When it comes to writing, sometimes it can be so hard to get started. There will always be times when you feel a bit stuck or distracted, when words just won’t come.
It can be frustrating, but it’s important to remember that it’s normal and OK. Words have an energy of their own; they might need a little coaxing but you can beckon them to you.
So here are a few strategies I thought I’d share. I practise these most days as they help me tap in to inspiration – and they really work!
1. Ask the muse
The universe, spirits, God, Calliope, the words – who or whatever he/ she/ it is… They are much more likely to show up for you if you’re polite and ask them.
2. Get a notebook and take it everywhere
I have different notebooks for different areas of the house – beside the bed, by the sofa, in my office, plus one for my handbag. Ideas and inspiration often come when you least expect it.
Those drift-off moments are when an idea will visit you. If the idea is good enough it will be worth forcing yourself to write it down.
We all know how the muse loves to visit us here. One of these may be in order.
5. Clean the house
Seriously, this can be as effective as having a shower. Embrace the distraction – then when it’s done it will no longer be a distraction.
6. Move around
Inspiration follows movement, so get up from your desk. You don’t have to go for a run, just making a cup of tea can be enough for a new idea or perspective to arrive.
7. Take a trip on public transport
Not only will it get you out, but something happens psychologically when you combine time in a confined environment with movement. Disengaging from life and gazing out of the window of a moving bus or train are often when ideas like to appear.
8. Eat well
Nothing is more of a creativity-killing distraction than hunger.
9. Be like Elgar and tap into the cosmic store
“My idea is that there is music in the air, music all around us, the world is full of it and you simply take as much as you require.”― Edward Elgar: Letters of a Lifetime
If you believe in the cosmic store, your text will be out there with your name on it. Visualise it in your mind’s eye and reproduce it. But be careful: this doesn’t mean that your creation will come to you complete. It will mostly be fragmentary and you will still have to work hard to piece it together.
11. Don’t expect perfection
Not only does it kill creativity, but mistakes are often where the beauty is.
12. Stay humble
Creativity is a partnership with the muse.
13. So give thanks
The more gratitude you give, the more the universe will support you.
14. Share your knowledge and help others
Again, the more you give, the more you get in return.
15. Acknowledge that there will be rhythms and cycles
– up times and down times. Like the rhythm our heart beats, or our breathing – in, out, up and down – there’ll be times when you’re productive, and times when there are blockages. That’s creativity. Embrace it. You can’t have one without the other.
16. Just start
As Picasso (or was it Michelangelo?) is supposed to have said, “Inspiration exists, but it has to find you hard at work.”
17. Be careful what you ask for
You need to be specific and clear. You may end up with too much material, which can be either a blessing, a pain, or material for another project.