Sandra here and hoping you're all having a terrific week. And can you believe it is almost the month of March? My, my where does the time fly?
Speaking of March are you ready for Speedbo? I can hardly wait to see our Seeker friends writing their hearts out. Happy dancing!
Before Speedbo starts and we turn on our tunnel vision toward our wip, lets talk about things to do to keep the creative juices flowing.
There are physical, mental and spiritual things you can do to enhance your creative muse. We had some great ideas for physical and mental things last Monday in the post by Robin Caroll. Yesterday, Missy gave us some great food tips for keeping that body strong.
Let's look at the physical things we can do. I will divide this into two aspects: your physical environment and your physical body condition.
Find a place to write where there are no distractions or reminders of stress, chores, etc.
Julie has a really nice office, but she does most of her writing sitting on her porch that looks out over the forest where deer and chipmunks wander.
I write in my motorhome-even when it’s parked in my back yard. My office is a fright and I've learned that all that disorder interferes with creativity. Every time I glance up from the keyboard or computer screen, I see other chores that need to be done, bills that need to be paid, shelves that need dusting. One solution was suggested to me and I’m going to try it. Put all the disorder on one side of the room. Place your computer facing an uncluttered desk, table, etc and a wall with simple and/or peaceful décor.
When Ruthy was raising her children, she garnished a corner of her attic to create her masterpieces.
It doesn't matter where it is or how big or fancy, it needs to be uncluttered and stress free.
In Scottsdale the Franciscan Renewal Center has facilities that are perfect for writers. The grounds used to be a bordello out in the desert, but it was bought by the Franciscan monks who have made it a spiritual retreat. Many local writer’s groups use the facilities for workshops. There are rooms you can rent that are extremely reasonable and the fee includes meals with the monks in their cafeteria. I love going there for quiet writing time when I can’t find it at home.
Look for out of the way places in your area that are reasonable. Maybe a friend has a cabin you can borrow. Or an RV you can take to a park for the day.
I like to write in complete silence. That is possible in my household (at times). Some writers like music. I have to admit, I've used suspenseful sounding music when I want to crank out a suspenseful scene. Romantic love songs help with the touching love scenes.
And as has been mentioned before in other posts, get your family and friends on the same page. Be firm. If you waffle or waver once, they will know they can get your attention. You do remember how a two year old (or in my case my husband) acts the minute you get on the phone. LOL
The other physical aspect is your body. Robin and commenters on her post gave us some great exercises to keep that blood flowing to the brain. Timely breaks are important.
Exercise is always good. For one thing, it relieves stress, which is the biggest inhibitor to creativity. I personally like to take walks because I can plot while walking.
Tina has a platform for her computer on her treadmill. How clever is that? Carolyn Fyffe shows her treadmill computer on her website and wrote about it in her Seekerville post Not Enough Hours in Your Day.
photo from Treadmill desk website
Finally let’s address diet. My fellow Seekerville brothers and sisters, you are going to tar and feather me, but please hear me out. Sugar (and that includes chocolate) is not our friend. You can get a boost when the sugar rushes directly from your mouth to your brain, but the rush is followed by a drastic drop in blood sugar. This causes stress and as we have pointed out, stress is not our friend. Stress inhibits creativity.
So read Missy’s post from yesterday and read what many of the commenters use. Nuts, fruits, sliced meats, veggie snacks, these are great brain food. Or checkout recipes from Yankee Belle.
Eat small snacks instead of large meals that leave you wanting to take a nap.
A writing marathon like speedbo involves less thinking and more attitude.
You don’t have time to think things through. You don’t have time to let that left brain rationalize, ponder, criticize, edit, critique or even complement. You need to lock your left brain in the closet and let your right brain creativity come out and play.
Again stress is your enemy. Ways to fight mental stress.
Who recognizes this verse? “Keep your mind on whatever is true, whatever is honest, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good report. If there be any virtue and if there be any praise, think on these things.” And what will your reward be? Peace.
Doubt is another enemy. You have to BELIEVE that you can do this. “If you say to this mountain, ‘Go, throw yourself into the sea,’ and do not doubt in your heart but believe that what you say will happen, it will. Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it and it will be yours.”
Your words and thoughts are powerful. Do not even whisper things like “I don’t have time.” “I don’t have a good place to write.” “I won’t ever finish a whole novel.”
REPEAT AFTER ME
“I will write every day.”
“I will find a place to write.”
“I will finish my novel.”
“My novel will be published.”
You get the idea. Keep those thoughts positive.
In our culture we often stay focused on our mental and physical condition, but often forget our spiritual condition needs the same amount of attention.
Does anyone remember the verse that follows the one above from Mark? “And if you stand praying, if you hold anything against anyone, forgive him.” Anger, unforgiveness, dissension, gossip, lies, and fear are all enemies to creativity.
It is impossible to create when your mind is stewing over some injustice or fear. Well you can give those nasty feelings to your protagonist. LOL But it is best to give them to the One who offered to take them from us. So take advantage of the season of lent and get rid of these transgressions and distractions before you start writing.
Spend time listening to that still small voice of God.
Find quiet time to pray. Ask God for help. Ask Him to show you your characters.
Debby shared with me that she gets some of her best inspiration while sitting in church in adoration of the Saviour.
Well, that’s it folks. Here’s your checklist. Good preparation is the key to success.
Share with us some other ideas and ways to keep those juices flowing and have a chance to win a pound of Godiva Chocolate Raspberry coffee. We will also have a second drawing for a Seeker book. You can save those as rewards for April when you’ve finished that manuscript. :)
Be sure and check the Weekend Edition for winners.
Watch for Audra's post tomorrow with more helpful advice to tackle SPEEDBO