Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Writer's Block Tricks

Today I thought I'd talk about some of the things i like to do when my muse isn't singing. Sometimes they work and sometimes they don't. They may not work for everyone but these are what tend to kick start my writing muses.

It doesn't matter if it's a five minute trip to the grocery store or a cross-country road trip, driving really gets me thinking. Especially if it's nice enough to have the windows open and the radio on, my hair whipping around in the breeze. Contentment. I keep a digital voice recorder in my car and if an idea comes to me I record it. This is the way Performance Machine was written.

I love to cook. I learned to cook because I love to eat, and after cooking for nine kids over the course of nearly thirty years, my mom was phoning it in at best. It started small with simple things, mostly home-made French fries or baked goods. From there I slowly branched out. Most of what i make if home-style with strong German and Irish influences, since that the way my parents were taught. Say what you will about my father (please, I love I to hear the man get back what he gave me over the years) but the man could cook! His fried chicken could beat the Colonel, Popeye's and Churches on a bad night. And when he grilled it was a symphony in food. It is from him that I honed my culinary skills. That might be simple, prefer garlic, onion and salt as my seasonings, but it's always good and it always makes me think.

Other creative projects
Sometimes all my writing muse needs is another muse hogging my attention. Brittney doesn't like that. So if my art muse, or jewelry, or whatever muse starts singing, it often brings me some good ideas. Sometimes I get lost in the idea of a new project and all of a sudden, words start flying through my head so fast I can't get them all down. Those are good times.

Reading other people's books
Whether it's hot off the presses, a classic or an old favorite, reading what someone else has to say always reminds me of things I want to say too. Sometimes they give me idea for a direction I hadn't planned on in the story. There is a major one of these in Natural Selection, but I'm not going to give a spoiler so you'll just have to wait until October.

So what does it take to get your muse dancing again? I'd love to hear (and possibly try) all of your ideas!


  1. I LOVE driving around and listening to music. It almost always gets my creative juices flowing!

    Listening to music while working around the house helps, too. Working in the yard, watering plants, etc. Doing the dishes, anything where my hands are occupied but my mind is free to roam.

  2. Being at work is good for sparking creativity. I sit at my desk ideas and scenes playing in my head as I work so when I get home it is just a matter of finding the time to write them down. The same goes for running and talking about the story.

  3. Oh, yeah, I forgot that Nichole. Folding laundry is the best one for me, but maybe that cause I don't doom plants by bringing them near me. I can't grow a cactus, no joke. ;)

  4. My muse need her ADHD meds...Thats when I catch up on my blog or write comments on everyones twitter. Writing is writing!!