Saturday, May 2, 2009

Annie's Ideas for Getting Unstuck

Brenda Novak’s 5th Annual On-line Auction for Diabetes Research began Friday and will run through the month. Items up for auction include books by many of your favorite authors, treats, jewelry, once in a lifetime experiences, critiques by top agents, editors and writers, and some wonderful gift baskets—including mine, The Chocolate Lover’s Gift Basket. Please stop by the site and take a look around.

If you’re dealing with writer’s block, or just feeling depressed about writing in general, how do you get started again without adding to the stress you already feel? Maybe what you need to do is something other than writing. (Like bidding on the Chocolate Lover's gift basket. Hint. Hint.)

My friend Annie is not only a grammar whiz, she’s also a very talented artist and poet who never seems to be stuck for ideas or inspiration. Or so I thought. She laughed when I told her it seemed as though the creative muses lived in her studio.

“I get stuck all the time,” she said. “I just know what to do to get unstuck.”

So here are Annie’s Ideas for Getting Unstuck. Maybe one of them will work for you.

1. Listen to music. Get up and dance.
2. Cook. Try a new recipe or indulge in comfort food: mac and cheese, brownies, chocolate chip cookies.
3. Read non-fiction.
4. Walk through a museum or art gallery.
5. Walk around your neighborhood and take pictures.
6. Draw on the sidewalk or driveway with chalk.
7. Cut pictures from a magazine and make a collage.
8. Prowl around Wikipedia
9. Choose five words at random from the dictionary and use them in a naughty poem.
10. Walk the dog.
11. Baby sit a friend’s kids.
12. Make playdoh and then sculpt with it.
13. Take a long, hot shower. Or a short cold one.
14. Have sex.

What do you do when you're stuck?


Paul Lamb said...

What has worked for me is to take my familiar characters and put them in a completely different genre. If I'm writing a mystery story, I put them in a science fiction, say. Not science fiction with a mystery in it, but straight-up science fiction. Or a western. Or a romance. Somehow this breathes new life into my ambition, and it often gives me new insight into my character's personality.

Lori said...

This is going to sound strange, but I go start cleaning the grout and tile in the bathroom. I think it's a combination of my hands being busy and my mind free to wander that works. Or maybe I need to switch to a more earth-friendly cleaner.

iasa said...

I have almost the same list, but I was using it not to help me write but to distract me from my lack of number 14 :

JD Rhoades said...

Next time I'm stuck, I think I'll go over to Annie's house.

Susan E said...

This is a really good question. In fact I may steal it for my next newsletter. But for me, deadlines are the only thing that works. It's funny how when you have to do something you find a way to manage it. If I don't have a deadline I'm in trouble.

Darlene Ryan said...

JD, Annie's house is a great place to hang out when you're stuck. So far she hasn't figured out that my getting "stuck" coincides with her brownie making.

Coupon Huntress said...

how about surf the internet, and look for coupons?!