When writing paralysis sets in, we all can use a helping hand. Getting out of the left side of our brains, so we can crawl into the right side, is often easier thought than done. However, to tap into the real riches of our creative minds, we must learn to do this.
I’ve found three particular writing prompts that work, activities to spur myself into mining the best of what lies within. I hope they help you dig deep into your own creative writing vein.
1. Schedule 15 minutes to reflect on your childhood. Choose an age, a season, and a setting from your past, and allow your mind to go back in time. Start jotting down key words triggered from those memories.
As I type this, these are the word images bubbling from a walk through my own subconscious: gnarled oak tree, solitude, alone with God, questioning my future, unfounded fears.
2. Make three columns on a piece of paper. Label one Pets, one Cars, and the other Friends. Now brainstorm the names of every pet you can recall under that category. Under cars, every kind of car you can remember having owned, plus those friends and family had. Under friends, go back as far as possible, and list every friend you’ve ever known. Going across, write a short story, 300 words or less, using one name from each category. Get crazy, make it wild, but write a fun story to spark your creative juices.
Feel free to pull this out anytime you feel stuck in your writing. And change category types from time to time. Again, don’t stifle yourself. Labels like Insects, Zoo Animals, Sports, Teachers, Games, Amusement Park Rides, Bosses, Cousins, etc. would all make interesting things to mix and match, writing off-the-wall scenarios from.
3. Focus on one object in the room, and start writing whatever comes to your mind about it. Maybe your imagination takes off, envisioning what the people or machines looked like who crafted it? You might consider the various travel arrangements necessary to bring it where you are. What about the mind who invented it to begin with? Did they identify a need, and come up with a creative solution? Was it a spin-off of something someone else created before them?
Narrowing our attention on something we often overlook, is a great way to trigger the right side of our minds. This exercise will also help you start looking closer at the everyday, something all writers can do to help them see with fresh eyes.
How do you crawl into a creative mindset?
Anita Fresh Faith
Anita Agers-Brooks is a Business and Inspirational Coach, Certified Personality Trainer, Productivity Expert, Certified Training Facilitator, Communications Specialist, and national speaker. Anita is also the author of, First Hired, Last Fired — How to Become Irreplaceable in Any Job Market. Now available at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Books a Million, Lifeway, Christianbook.com, select Walmart’s, plus many fine stores, Christian and otherwise.
She’s a partner in The Zenith Zone, a business coaching firm. Member of the Christian Writer’s Guild, Toastmasters, and a client of WordServe Literary Group. A graduate of CLASSeminars for Leaders, Speakers, and Authors, a co-founder of The StoryWriting Studio, and speaker on circuit for Stonecroft International Ministries.
Anita co-hosts a weekly podcast, Engaging Life and Leadership with Darren Dake, available on iTunes, Stitcher, and other podcast platforms.
Anita is passionate about business with integrity, healthy relationships, and issues of identity. She travels the country teaching others from her personal experiences and research. She believes it’s never too late for a fresh start with fresh faith.
Her favorite past time is lounging by a river or lake in Missouri, laughing with with her husband of thirty years, Ricky.
Follow her FreshFaith blog www.anitabrooks.com. You may contact her via website http://www.brooksanita.com/contact/ or email firstname.lastname@example.org.