by Saralee Rosenberg
Last night I had the awesome pleasure of helping kick off the new Hofstra Writers Community by discussing the arch enemy of writers-- creative outages. The topic had hit me during Hurricane Irene after the power shut off and major anxiety set in.
First concern? Would there be enough time to eat all the ice cream before it melted (yes!)? And secondly, would I still able to think creatively if my trusty computer was unavailable?
Sounds crazy, but during those long hours of darkness, I felt lost and "brain drained" without my electronic assistant- the one that never complained or called in disillusioned. I could still write with paper, pen and a flashlight, of course, but at my age, the thought of reconnecting with my inner- camper didn't sound fun.
Turns out that for me, and maybe for you as well, we really do our best brainstorming when we step away from the computer.
In that "light", here are 20 great ways to help unleash your creativity:
1. Take a walk
2. Take a bath
3. Watch a movie
4. Read a book, magazine or newspaper that you would normally never look at
5. Talk to a child
6. Talk to an elderly person
8. Write a letter or email a friend or family member
9. Look through your high school yearbook and think about whatever happened to
10. Run errands
11. Do chores- amazing where the mind goes when you bend over a dishwasher
12. Listen to great music
13. Visit some place new
14. Revisit a favorite place
15. Attempt something new/out of your comfort zone
17. Interview an interesting person about their hobby and/or career
18. Go to the library and scan the non-fiction stacks for topics to put on your radar
19. Bring a notebook to an airport, waiting room, beauty/nail salon, etc.
20. Observe a situation or behavior and ask “what if?”
And here is what you should not do:
1. Be negative- there is a no-refund policy on time wasted at a pity party
2. Go online for hours under the guise of doing research. You know the truth- Facebook, blogs, web surfing, etc. are huge time sucks. See #1 about the no-refund policy on wasted time
3. Judge too soon. Don’t assume that your ideas are trite, unoriginal or stupid. If they are on your radar, pursue them and see where they lead. Ask “what if?”
Lights out? Not I. Not ever.
Saralee Rosenberg is the author of four novels from Avon/HarperCollins. DEAR NEIGHBOR, DROP DEAD, FATE AND MS. FORTUNE, CLAIRE VOYANT, and A LITTLE HELP FROM ABOVE. She is finishing her first novel for middle grade called, HOTLINE TO HEAVEN.
Visit her www.saraleerosenberg.com