5 Tips to Overcome Your Creative Block

 

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Whether it’s writer’s block, artist’s block, or any sort of metaphorical New Jersey traffic jam of your creative juices, you just want it to end. It’s like getting halfway up the stairs, only to realize you forgot something. Or driving an hour and a half of a three hour trip to discover you’ve forgotten your kids favorite stuffed animal. (True story.) But there are a few ways to get over it. The key is distraction. Any form will do fine. Just don’t do it for too long or you’ll end up in a full-on rut of procrastination. But soon enough, you’ll be able to face it all with a clear mind.

 

Here are 5 Tips to Overcome Your Creative Block:

1.) Read
  • You can grab a classic you’ve read a thousand times or, better yet, read a book written by one of the many authors following your blog or on Twitter and the like. If you’re a writer, it may help you remember why you got into the game in the first place. It’s fair to say other authors have suffered through creative blocks of their own and found a way to overcome them. You can too.
2.) Create Something Else
  • There are countless artistic mediums to explore, so go ahead and give one or two a try. You can draw or paint, jot down some poetry, or even build a bird house out of ice pop sticks. Discovering another art niche, or even realizing you suck at other art niches, can be just the push you need to get back in the saddle.
3.) Educate Others
  • You don’t have to be a teacher to teach something to someone. You don’t have to teach something you know everything about. You don’t even have to teach within your age group. I find teaching my four-year-old son how to write his letters and numbers or even go over some basic math skills is not only rewarding for us both, but it’s usually just what I need to get around whatever was in my creative way.
4.) Game Apps
  • Most of us own some sort of electronic device, whether it’s a computer, a tablet, or a cell phone. There is an endless sea of educational game applications just waiting to be downloaded and most of them are free. Perhaps a leisurely game of Words With Friends (or Words With Strangers, as I like to call it.) Or try your hand at 4 Pictures, 1 Word to practice some word association. Another great outlet is Luminosity, where you’ll find plenty of games to exercise your brain.
5.) Dance Like No One’s Watching/Sing Like No One Can Hear You
  • This tip may be best served while no one is actually watching or can actually hear you, depending on your musical talents. But go find your favorite album, something from your past that you’re almost embarrassed to love so much, and go nuts! Truly letting go will refresh, motivate, and empower you.

 

Obviously, these are just a handful of ways to overcome your creative block. I’m sure we each have our own method that works best for us.

So, tell me. How do you overcome?

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A Writer’s Arsenal

Writer’s are warriors in their own right, and rather unsung if you ask me. I am by no means trying to compare authors to the heroics of soldiers or police officers or firefighters or nurses, etc. But when you bravely tell your friends or acquaintances you’re a writer, they usually seem to get the impression that anyone can do it. They’re almost right – anyone can sit down and put their thoughts onto paper. But for a true author, it is their passion, their first love – and they never give up on it.

No matter what we write, fiction or nonfiction, how we approach it is the same.

Our Sword and Shield = Our Pen and Paper

This is where our harrowing tales first come to life. We’ve let the beginnings of our tales ferment in our minds, so this is naturally the next step. Whether you’re writing an outline or jotting down a few notes, putting those words on paper are more or less engraving them stone. Of course, some details will change along the way, but we’ve got to start somewhere.

Our Trusty Steed = Our Computer

Back in the day, it was our typewriter. And if you’re still using one, kudos to you. Just know you’ll most likely be retyping the entire thing onto a computer as so many agencies and publishers would rather deal with electronic submissions – less paper, going green, saving the Earth and all that. But our computers are the modern day steed. Just remember to BACK IT UP! Like how an actual horse takes a random dump on the trail (sorry for the semi-graphic description) there is always the occasional power outage or program hiccup that could cause us to lose everything we just worked so hard on. Care for you steed – keep it clean, make sure you have the proper anti-virus programs in place, and always remember that giving it a swift smack will NOT fix what’s broken.

Our Squires = Our Editors & Proofreaders

These folks make sure we’re ready for battle. They go over every detail, assure us we’re properly armed and that our stories are as strong as they can be. If you’re lucky enough to have such assets under your employ, you’ll face the battlefield with far more confidence than ever before.

