How to Spark Your Creativity
Just like getting off the couch and exercising is the best way to sculpt your body, the best way to improve your mind is to be creative.
Easy for me to say “be creative” but what about all those times you’ve tried and tried only to come up empty-handed?
Start with an idea. If you can’t think of one, try a “what if” scenario. All this involves is to think of a question that starts with “What if”:
- What if someone was badly injured, alone, and without cell phone reception in the Alaskan wilderness?
- What if someone found a way to time travel but no matter where he went, he couldn’t get back to his original time?
- What if someone woke up in a dream he couldn’t escape?
It can be anything, but be specific. The idea is to get your thoughts flowing. Write them down if it helps. You might think your ideas are terrible but hey, you can always change them later.
And now that you’ve started, you can create characters, plots, and scenes you’d like to incorporate into one or more of your books. They don’t have to be lengthy descriptions; they don’t even have to be full sentences: Just write something down.
Of course, if you have a great idea, write it down in as much detail as you can so that when you go back to it, you’ll recall just what you were thinking at the time. For example, if you know who your protagonist is going to be, write down his catchphrase, his favorite food, the type of music he listens to, what he’s afraid of, what he looks like, who he’s friends with, whatever springs to mind. It helps to imagine your characters as real people with personalities and flaws as diverse as a foolhardy knight who’s afraid of spiders.
If none of this is working, another idea is to start writing. Even if it’s the worst 200 words you’ve ever written, write. Anything can be revised. Maybe your characters will interact differently than you imagined; maybe your story will go in a direction you hadn’t thought of. You might not know until you write it out.
So, by now, if you’re thinking, “easier said than done,” or you’re really suffering from a lack of energy, do something creative. It should be something that’s challenging but still doable: paint, cook, do origami, build a model sailboat for your desk, have a paper airplane competition with your family, do something to get those brain cells firing. While in the midst of that something else, your clearest vision might come through.← Back to blog home