ago from Lawrence KS USA Author

Tusitala Tom, thanks for reading. It doesn't sound vain to admit you don't experience writer's block, but I suspect that over the long haul, you are in the minority. It might not happen to us for weeks, months or even years, but for many of us it eventually does happen. I'm sure that beyond your comments here, you could offer sound advice to folks tat have struggled.

Thanks again for stopping by. Take care.

Mike


wilcowilliams12 profile image

wilcowilliams12 6 years ago from Franklin Square, NY

Personally, I need to have my workspace very clean. Not clutter on or around my desk helps. I have only one thing to focus on, the work on my computer.

Clean also usually means that I'm organized, and being organized is the first step to being productive.


stuff4you profile image

stuff4you 6 years ago

Too many people are 'stuck in a rut' without even knowing it. Not just writers but all kinds of people. I have also stressed the point of 'doing something different.' Good hub.


Petra Vlah profile image

Petra Vlah 6 years ago from Los Angeles

This is a very informative and useful hub. Just like you said, different people will have different ways of increasing their creativity and will use different methods to accomplish it.

What has always been working for me best is to think about a subject and let it sit for a while. The subject will remain in the back of my mind until it matures and is ready to be put on paper.

I may be driving, staying in traffic, cooking or doing whatever, but at the same time I am writing in my head; once I get to the computer I just type nonstop and the first draft in done (whether a poem, a hub or an entire chapter of a book).

I can never write in an antiseptic environment, or listening to music, but I will always have a candle by my side and cigarettes are a must.


msorensson profile image

msorensson 6 years ago

Well done. I love the conclusion, Mike L-)


Mike Lickteig profile image

Mike Lickteig 6 years ago from Lawrence KS USA Author

wilcowilliams, thanks for stopping by. I like a clean workspace also, but unfortunately for me that is often easier said than done. I do try for a clean desk because there are fewer things staring up at me to divide my focus. As I indicated, for me that is often easier to say than to do. Thanks again for stopping by, I appreciate it.

Mike


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Mike Lickteig 6 years ago from Lawrence KS USA Author

stuff4you, thanks for reading. You're absolutely correct, some folks don't even know they are in a rut; as a result, of course, they will never find their way out of it. Doing something different--anything different--will often shake up the brain and release a bit of creativity. Sounds like that's what works for you.

Thanks again for reading.

Mike


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Mike Lickteig 6 years ago from Lawrence KS USA Author

Petra, I will have to trust you on the cigarettes--I don't smoke but I hear what you're saying. Our brains will continue to work an idea, even if we are not consciously focusing on it. It might seem to our conscious mind as a breakthrough, but we might have been subconsciously thinking about an idea the whole time.

It sounds as if you are usually very productive--whatever you're doing, don't stop! --and thanks for reading.

Mike


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Mike Lickteig 6 years ago from Lawrence KS USA Author

msorensson, welcome back! I haven't seen you around HP for awhile. Hope you're doing well, and I'm glad you liked what I wrote. I appreciate it a great deal. Take care.

Mike


epigramman profile image

epigramman 6 years ago

it took me so long to scroll down to the bottom of this screen that I have since lost my creativity:

but here goes - five conditions that affect your creativity:

1. drugs/alcohol

2. the blues

3. obsession with members of the opposite sex

2. death (or close to it)

1. prime time television


Zac828 profile image

Zac828 6 years ago from England

Hi Mike, this is really a great help; been stuck in a rut for a while now, then suddenly it was released and I wrote a play that had a deadline, now I'm back in, what feels like, the same rut. Perhaps it is external forces more than anything, but it is good to hear from others that it is not unusual. Great hub and I love reading your work.


Mike Lickteig profile image

Mike Lickteig 6 years ago from Lawrence KS USA Author

Epigramman, thanks for your comments. Several items on your list have affected me as well, although I have not had to wrestle with drugs or death at this point. By the blues, were you describing depression or the musical style? Anyway, thanks again for stopping by, and I hope the creativity lost from scrolling these comments soon returns.

Mike


Mike Lickteig profile image

Mike Lickteig 6 years ago from Lawrence KS USA Author

Zac, thanks for stopping by. I've been bouncing back and forth between creative moments and dry spells lately, also. Perhaps external forces really do pull at you more than you know. Hope you rediscover your creativity, and thanks for your kind words.

Mike


BennyTheWriter profile image

BennyTheWriter 6 years ago from Northeastern U.S.A.

Awesome hub, Mike. I think that being aware of the obstacles you mentioned is the first step in overcoming them, as with any endeavor in life. Writing especially is real work, and it's not easy; the attitudes of non-writers, which you mention, make it even harder mentally. But as I can understand through this hub, writing is one of those few vacations through which, with simple perseverance, one can become a better person.


Mike Lickteig profile image

Mike Lickteig 6 years ago from Lawrence KS USA Author

Benny, thanks for reading. The first step toward overcoming the obstacles that keep us from creating is certainly identifying them. Self-awareness is definitely our ally. The attitude of non-writers always seems to hang heavy over us--it is as if I'm not working unless I'm digging a ditch.

