You love your craft. Writing is what you do and you wouldn't have it any other way. But sometimes, you get worried, stressed out, and doubtful. Or you want a break after you've written so much that you're raw from the energy you've pushed onto the page.
When you need a break from your writing, pursue these other creative endeavors to get those ideas flowing.
If You’re Stuck in the Comparison Game: Yoga
On the surface, yoga may seem pretty different from writing. The truth is, it’s actually not that far from it. On the mat, you learn how to stretch your muscles without injuring them, stop comparing yourself to others, relax, remove thoughts from the day, and get into shape. Don’t you do something similar when you write? To be successful in our creative endeavors, we have to stop comparing our stories with the work of others. We have to relax and ease our words out of our minds and onto the page. The more we write, the more we stretch the writing muscle. That’s what makes you better. Yoga is a great way to gain an understanding of these benefits and get some time away from the computer.
If You’ve Painted Your Story Into A Corner: Adult Coloring Books
If you spend any time at craft stores, Urban Outfitters, Barnes and Noble, or Pinterest, you already know that adult coloring books are the trendiest thing since fingerpaint. Get some colored pencils and sketch in that Zentangle. This is a good option if you can’t decide the next step for your story. Mull it over with adult coloring books. According to Huffington Post, they’re known to reduce stress. Also head over to Medical Daily to check out the science on adult coloring books.
If You Need Inspiration: Local Sightseeing & Taking A Drive
Fun fact: I get my absolute best ideas while I’m driving and listening to music. If you can’t wrap your head around what you’re writing anymore, get your favorite CD and take a drive. I live in Vegas, so my favorite thing to do is drive up the windy roads of the south valley and see the Vegas Strip far below me. It’s sublime and gives me so many ideas. Hiking is also a great way to do this. I’m not able to get out and hike much, due to our 100+ degree temps in the summer, but I highly recommend a good walk.
If you’re feeling more social, grab your S.O. and head downtown. Go see something you haven’t seen before. Is there a fancy hotel you can walk through? A museum you can check out? An art festival? Hit save on Microsoft Word or Scrivener and head out the door. Don’t forget your idea notebook.
If You Need To Remember Why You’re Doing This: Reading
Do you ever read your words and wonder why you’re writing your story? Everyone does, but success depends on pushing through this feeling until you get better. If you need to remember where it all started, re-read your favorite book or find a new favorite that you’ve been aching to read. This is productive if you take mental notes on what pulled you into the narrative, what you liked about the author’s style, and the plot.
If You Want To Get More Ideas: Storyboard Your Novel
It’s great to jot down ideas when they come to you, but sometimes visual inspiration can really get the mind running. Head on over to Pinterest to create some shnazzy boards for your works in progress. Map out characters and settings in a way you’ve never tried before. You can make them public to get people excited about your WIP or you can make them secret boards. Need some tips on how to approach this? Check out Jenny Bravo’s post on How To Storyboard Your Novel On Pinterest.
If You Need A Jane Austen Fix: Letter Writing
Okay, okay. Not all of you love Jane Austen, but letter writing can be a seriously cathartic way to get out of your mode of writing. Tired of texting? Write a friend or loved one a thoughtful letter. Better yet, decorate stationary or make them a card. It sounds super cheesy, but it’s also really fun. Here are some ideas for letters to write and send. Don’t forget to check out this post on the art of the letter. If you’re really into stationary, you can also check out my Pinterest board for lovely paper products:
If You Need To Break Free From Everything: Painting
I really need to get back into this, but one of my favorite things to do is paint. You know why? Because I don’t have to be the best at it. I know that I’m not the best at painting. It’s a really forgiving art form if you aren’t studying it professionally.
Head to the craft store and buy a pack of canvases– if you buy in bulk and get the small ones, they can be as cheap as 5 or 6 bucks. You can also find little tubes of acrylic paint and brushes for a few dollars as well. This may sound really messy, but if you put down some newsprint and keep away from the carpet, this can be a really fun activity to do with friends at home. It’s like stay-at-home paint night.
Need more reasons to delve into creative endeavors? Here are some great articles to help you through your process:
7 Non-Writing Activities To Boost Your Creativity by Amanda Shofner
How To Turn On Your Creativity Faucet and Keep It Flowing by Leanne Sowul for DIYMFA