HUNTING DOWN INSPIRATION

My creativity is finally back, after a long leave of absence that it took from me.

For a while out there, I thought it died out on me and the break was such a pain, because I had to get the missing patches of all my Work(s) In Progress fixed.

Every time I put my pen to paper or sat down with my computer, all that came out was several pages of crap that certainly weren’t going to end up in my book.

But today, I felt this sudden longing to write again, and so I grabbed my pen, paper and laptop, made a cup of coffee and I have to say, I am happy with the results.

It’s strange, quite strange how creativity seems to work. For a while I just can’t find the motivation to do any work, and even if I force myself, the end products are embarrassing.

But suddenly, things kind of snap back, and fall into place and I can write from my heart again.My ability to be creative and imaginative is somehow magically restored.

Funny thing about this phase is, it gets me all frenzied and I try to get as much work done as possible before it disappears out on me again.

Hopefully, that won’t be for a while. I thought I might as well squeeze in one blog post at the end of the day – and to make it useful. So here’s five tips and tricks that I use to battle a creative block.

Disclaimer though – I’m an obsessive control freak.

My methods of chasing and finding inspiration might come across as either calmly delightful or as brutally cruel, depending on whether you’re a Type A or a Type B person.

1. Instagram

I love social media.

I love the creative power that it bestows on every artist out there – and that’s not only with respect to the sales and the marketing blessing that it is, but also in the inspiration that it brings. Right from prompts, to posts to connecting with other writers, I love the way Instagram works to keep me inspired.

Thus, when I am hit by a block, I just log in to Instagram, and search some popular hashtags. There are around a hundred writing support groups that I follow here, and they post really awe-inspiring quotes, that not only help you get over a block but also deal with rejections and tug through editing phases.

2. Chores

This is something I’m afraid people might assume is a little weird. I feel the most inspired when I’m doing the dishes or cleaning my desk. When things are in order, there’s clearer and more free flowing channel of thoughts.

My most favorite is cleaning up my desk. When I’m frustrated by a writing block, I just play some music, and sort out my books, pens, papers and coffee mugs that lay strewn all over my desk.

Once I’ve cleared them out, I usually end up writing something really good.

3. Lists

I am obsessed with making lists and targets.

Nothing’s more satisfying than striking out one line after the other. Every time I feel creatively challenged, I just make a list of things (all sorts of things).

This basically helps me clear my mind. You can call it a de-cluttering process of sorts. If I’m stressed, I make a list of priorities.

When I’m confused or just bored, I make a list of exciting things to do. When I’m sad or depressed, I make a list of things that make me happy. And if I’m frustrated, I make a list of things that I’m grateful for – this helps calm me down.

4. Reading Books.

Books. A cup of Tea. A nice, cozy chair. More Books.

Reading isn’t just relaxing. It helps me find my inspiration back. When I read my favorite authors, it helps me observe how characters are developed, how the plot unfolds, how symbolism works. It helps restore my writing mechanism and establish a routine.

I also watch YouTube videos, documentaries, interviews and all sorts of odd research material – just to trigger some curiosity or to generate that tiny but powerful spark.

5. Music

Music heals.

It’s therapy.

A kind of spiritual exercise.

Nothing inspires me like a Rahman song. Just lying down in bed with some music is enough.

Plots, stories, characters and scenes come flowing into my mind, and from there – there’s no stopping.

XOXO,

Bala.

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