If you struggle to get going when you sit down to write, you’re not alone. Turning to distractions like social media, news and online games are signs that your brain perceives the creative task ahead as being so hard that it’s best avoided.
A fire cannot be created without fuel yet, so often, we think creativity can burn from nothing. No wonder our minds protest.
Fuel your creativity with a fun warm up. It can give your mind the instant reward it craves while stoking your creative fire. By the time you’re finished, ideas should be roaring away.
Before you start, get rid of any digital distractions. Turn off the TV, put phones in another room, silence notifications. Music is fine, though, and may even help you get in the mood to be creative.
When you’re ready, open your notebook and try one of these quick activities:
- Pick a random object from around your house. Invent an alternative use for it, the weirder the better, and illustrate it.
- Scroll through a book and pick three random words. Tell a quick story or write a haiku that connects them.
- Close your eyes and let your pen move over the page in random directions for a few moments. Draw lines, circles, squares, triangles, whatever you fancy. Look at your squiggle. Colour it into a pattern or turn it into a meaningful shape. Could you give it a name, write a few words about it?
- Choose an image from a postcard, photo album, magazine or one of our visual writing prompts. Pay attention to your thoughts. Look out for plot lines, characters, scenes. Is there a story there?
These simple warm ups don’t have to take long. Set a timer for five to fifteen minutes so you’ll be focused. Remember, the idea is to stimulate your creativity and fire up your writing not take it over. Although, if you stumble upon a brilliant idea and it’s worth pursuing, go for it!