Creative Strategies

If you are anything like me, writing will be one of these obsessions that we put off repeatedly until, finally, having done everything else, we set down with a huff of determination and start…when everyone else is thinking about heading to bed, or after all the other jobs are sorted.

Are you a Create When I Feel Moved type? Or do you prefer routine, a set time, a method that each day aims to ensure you prioritise your word count, ring fencing that commitment against all comers?

Whatever your method, if you would like a few creative strategies to motivate and refresh you, I find these useful:-

  • Decide that creativity matters and that we are going to attend to our ideas. Maybe not today, maybe not just now, but yes, we are going to do it. Soon.
  • Start with the first sentence, then the next, not censoring what you write at all. The first few pages of anything should, at the start, not be the result of a thinking process, but more a kind of flight into the unknown, an abseil, a dance off the edge of our usual, a waltz with the unexpected. If we write a short burst of a first chapter as an anchor, the rest can fizz quietly as we go about our everyday business.
  • Accept that there are busy times when writing will take a back seat. When you cannot write you are still using your time productively, re-energising your desire and focus, and replenishing your ideas bank.
  • When you sit to write, don’t assume you will be sitting there for the rest of the day or night. Decide that you will work for no more than ninety minutes. When the ninety minutes are up, stop whatever you are doing and do something else. You can have as many stints of ninety minutes as you wish, but you break them up. Close down your machines and leave the desk. (If you don’t, you will feel tired even as you sit down to write, thinking, ‘well, here I am for the rest of the day….’)


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