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9.15.2010

Getting Your Brain Warmed Up

Have you ever had streaks of creativity, but then other streaks of no inspiration at all? It happens to the best of us! As a writer, there are days where I can't think of a word to say, but I have some fun ways of stimulating creativity and keeping the pump primed. 

I like to play the word of the day on twitter. Actually, for a long time, I was a player, but now I'm the owner of the group (called Definethis). Each day, I tweet the word of the day from Merriam Webster and then people use that word in one of their tweets. I name a winner every day. Even though I can't name my self the winner, coming up with a sentence is a great brain challenge.

Another way that I get my brain warmed up sometimes is by playing scrabble on Facebook. However, I'm disciplined to play as little as possible, meaning one game at a time and one move per day. Any more than that and it becomes an obsession that steals creative time!

There are many other ways to increase creativity as a writer. Many writers do morning pages, which is a free flow of thoughts onto paper for a set amount of time. The thoughts don't have to make sense; they just flow. Julia Cameron explained these morning pages in her book, The Artist's Way. Author Janice Elsheimer presents something very similar but with a strong Christian flavor in The Creative Call.

The Right to Write: An Invitation and Initiation into the Writing LifeI'm reading another book by Julia Cameron right now that is packed full of creative inspiration for writers. Every chapter in The Right to Write has a writing prompt or assignment. For example, one day says, "Set the clock for fifteen minutes. Using two to three minutes per card, write out loving greetings to your friends. Stamp the cards and mail them."

On another day, the assignment says to take three sheets of paper and then write about how you are feeling emotionally, physically, and psychologically right now. The author says, "This is a free-form exercise. You cannot do it wrong...Keep your hand moving and simply hang out on the page. When you have finished writing three pages, stop."

What do you do to get your creative juices flowing or to keep your thoughts fluid and ready for creative work?

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