|Image by Engin Akyurt from Pixabay|
2020 was a difficult year for most of us. Political strife and uprisings happened all over the world. A pandemic hit which led to many people dying and many others losing their jobs. People who stilled worked often were stuck working from home and those who were used to socialising with others found they had to distance themselves for the time being. Many people lost loved ones. It was an easy year for people to let themselves fall into despair.
And the feelings that this type of environment can bring about can often make writers find themselves less than inspired to write. When you're doing everything you can just to get by or trying really hard to stay optimistic, sometimes that is as much as you can do and when it comes to doing more, like planning, plotting and writing a story, it can just feel like too much.
So what can you do to keep your writing spirit alive in times that are stressful?
Believe it or not, the writing that you may find so difficult to do in times like this is exactly what you should be doing. If writing your story and immersing yourself in this separate world you are creating isn't enough, then just try writing your feelings down. Write about your hopes and dreams. Write whatever comes to your mind. Write poetry. Writing is known to be cathartic.
Aside from being good for your health, exercise increases the endorphins released into your body which can lift your mood. When your mood is lifted, inspiration is easier to find. When inspiration is easier to find, the writing process becomes easier for you.
3. Go outside.
Many of us are feeling stuck inside way too much due to the pandemic, but there is no reason you can't go for a walk (unless the weather is miserable). So if the weather allows, put a face-mask on for safety reasons and take a leisurely outdoor stroll. Take in the sounds of nature and the feel of the breeze on your skin. Let it soothe your soul and then return home and try to write.
4. Create a different type of art.
Writing is one of the arts. But there are many other art forms that can inspire. Even if you are not good at drawing, try to draw something. Or maybe you can play a musical instrument. Or maybe you are like sewing or knitting. I frequently create photo-manipulations of fairies and mermaids, since I am not good at drawing. Even so, I still try to draw from time to time. It's not important whether you are good at doing one of these things, what's important is that you enjoy doing it. And it often works with different sides of the brain and can help refresh your muse. The most important thing is that you are creating something.
5. Listen to music.
According to medical research, listening to music can reduce anxiety, blood pressure, and pain as well as improve sleep quality, mood, mental alertness, and memory. According to Plato, "Music gives a soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination, and life to everything."
Today's prize winner of a copy of Yes! You Can Learn How to Write Beginning Readers and Chapter Books by Nancy I. Sanders, selected by a random number generator, is Mysticscribe!
Today's winner of a choice of a critique (first three chapters of a chapter book) or a copy of THE ENCHANTED SNOW GLOBE COLLECTION: RETURN TO CONEY ISLAND (or any of her other books - US only) is Yangmama!
Congratulations, Mysticscribe and Yangmama. Please e-mail me with your mailing addresses and I will get your prizes out to you immediately.
Inkwell: Simple Writing Practices to Restore Your Soul by Anne Elrod Whitney. If you are already a singed-up member of the challenge, all you have to do to be entered into the drawing for this prize is comment on this blog post. The winner will be chosen by a random number generator on March 21st, 2021.