Our Brothers & Sisters In Arms = Our Fellow Authors

We are not alone. The more authors we have at our side, the stronger we’ll be. We are here to support each other, offer words of encouragement and advice, and echo our war cries when we finally charge into battle.

Our Battlefield = The Sales Shelf

Whether that sales shelf is brick and mortar or of the virtual variety, we will face the same obstacles. We’ll need sales and reviews (good ones) to keep charging forward. Some battlefields will be more challenging than others, but our goal is always the same – VICTORY!

Our Enemy = Our Harshest Critics

As the saying goes, “Keep your friends close and your enemies closer.” Critics will try to make or break you. Some will turn out to be one of your biggest assets, as you will learn far more about you and your writing from a brutally honest critic than you will ever learn from a friend or fellow author. They don’t care about hurting your precious feelings. They just want everyone to know the harsh truth. Be ready and stand strong.

Our People = Our Readers

We should always write for ourselves. We love our stories and want only to share them. But once you’ve established a fan base, no matter how big or small, they quickly become our biggest motivation. When they love our stories as much as we do, they become our most loyal followers. They will be there when we return from battle, waving their banners and praising our deeds. Thank them. Honor them. Love them as much as they love you.

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These days, our battlefield is far bigger than it was years ago. Modern technology has changed the rules of war, but the basics will always be the same. Arm yourself, have faith in your kinsmen and yourself, and never forget why we’re here in the first place – to write and be read.

Keep scribing, my friends.

Author Feature: Scant Montagne

I have a lovely treat for you all today!

I’d like you all to welcome author and poet, Scant Montagne of Book Of Spirals. He’s been kind enough to grace my blog with some of his lovely poetry for your reading pleasure. And if you find the time, browse his website for plenty of free reads, including a number of short stories.

I’ve had the pleasure of exchanging a few emails with Mr. Montagne after he found my Links for Authors page. I find him to be incredibly selfless and kind, a dedicated family man and a lover of his community. His written works are clever, witty, and insightful. I’m more than happy to share some of them with my readers here. I hope you enjoy them!

____________________________________________________________

Moth

Moth Poet

I’ve whispered moth-words to myself
many a night,
murmuring like a scratched and bleeding recording
of a lost pep-talk.
“Unused,” I whisper, “is not the same as useless.”
But why whisper when I should
shout or shut up?

The moth has no walls like I have walls,
walls even over doors, over my own bed.
I make little sketches by the window
and wish I, too, could pass through it
disdaining pages more acid than paper
as moths pass that last invisible threshold
before the flame.
For them, so easy – they seem to know the whispered milestones
of the jade and the jet.

I remember poets
who remembered their pain
and wish I could match it,
but I am hollow.
Were they ever hollow?

I am a flame
seeking immolation.
Unused, I know, is no different than useless.

The feeling moves on, but I’m fixed.
I can’t do it.
I can’t do it.
I can’t do it.
Ouch.

____________________________________________________________

Oranges

Regret

My regrets are succulent oranges*
and sweeter, of course, in memory
than on the tongue,
though I surfeit my tongue.
The FDA approves of my regret.

*May not contain oranges

____________________________________________________________

Rejection

A Series of Rejections

Parent,
Over-painter,
Looking in the mirror I’m holding.
You reject me through me.

Moon,
Illuminator,
An Ideal taunter.
You make me regret rejection.

Editor,
O’er-maker,
Know what you know before you know it.
Hum while you reject me.

Lover,
Vice-knower,
Weighted shadow above my heart.
Stupid sense says I should reject you.

Child,
Still knows how to play,
Teaching me to begin.
I hope you learn to reject me.

Music,
Comforter,
Mind’s clay made wet.
You reject rejection.

Future,
Keeper of too few secrets,
Norn-noose.
You rejected me before I was born.

Mathematician,
A posteriori pronouncer,
Whistling in the dark.
Thanks for rejecting me.

Earth,
Bouncer,
I am flying above a ravine.
O rejection!