Your final observation is terrific--writing really can make us a better person--not a bad deal when you think about it. Thanks again, my friend.

Mike


Rebecca E. profile image

Rebecca E. 6 years ago from Canada

Mike-- Yes all of these things help, and they are great points, in fact a change can do good. Or a vacation away for a while, still the time and the passion does need to be there... still I agree with you writers and people in the creative arts don't have it has easy as others might think.. still wouldn't trade it for the world.


Mike Lickteig profile image

Mike Lickteig 6 years ago from Lawrence KS USA Author

Hi, Rebecca. You raise a good point about needing a vacation once in awhile. Sometimes we need to simply step away and regroup. Getting up and out also offers slices of life to write about, which many writers forget--we need experiences to properly fuel the creative fires.

Thanks so much for reading, I appreciate your insights.

Mike


noorin profile image

noorin 6 years ago from Canada

Marvellous article, couldn't agree more. Your article actually acted like an inspiration to me in more ways than u could imagine =)


Mike Lickteig profile image

Mike Lickteig 6 years ago from Lawrence KS USA Author

Noorin, thanks for reading. I am extremely pleased you found something of value in my article. Thanks so much for your comments, I am very appreciative.

Mike


noorin profile image

noorin 6 years ago from Canada

No worries. =)


Mike Lickteig profile image

Mike Lickteig 6 years ago from Lawrence KS USA Author

Noorin, thanks again.


ultimatepotential profile image

ultimatepotential 6 years ago from India

Sorry for the late reply, It's my pleasure Mike. do visit some my Hubs as well! :-)


Mike Lickteig profile image

Mike Lickteig 6 years ago from Lawrence KS USA Author

Ultimatepotential, thanks for stopping back by. I will check out some of your work sometime soon. Take care.

Mike


pmccray profile image

pmccray 6 years ago from Utah

Boy you must have ESP too. I recently suffered several back to back personal setbacks (more to come in future hubs)and fell into a quagmire of writers block and self pity. I soaked up magazine and TV fair to bolster my inspiration. I've finally left my pity party .... BABY I'M BACK!!!!


Mike Lickteig profile image

Mike Lickteig 6 years ago from Lawrence KS USA Author

pmccray, welcome back! I'm not sure I can take credit for ESP, but you've been missed here and I will confess I wondered where you had gone. Lot's of folks that I've communicated with regularly have been here less often recently, and I was started to wonder if it was ME! Regardless of the reasons for your temporary absence, it is nice to have you back and active again in HubPages. Take care!

Mike


Ruth Spencer profile image

Ruth Spencer 6 years ago

I find writers like you inspire other writers. Thank you Mike! It is always good to be reminded.


Dchosen_01 6 years ago

THIS HUB DESERVES TO BE DESCRIBED WITH JUST ONE ADJECTIVE, FANTASTIC AND EXCELLENT. AH'AW! TWO WORDS ALREADY....

THIS REALLY SHOWS HOW GREAT IT IS.

THANKS, ALL IN ALL YOUR HUB GREAT, FANTASTIC AND EXCELLENT. WELL SAID


Mike Lickteig profile image

Mike Lickteig 6 years ago from Lawrence KS USA Author

Ruth, thanks for stopping by, and for your kind words. Every writer wants to feel that they have made an impact on someone. I appreciate your gracious comments. Take care.

Mike


Mike Lickteig profile image

Mike Lickteig 6 years ago from Lawrence KS USA Author

Dchosen, thanks so much for stopping by, your words are very kind. I appreciate your reading, and your gracious comments.

Mike


KoffeeKlatch Gals profile image

KoffeeKlatch Gals 6 years ago from Sunny Florida

First of all, I love the hub. The style of writing and information is top notch. Inspiration is a ll around you. Sometimes we need to poke at it a bit to get it going. I think everything you mentioned affects each of us. For me it's mostly pressure. I hope to get that in hand. Great hub.


Mike Lickteig profile image

Mike Lickteig 6 years ago from Lawrence KS USA Author

KoffeeKlatch Gals, thanks for reading. I appreciate your kind words about my writing. You are right, sometimes we do need to give ourselves a poke to get going--kind of like taking a stick and poking at the embers on a fire to rekindle it. I was in a dry spell for awhile lately, but seem to be doing better now. I am susceptible to pressure also. That is a rough one for me.

Thanks again for stopping by, feel free to come back anytime.

Mike


Duchess OBlunt 5 years ago

For me, it's not so much that I have writer's block as I feel that I am just redundant. I like to think that I can be unique - but it's difficult when absolutely every subject has been written about by others - and usually very well. I guess it's something I have to shake off every now and then.

Great hub Mike


Mike Lickteig profile image

Mike Lickteig 4 years ago from Lawrence KS USA Author

Duchess, thanks for your comments, and I apologize for taking so long to respond. I agree, it is often difficult to find something new to say, or a new way to say something, for that matter. I sometimes feel as a writer and artist that I am repeating myself and others, but I try to speak from my heart. If what comes out is true to my feelings, I assume there will be something unique in my thoughts. At least, I hope so.......

Thanks again.

Mike

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