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How to Find Your Creative Spark and Become a Better Writer

How to Find Your Creative Spark and Become a Better Writer

Although every piece of art is food for the soul in its own magical way, I find writing to be a very challenging branch when it comes to two important aspects – perceiving it and creating it. A painting is something you can see, music is something you can hear, but text is something that needs to be developed in your mind while you’re reading.

As a writer, you need to make sure that those mental images that are evoked in a reader’s mind while they are reading your work are interesting, to say the least. It sounds really difficult, because it is, but it is not impossible to learn. The fact that you’re not a particularly gifted singer doesn’t mean that you can’t develop a lovely singing voice if you invest your efforts that way. That goes the same for being a good writer.

Create a Productive Ritual

In order to become a good writer, you need to practice and be very determined about it. You should treat it as if it were any other job and write every single day. I know that creativity isn’t an inexhaustible source, and it can be very challenging for a writer to keep their focus and transfer it onto a blank piece of paper or screen in front of them, but that’s exactly what you need to do.

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Inspiration can be found even in the smallest things around you – you just need to awaken that curiosity in you and allow it to take you places. You probably consider it to be a bit contradictory to have a working schedule and daydream at the same time, but you need to harmonize these two things in order to create a piece with a beginning and an end.

That is why you need to create a sort of office, a comfortable place in your home (or in a mountain cottage, wherever) where you’re comfortable, undisturbed, and focused, so you can let your mind work.

Have a Notepad with You at All Times

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    Get a little notepad, or a smartphone for that matter, whichever you find more suitable. When your creativity starts boiling and you start working on a piece, your mind will keep a part of it dedicated to your work, so you will get various ideas all the time, whether you’re trying to come up with something, or you’re waiting in line at the grocery store.

    I made that same mistake of being absolutely certain that I’ll remember something and that I don’t really need to write it down (being a genius and all) and a thought – I can’t really remember if was truly brilliant or not – simply vanished. Therefore, write down everything that pops up in your mind, no matter if you consider it silly or not, because you’ll find its purpose in time.

    Break Your Fears and Just Write

    When you’re in a rut, or to use a more popular term, when faced with the notorious writer’s block, caused by lack of inspiration or because you just realized how dumb everything you wrote is (we all go through this, perhaps because we’re a bit theatrical as a group) you need to resist all your instincts that tell you to burn all your work in a huge fire and do the very opposite – write.[1]

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    Even if it’s a complete waste of paper and even if it doesn’t make any sense – write. That’s the only way to get back on the right track while wasting minimal amounts of time. And only after you get sick of the fact that you’re not capable of writing anything with a single bit of sense can you stop, but only to find ways to upgrade your skills.

    Therefore, get your favorite book and start reading, go online and search for inspirational pieces of music or some other form of art, learn about new ways to form your sentences by setting yourself on a quest to explore different writing styles, etc. The worst thing you can do is stare blankly into that wall in front of you and question your decision about becoming a writer.

    Isolate Yourself from Distractions

      It’s very important that you protect yourself from all disturbances. This may be something that your friends and family will find difficult to accept, but it’s quite important for your career to stay determined and focused – and the only way to do that is through isolation.[2] I’m not suggesting that you move and start living in the middle of a forest or a desert (which actually isn’t a bad idea at all), but be very specific about your work hours – it will be easier for you and everyone around you if you stay persistent about this.

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      Plan Ahead and Create Constructions

      It’s not impossible, but it is very difficult to write a valuable piece without planning it ahead and doing so in fine detail. In order to be capable of creating a story that’s clear and concise, you yourself need to know parts of that story so you don’t lose track along the way. When you create an outline, have in mind that it can be subjected to changes, if you feel the need for them as your story envelops.

      It is hard and it doesn’t get easier with every new piece. I know all of this sounds like a torture and you’re probably wondering whether it’s worth the trouble at all, but it really is. After you complete your first story or a book and realize your mind is capable of creating a valuable piece of art, you’ll get addicted to writing and you should – the world is always in need for great artists and you could be the next one.

      Featured photo credit: https://unsplash.com/photos/QdRnZlzYJPA via pexels.com

      Reference

      [1] The New Yorker: How to Beat Writer’s Block
      [2] Goins, Writer: How to Stay Focused Writing

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      Ivan Dimitrijevic

      Ivan is the CEO and founder of a digital marketing company. He has years of experiences in team management, entrepreneurship and productivity.

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      Last Updated on March 13, 2019

      How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

      How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

      Have you gotten into a rut before? Or are you in a rut right now?

