In the past couple of weeks, I have been presented with people who don’t know what to write, don’t know how to get ideas, or haven’t written anything in some time because they just haven’t been inspired. Whilst I understand this feeling and have also waited for the spark of creativity, I also believe that turning up to work is the best way to be inspired. As a professional writer, I have to turn up and write every day, even when I don’t feel like it. So here are some tips, collected from writing groups and business groups, to help when you’re just not in the mood.
Schedule time in your diary.
You book time for meetings and you attend. You book time in your calendar to do things, and hopefully you do them. So why not book time to write? Why not book time to do some marketing, some planning, to write a Facebook Ad?
Don’t just book it, and then ignore it. You have legitimately put aside time for this event, so you should honour it and do that activity. Spend a good hour building a Facebook Ad to sell your product. Take the time away from work to read a book or go for a walk, something to re-energise yourself.
Make it a Ritual.
Before you start the ‘rest of your day’, make time to do this thing, make it the first thing you do. Like getting up and making coffee, or doing an hour at the gym, make it part of your regular daily routine.
If it becomes a habit, then it becomes second nature. Just do it, for an hour, and then move on.
Do something a little different.
If what you are working on doesn’t inspire you, or bores you, then try to do something just a little different. Take an element of what you’re doing, and throw it into a different setting.
Two characters just not getting a dialogue happening? Take a character and put them in a room with the other’s parents and have a conversation.
Can’t get the words right for writing the copy for a certain product? Imagine you’re explaining the features and benefits to a three-year-old.
Trying to come up with the title for a blog? Write single words, put them in a hat, draw them out and say something out loud.
Ask yourself WHY?
Why are you doing this thing you are doing? Sometimes by reminding yourself about why you are doing a certain task it can reinvigorate you, remind you why you are outt there at the coal face.
Give yourself a break
Sometimes all you need is five minutes away from the task at hand. Get up and dance, sing loudly. Do the dishes, get a snack from the fridge. Call your mother. Distract your mind away from the thing which was sticking you to that spot
A lot of creative work requires discipline and sticking with it through those times when you really don’t want to. And this can be said for all of us who work for ourselves, who have to market ourselves, do the bookkeeping, customer service, make things, invent things, all of that. Sometimes we can get run down and just stop.
If nothing above works, talk to a friend. Offer to buy them a coffee, tell them your problem, and who knows, it could all be solved!