How to Continue Writing When You Feel Tired and Uninspired
April 6, 2015
I haven't posted in a while.
SO WHAT. I've BEEN BUSY. And distracted.
Really, I have not been making myself busy at all though. And the worst thing to do
when feeling like that is not continue with what makes me happy and instead fill my
time with the following:
- 3rd Rock from the Sun
- Reddit bulldogs
- Dipping into that queso for the third, fourth time
- Staring at certain unsightly bits in the mirror until they no longer make sense
- Googling the vacation habits of the rich and famous
- Online shopping... well, mostly. I did get an itsy bikini. Hello, 29.
Last week, I took a nap every single day. I DON'T TAKE NAPS.
But what can you do when you lack inspiration? Here we are for another battle against
LAAAAAZE!! This is a post about how to stage an intervention on yourself to get
crackin on your WRITING endeavors despite being tired, the strategies of which may or
may not have just proven themselves useless in the last week. You, dear make-believe reader, decide.
So, since I am no creative genius, I often rely on prompts as I am able
to expound upon them to get my brain working. Below I've included a couple of
activities that I think oil the gears and just might help expel the
banana chunk from the straw of your creative LIFE SNORKEL.
- What's another way to say a cliche?
This little exercise is exactly what it sounds like. What's another
way to say "get the juices flowing" or "fan the flame”"? It goes
beyond replacing simple words with the synonym function in Word,
and causes you to wiggle your mind upside-down out of a window for
experiences to find new relationships. I once read a Jezebel article
where the author expressed someone being bad by saying they had
"killed Mufasa and dried up the Pridelands." Glorious.
This kind of exercise is also great for writing lyrics, unless you are
content with radio lyrics in all of their ingenuine record-skipping through
my 'soul', on my knees (barf), ripping at the seams (blugh), falling apart,
breaking my heart (gaaaaaag-uh) and on and on it goes ahmagaaaaahsh. Even if
nothing pops up off the top of my head, I keep this exercise in mind
throughout the day and write down notes when inspired by something juicy.
I was once asked what my pet peeves were in a job interview. What a grand
tune to take the floor and sing/dance to for an audience, but I could not
think of a single one and it haunts me to this day. I just have so many,
but, perhaps nothing eats away at my burning yearning soul more than...
'until the morning light.' Also poor use of the turn lane, cc'ing people
who do not need to be cc'd, and paying with a check in the express lane.
I could continue for eons. I shan't. I mustn't. I won't!
I will. Soon. In another post. It will be wicked and it will be fun.
Join me, then, imaginary friends!
- Name things of the same color.
Similar to the way the first exercise works, this one gets you
thinking on a different level trading commonalities for something
fresh. This one is harder for me, because, sure, a coffee cup can
be red, but not identifiably so and something like a fire hydrant
just sounds stupid. Are they even red in real life anywhere? Really,
the only image I can muster is a red cardinal at the top of a winter
tree, which sounds like a terrible indie album title. Still, try
this. Do better. It's like a list of 10 unsolvable problems and you're
Stephen Hawking solving them all like MMMmmmHmm. Or it's totally
defeating. I don't know. Just kidding. I do know and it is all
very doable. DON'T FAIL!
- Write a quick paragraph about something that happened to you
today. Then, go back and turn it into something a little more
spectacular. Take each sentence and spice it up. For example:
"Everyone sucks" can become, "Our world is suffering endemic
insensitivity and we are all just little daddy long legs getting our
spindly little legs plucked off one by one," ...
and "I will be mad about it," can morph into
something like, "I'm going to let my thoughts take me hostage for
an entire day in some small, peeling room in a rundown resort on
the Isle of Angry Victimized Citizens Goddamn." That's hardly
Washington Journal material, but it's just spicy enough to visualize,
right? Maybe not. I don't even know. I suck at this!
Or do I?
This is going to be you. Don't sweat it. Or do. I can't tell you how
to be. It's a very confusing time. Just try!