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Writing can be fun, exhilarating, and rewarding. However, it can also be downright exhausting. The mental strain of composing text and creating content can take a heavy toll on the brain.
If you’re a writer, you’re likely familiar with the struggle to stay focused and keep those creative juices flowing regularly. Here are a few ways that you can keep that creativity going throughout the upcoming year.
1. Dedicate Your Space
It’s difficult to steadily create when you don’t have a dedicated workspace. This doesn’t have to be a magnificent two-story office lined with books from floor to ceiling, as was the case with Sir Walter Scott’s study. It simply has to be an area of your home that is solely dedicated to your craft. This is especially important in an era where remote work has blurred many of the lines between personal and professional lives.
You can set boundaries by creating a space in your home just for writing. Then set that space up for comfort. Save up enough money to get a nice desk and an ergonomic chair. Keep your space decluttered and decorated with items that spark your creativity.
Once your space is set up, you can retreat there every time you feel the need to get into a creative headspace.
2. Find Your Best Time of Day
Routines are a huge part of consistent creativity. A good morning routine can help you get into a creative zone. A proper nightly ritual can help you shed the cares of the day and focus on your latest composition.
In addition to routines, it’s important to find the part of the day when you’re the most creative. For instance, Ernest Hemingway found that he was at his most creative as soon after dawn as possible. Discover when your creativity peaks each day. Then build your schedule and routines around that whenever possible.
3. Get Better Sleep
If you don’t get enough sleep each day, it can significantly impact your creativity. With chronic pain, getting enough sleep is even more difficult, but there are ways to both improve your creativity and stave off both poor sleep and your pain, which contribute to each other. Create a bedtime routine for yourself and stick to it. Jot quick notes in a bedside journal as part of your routine. If you get brainstorms and great ideas in the middle of the night, that’s wonderful. Write down notes in that same journal and then revisit them in the morning. If you absolutely have to write nocturnally, make sure to adjust your sleeping schedule to ensure that you’re still getting at least seven hours per day.
4. Address Anxiety
If you struggle with one of the 5 major forms of anxiety — such as OCD, social anxiety, or panic attacks — it can be debilitating at times. If you happen to be struggling with anxious thoughts or having a stressful day when you need to write, it can make tapping into your creativity nearly impossible.
If you struggle with anxiety, there are many coping mechanisms that you can use to regain control and unleash your creativity again, such as:
- Getting some exercise to release endorphins.
- Taking deep breaths.
- Reading through a muscle relaxation script.
- Decluttering your workspaces.
- Socializing with others.
By helping your mind relax, you can open up the doors to your creativity once again.
5. Have Multiple Projects Going
Isaac Asimov wrote over 500 books in his lifetime. The prolific author did so partly by avoiding staring at blank pages when he felt he couldn’t write. Instead, if he found his creativity ebbing, he would shift to another project for a while.
Moving between projects can be a great way to rejuvenate your creativity. It can also keep you productively writing even when you feel dried up in certain creative areas. It keeps your brain moving and can be a great way to avoid creative slumps over the long-term.
6. Write Down Your Dreams
Many famous books have come about from dreams. If you’re struggling with inspiration throughout the day, consider keeping a notebook and pen by your bedside at night.
Then, when you have a vibrant or inspiring dream, write about it. Even writing about your nightmares can help fuel the fire of innovation in your writing. If you’re also an avid daydreamer, keep your notepad nearby during the day, as well.
7. Take Breaks
If you find that you write often, you may need to schedule breaks from your screen from time to time. Going for a walk or reading a physical book for a bit can help you rest your eyes, disengage your mind, and gain some fresh perspective. Often that’s all that’s needed to get the creativity flowing once again.
Finding Creativity in 2021
The world has never been a more exciting or inspiring place than it is two decades into the 21st century. Nevertheless, that doesn’t mean you can write with infinite and effortless creativity. Composing and creating are draining activities that can leave you feeling mentally sapped and emotionally frazzled.
When that happens, refer to the above list to help you get that creativity flowing again. Everything from tailoring your workspace and hours to reducing stress, taking breaks, and even referring to your dreams can help you get back on track without much difficulty.