To say that this year has been difficult is an understatement. The Chinese proverb, “may your life be interesting”, sparks the reply, “no, not that interesting!”. And yet, we’re here. The year is almost over. The one thing I’m hearing from authors is that they’ve lost their mojo. Their creativity and desire to work on a book project, even if it’s one that they love, has waned. They’re not sure what to do, and they’re thinking about quitting writing all together. If this is you, allow me to share some thoughts, because I’ve been there too.
One of the things I’ve discovered in my 20+ years of writing is that when writer’s block occurs, it’s because I’ve become disconnected with myself. It’s not so much that I don’t know where my story is going; in those days I wrote detailed outlines that played out each and every plot turn and twist to the end. It’s that I’ve lost my creativity, my desire to spin words and create tales has waned. In the corporate world, it’s called burnout. And it sucks.
Find Creativity Outside of Writing
The best way I’ve found to bring back the mojo is to find creativity outside of writing. When we’re writing and publishing books, it can start to feel like a job. Job is a three-letter word. It sucks the life out of some people and reminds them of what they most decidedly never wanted to happen. They never wanted their writing to turn into a “day job” for them. Instead, they wanted the creativity and the fun to last their entire career.
The old adage to “refill your well” applies here. In order to be creative in our writing, we need to spark creativity in other areas of our lives. It’s when we’re doing something else (the “I got my best ideas in the shower” concept), that our subconscious mind kicks in and we begin to find that creativity again.
How does that work?
For me, I’ve found that when I do something creative that isn’t sitting at the keyboard pounding out a story to make daily word count, is when my well becomes refilled the best. To me, it’s the difference between pouring tap water or fresh, clear, spring water into the well. One is okay and will get you through, the other refreshes and tastes really good.
I like to cook. Coming up with recipes to try and using different foods than we’re used to (We’re very much a meat and potatoes couple.) pulls me out of the rut. That’s what finding creativity is. Largely, it’s pulling your mind and soul out of the “rut” of routine. One of my decompression ways? To watch the Food Network, usually Triple D (Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives) to not just find different foods, but different cultural foods from across the country. That’s something completely removed from the computer that helps refill my well.
The other is I’ve recently discovered I like drawing. I think because art wasn’t “easy” for me in school, and it never seemed I could draw, rediscovering this has really opened up my creativity. I’ll blog in more detail later; however, the largest benefit is it helps me to release judgment. My current vehicle for this is zentangles. Not only does it relieve stress, but it also helps me to feel more creative. A double win! Plus, releasing judgment about my own work spills into other areas, like writing.
Where does creativity show up for you?
If you’re feeling like you lost your writing mojo, first of all give yourself permission to feel this way. It is okay. Honor how you’re feeling. No judgment, remember? Then, give yourself permission to experiment to try and find the answers that work best for you. On the writing side maybe you need to change genres or start another project. Or, perhaps you need to spark more creativity in other areas of your life. Only you can know what works best for you, but there’s a good chance if you’ve lost your writing mojo, you’ve lost other mojo as well.
Also, don’t forget to subscribe to my newsletter. I have something exciting coming for Black Friday. You don’t want to miss it. And if there’s something that really sparks your creativity, feel free to drop a comment and let us know! I’d love to hear from you.
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