4 Ways to Make Your Writing Feel New Again
It’s Easter, so today’s topic has to do with rebirth, renewal, and getting reinspired. It’s timely, too. I have a handful of new clients who have reached out in the past couple weeks looking for a shot in the arm, and I have plenty of other long-timers who have hit a slump and are looking for ways to liven things up and make their projects sparkle.
So where do you find new inspiration? How do you get motivated when you’re asking yourself whether it’s all even worth it?
Sharing your writing is key. Some writers are great about doing this, but some of you (you know who you are) are writing in such isolation that you simply have no gauge, no barometer for how well your work is going to stand up to criticism, to relevancy, to feedback. Many writers do this on purpose—because it’s scary to share your work. But if you’re in a slump, you absolutely must take that risk. Other people—whether they’re friends, a writing group, possibly even family—can breathe life back into your work and make you remember what it is you love about writing.
Hire a coach, an editor, or a reader to read your work and give you feedback. Ask them not to spare your feelings. Be open to seeing another person’s comments. Whether or not you integrate them into your story or book project is totally up to you. Comments from outside professionals are meant to open up a dialogue. It’s not about accepting edits hook, line, and sinker. Sometimes what someone else sees can open a doorway to an inspiration or creative depth you weren’t able to previously access.
Create Something Visual
SoulCollage® is a process I like to share with word-lovers because of its power to help highly articulate types get beyond the verbal. SoulCollage® is a special way of collaging, that asks you to rely solely on your intuition to create a 5 x 8 inch collage. See instructions here. You can do this on a larger scale, too, and create a Dream Board. The primary thing you’re looking to do here is get out of your head. To create something visual that gets you in touch with the nonverbal aspect of your creativity. You’ll be amazed at the power of your own imagination—and oftentimes Soul cards are so prescient that many months later you piece something together that you didn’t even notice upon first examination.
Change Your Process
There are lots of ways to do this. Try writing in a new place. Maybe your garden. Move your desk to a new location. Or get out of the house altogether. Go to a coffee shop or the library. Try writing in the morning if you usually write at night, or vice versa. Take a writing retreat. Gift yourself a weekend away, whether you stay at a B&B or a friend’s house, and commit to writing for the whole weekend. See what happens. Sometimes the key to getting reinspired is reconnecting with your characters (if you’re writing fiction) or reconnecting with your expertise and why you want to help people with your writing (if you’re writing self-help) or sitting with the power of your personal story (if you’re writing memoir). Whatever you do, make your process intentional, and commit to sticking with some changes to get you out of your rut.
These are my four suggestions, but if you have others you’d like to share, please do. We can all benefit from hearing about things that have really worked for others. And I welcome your stories and comments.
Until next month.