Everybody hits a period when it seems like the words just won’t flow. Do you find yourself procrastinating more about your project or sitting in front of your computer and then remembering all the other things you need to be doing? If you are in the valley of your project rather than scaling the peaks, it’s time for some inspiration. Here are a few of the things that I use to get through those valley periods:
Music. By putting on music that you consider appropriate to your work you can help spur your creativity. Your choice could range from Beethoven to Beach Boys to Lady Bianca. One famous horror writer who shall remain nameless has made public his habit of listening to heavy metal for inspiration. iPods and other MP3 players are wonderful inventions. I can listen to a medley of my favorite artists and not have to change the music for hours.
Promising a treat. If you have to chain yourself to your computer to finish a specific task or portion of your manuscript, tell yourself you will do something rewarding after you finish. Your reward could be as simple as going for a long, pleasurable walk or reading a favorite author. Or, if it’s a particularly hard task, it could be something more significant, like a trip to Paris (just kidding). Actually give yourself the reward, or this technique won’t work for long.
Taking a shower. You laugh, but when I’m stuck, the shower helps me to think better.
Journal writing. There is usually a reason for procrastination. Writing about writing in my journal sometimes can get me unstuck. Try it and see if it works for you.
Experiment to find what works best to inspire you and when you find something, stick with it. The closer you can get to making the writing process itself enjoyable, or at least what comes directly after the writing, the faster you’ll be able to complete your project.