      You know you’re in a rut when you run out of ideas and inspiration. I personally see a rut as a productivity vacuum. It might very well be a reason why you aren’t getting results. Even as you spend more time on your work, you can’t seem to get anything constructive done. While I’m normally productive, I get into occasional ruts (especially when I’ve been working back-to-back without rest). During those times, I can spend an entire day in front of the computer and get nothing done. It can be quite frustrating.

      Over time, I have tried and found several methods that are helpful to pull me out of a rut. If you experience ruts too, whether as a working professional, a writer, a blogger, a student or other work, you will find these useful. Here are 12 of my personal tips to get out of ruts:

      1. Work on the small tasks.

      When you are in a rut, tackle it by starting small. Clear away your smaller tasks which have been piling up. Reply to your emails, organize your documents, declutter your work space, and reply to private messages.

      Whenever I finish doing that, I generate a positive momentum which I bring forward to my work.

      2. Take a break from your work desk.

      Get yourself away from your desk and go take a walk. Go to the washroom, walk around the office, go out and get a snack.

      Your mind is too bogged down and needs some airing. Sometimes I get new ideas right after I walk away from my computer.

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      3. Upgrade yourself

      Take the down time to upgrade yourself. Go to a seminar. Read up on new materials (#7). Pick up a new language. Or any of the 42 ways here to improve yourself.

      The modern computer uses different typefaces because Steve Jobs dropped in on a calligraphy class back in college. How’s that for inspiration?

      4. Talk to a friend.

      Talk to someone and get your mind off work for a while.

      Talk about anything, from casual chatting to a deep conversation about something you really care about. You will be surprised at how the short encounter can be rejuvenating in its own way.

      5. Forget about trying to be perfect.

      If you are in a rut, the last thing you want to do is step on your own toes with perfectionist tendencies.

      Just start small. Do what you can, at your own pace. Let yourself make mistakes.

      Soon, a little trickle of inspiration will come. And then it’ll build up with more trickles. Before you know it, you have a whole stream of ideas.

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      6. Paint a vision to work towards.

      If you are continuously getting in a rut with your work, maybe there’s no vision inspiring you to move forward.

      Think about why you are doing this, and what you are doing it for. What is the end vision in mind?

      Make it as vivid as possible. Make sure it’s a vision that inspires you and use that to trigger you to action.

      7. Read a book (or blog).

      The things we read are like food to our brain. If you are out of ideas, it’s time to feed your brain with great materials.

      Here’s a list of 40 books you can start off with. Stock your browser with only the feeds of high quality blogs, such as Lifehack.org, DumbLittleMan, Seth Godin’s Blog, Tim Ferris’ Blog, Zen Habits or The Personal Excellence Blog.

      Check out the best selling books; those are generally packed with great wisdom.

      8. Have a quick nap.

      If you are at home, take a quick nap for about 20-30 minutes. This clears up your mind and gives you a quick boost. Nothing quite like starting off on a fresh start after catching up on sleep.

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      9. Remember why you are doing this.

      Sometimes we lose sight of why we do what we do, and after a while we become jaded. A quick refresher on why you even started on this project will help.

      What were you thinking when you thought of doing this? Retrace your thoughts back to that moment. Recall why you are doing this. Then reconnect with your muse.

      10. Find some competition.

      Nothing quite like healthy competition to spur us forward. If you are out of ideas, then check up on what people are doing in your space.

      Colleagues at work, competitors in the industry, competitors’ products and websites, networking conventions.. you get the drill.

      11. Go exercise.

      Since you are not making headway at work, might as well spend the time shaping yourself up.

      Sometimes we work so much that we neglect our health and fitness. Go jog, swim, cycle, whichever exercise you prefer.

      As you improve your physical health, your mental health will improve, too. The different facets of ourselves are all interlinked.

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      Here’re 15 Tips to Restart the Exercise Habit (and How to Keep It).

      12. Take a good break.

      Ruts are usually signs that you have been working too long and too hard. It’s time to get a break.

      Beyond the quick tips above, arrange for a 1-day or 2-days of break from your work. Don’t check your (work) emails or do anything work-related. Relax and do your favorite activities. You will return to your work recharged and ready to start.

      Contrary to popular belief, the world will not end from taking a break from your work. In fact, you will be much more ready to make an impact after proper rest. My best ideas and inspiration always hit me whenever I’m away from my work.

      Take a look at this to learn the importance of rest: The Importance of Scheduling Downtime

      More Resources About Getting out of a Rut

      Featured photo credit: Joshua Earle via unsplash.com

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