____________________________________________________________

Goddess

Two Goddesses Smile

Joy flutters cleverly through arias
Of airy rock and wet fire.
Her wit pulls us, laughing,
Out of the golden mean, into blind scales.

But contentment isn’t clever.
She doesn’t have to be.

____________________________________________________________

Quill

Sonnet

No, I am not a sonnet and won’t be
When I have run a course of fourteen lines.
You’re looking for those tell-tale sonnet signs –
The ones you learned in English two-oh-three.
Those simpering rules that are so false to me,
Which your pedantic lecturer assigns
Will never trap me in their ordered lines
For I have branches like the laurel tree.

My turn will not impress you with its wit
And foolishness will be the only crop,
Whose verdant ears will soon invite the worm.
So pass me by – I am a twisted twit
Who asks you to dissect.  A studied chop
Won’t separate my content from my form.

____________________________________________________________

About the Author:

Scant Montagne is one of many pen names for an author who writes poetry, prose, music, libretti, lesson plans, and a number of other types of pieces.  Scant loves, among many other things, reading, camping, black panthers, talking about quantum mechanics, and spending time with friends and family (especially his wife – the “Beastmaster” – and his dragon-obsessed eleven-year-old).  When inhabiting his body, Scant resides in the Midwest section of the United States.  You can find out more about his work at www.bookofspirals.com (Please be aware that not all content on his site is appropriate for young persons).

____________________________________________________________

A huge thanks to Scant for allowing me to share so many of his written works here today – you are so generous.

Take care, everyone!

________________________________________________________

Want to be featured? Just fill out the form on my Author Services page -> CLICK HERE

Author Feature: T.C. Southwell (Round 3)

Well, this is the final author feature for friend, T.C. Southwell. Let’s make it count!

The Broken World: Book One – Children of Another God

Click to Get It On Smashwords

Click to Get It
On Smashwords

Genre(s): Epic Fantasy

Description: “Mujar do not use their powers for good or evil, they simply exist, immortal and apparently purposeless. The mounted warriors are known as the Black Riders, but no one knows where they come from or why they seem bent on exterminating every man, woman and child. Talsy uses her father’s knowledge to trap the Mujar with gold, which has an odd effect on them. Her father intends to throw him in a Pit, from which he will be unable to escape.

Talsy does not believe the Mujar deserves such a fate, so she frees him and begs him to take her with him on his journey. He agrees, and they set off across Shamarese, continuing his quest to find an old hermit’s lost son. There is far more at stake than Talsy realises, however, and she has innocently stumbled upon the last free Mujar, who has the power to decide the fate of her race…”

Get it on Smashwords >> http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/33991

** This book (as of June 17th, 2013) is FREE! **

________________________________________________________

About the Author

________________________________________________________

T. C. Southwell was born in Sri Lanka and moved to the Seychelles when she was a baby. She spent her formative years exploring the islands – mostly alone. Naturally, her imagination flourished and she developed a keen love of other worlds. The family traveled through Europe and Africa and, after the death of her father, settled in South Africa.

T. C. Southwell has written over thirty novels, ranging from fantasy and science fiction to romance and adventure, as well as five screenplays. Her hobbies include motorcycling, horse riding and art, and she is now a full-time writer.

Connect with T.C. Online:

Author Site -> http://www.tcsouthwellbooks.com
Facebook -> https://www.facebook.com/tcsouthwell
Twitter -> https://twitter.com/TCSouthwell

________________________________________________________

I want to give  a heartfelt thank you to T.C. Southwell for selflessly sharing so much of her hard work with us all. All of the five books I’ve feature for the past week are offered as FREE downloads on Smashwords. But she has TONS of other books for your reading pleasure, so I advise you to check them all out.

T.C. Southwell’s Books on Smashwords

>> https://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/TCSouthwell <<

Thanks again, TC! It was a pleasure to feature your books and let my followers get to know you and your work. Our best wishes to you in the future! xoxo

________________________________________________________

Want to be featured? Just fill out the form on my Author Services page -> CLICK HERE

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