Helpful Writing Tactics pt 3
Guess what? Not every day is a good writing day. And it's times like those where every and all writing prompts would be beyond helpful. Serious writers will tell you that despite "poor" days, it is still incredibly important to try to get something on paper...even if that means going back and editing the entire thing. So, here are a few more ideas to get those creative juices following...
The Power of Observation
Yes. I have been that strange person who goes to Starbucks and watches everyone. Why? Because every now and then the light bulb goes on: the random man paying at the counter is wearing mixed-matched socks...and the story begins. You don't necessarily need to watch people. Go to the park and sit quietly for a bit. What's the weather like? Are there dogs catching frisbees? Moms pushing babies in strollers? Or maybe you can just experience the calm and serenity of your surroundings. Don't get me wrong, it can feel weird and even intrusive, but done with the right attitude...and distance...you can be surprised how many ideas come to you by merely observing what's happening around you.
Trying a Different Style/Genre
When nothing comes to you, give this a chance. If you cannot work on what's in front of you, go in the opposite direction...or give another type of writing a shot. Are you a poet? Nothing is inspiring you? Why not try a short sci-fi story? Go crazy! Try a new style of writing, create a poem in a unknown form: a ghazal, sonnet, you get the picture. And you might be surprised, this new form could spark some awesome ideas, and quite possible become a favorite way to express yourself.
I can personally atest to this method. No lie, every day, I take a few minutes to jot down the "going-ons" and happenings in my life. And believe it or not, it has come in handy; when I have those days where nothing comes to mind, I can flip through and pick something out of my own life and run with it. It might not sound glamorous, but it can be useful when all else fails. And you know what? In addition to being helpful in your writing life, it is a great tool in keeping sane and helps relieve stress and anxiety.
Not every day is a spectacular/creative one. There are going to be times when absolutely nothing comes to you. That's when prompts of any kind will be useful and save you from an unproductive and boring writing day. To share a line from Hook, just think happy thoughts!