This blog is for everyone who asks, “How do I become creative? How do I get ideas? How do I overcome writer’s block?”
Like many people who began writing fiction, my first attempts were very, very bad. I was frequently hit by writers block and did not quite understand how to deal with it. Furthermore, much of what I wrote seldom coalesced into anything worth reading or continuing. Of course, I eventually learned that there are simple techniques to do get the ball rolling. I offer this to anyone who is considering writing a novel next month. If you are having trouble getting inspiration, here are few things that you might consider.
Technique One: Get the Inner Editor to be quiet. When we talk about the inner editor we are talking about that very important part of the brain that analyzes, examines, criticizes, clarifies and frequently oppresses. It is the left half of the brain and it is very important that left brain people learn to shut it off and chill out once in awhile. (If you google’d something like “scientifically proven methods to write a good novel” then chances are you a left brain person). The way to train the inner editor to be quiet is to write a certain quota of words or pages at any given time of day. Try doing it by hand, as that activates a different part of you brain. When the inner editor starts to analyze, politely tell it to be quiet, and then proceed on.
After all, you don’t want to wind up like IT from the Wrinkle in Time do you?
Technique Two: Ignore the Outer Editor. The outer editor is any person who is somehow discouraging you from writing either explicitly or implicitly. This could be the crazy roommate who is interrupting your write time with video game tournament. It might be your friend or relative telling you that you are not creative. Sometimes they might even mean well. They could tell you all the horrible wrong things of your novel so you can “fix” it.
Let them never get to you. Instead, politely explain that your time is important and that you are a creative person because you are doing a creative work. Furthermore, take advantage of all the people who will inspire you. Go to the write-ins or escape to a library, coffee shop, or anywhere else to get the peace and distance you need to allow your ideas to germinate.
Technique Three: Read inside and outside your genre. This advice comes from Terry Pratchett. He believes that a good fiction writer must read extensively inside and outside his genre. Chances are, if you are writing a particular genre of fiction -e.g. fantasy, coming of age, BDSM wish fulfillment. etc – you’ve read quite a bit in your genre. So go find a blog, a news article, a Law Dictionary, a history book, some Manga or anything else you haven’t read before. You never know where good ideas might come from!
Technique Four: Get some good music. This may not work for everybody, but this has worked great for me. One of my favorite things to do is listen to choral church music, grimy club music, grandiose movie soundtracks, or abstract electronica and let images of places, characters, and so on inspire what I write while doing technique one. It’s a great way to shut up the inner editor too. “Hey you, just listen to the fuckin’ music okay?”
Now as you read this, you might be thinking about how to find time to do all these things. There are, however, some fairly easy ways to get it something done. Subscribe and you’ll see it in tomorrow’s update.
Go check out the NaNoWriMo website for more ideas and where to find supportive, creative, people.