I’m in a situation that doesn’t allow me to express my creativity in stories. The lack of privacy, the noise, it’s not ideal. Authors sometimes need something to help them get into the mood to write. They need something to encourage that creativity. This week’s question was asked by our very own Eric Wood!
A time and place: at night, in bed. I have this ritual that seems so counter-intuitive to proper sleeping methods, but I’ll snuggle up in bed, close my eyes, and play a scene from one of my works-in-progress in my head. I’ll imagine it as vividly as I can, working through the dialogue, imagining the looks on the character’s faces, working my way through the emotion involved. I’ll do the same scene multiple nights in a row until I have it basically figured out to a tee, and then I’ll write it. Strangely, you’d think this ritual would cause me to be up at all hours of the night, but it actually helps me fall asleep!
An activity: watching awesome movies or TV shows. I get a lot of inspiration from my favorite shows and movies, and watching certain genres with awesome characters just really puts me in the mood to write even if I don’t necessarily know what I’m going to write about.
Early in the morning, before the clocks have starting ticking and the smell of coffee is fresh in the air… ahhhhhhh.
I’ve found that as soon as I get up from the computer, get in the car and start driving to work, I have a spike of inspiration. It’s very annoying, because trying to scribble notes while in traffic would be a road hazard so I have to wait and cling to those ideas so they can’t escape. The first hour or two while I’m at work also tends to be fertile brain-time, so I always carry a pen and note-paper. I do a lot of my conceptual editing then, and pop out new ideas. That’s one of the reasons I like my Day Job. Sitting at the computer and staring at documents has a way of oppressing me and turning the creative process rote; letting ideas percolate while I’m shelving books has been very helpful.
Listening to music typically scratches itches that can’t be reached, inspiration-wise. Or a really good, emotive story of any kind – a book, a movie… Also, some bad ones. It makes me wanna write something I feel might be better (even if it, in reality, isn’t haha).
Listening to music usually does it for me. I also need to be focused but relaxed.
Going for a walk beforehand often helps. Listening to music can as well.
If my mind’s already full of ideas but too boggled to focus, I just need to do anything that helps me relax.
I’m usually working at my day job when ideas strike. Thankfully that’s only a walk to the next room away from my writing chair where I can quickly jot ideas down or quickly get a scene written before getting back to the bill paying job. The shower is another typical place where my brain decides to get to work. It’s not quite as easy to jot things down there though. Morning and afternoon are my most creatively productive times.
I’m a night person, so I’m at my most creative in the evenings. This is problematic sometimes because I also have a job that starts in the early morning. I also like to put on some music or TV show in the background. Right now I’m watching Twilight Zone episodes.
My ultimate thinking spot comes in the form of running the quiet back roads. I think so many different thoughts in the 40-60 minutes I spend on each run. I think of everything from my next blog post to my next story to how I could run better to what will be for supper. Running doesn’t quiet my mind, it organises the thoughts within. It’s how I defragment my brain.
I have to be alone. I need to have all distractions removed. If I’m out for a walk by myself, sometimes passively watching my surroundings helps me think about the plot, even though I often zone out while I do that. But I also find that I think very well in the shower. Ideally, if I’m in front of my computer, I need silence. There must not be any sound to distract me. And I need to have a good 15 to 30 minutes to focus. And my web browser must be closed!
How about you?
To get your creativity going, what do you need to do? What places or times help you create? Let us know in the comments below.