Kicking that Inspiration Rut: Trying New Things

Happy New Year! It's a wonderful new year full of opportunities, changes and exciting times just waiting to be experienced. It's also another year just waiting for you to write! I don't know about you but sometimes the excitement behind starting a new year is so overwhelming that you suddenly find yourself in a creative slump.

It happens every year to me after NaNoWriMo and recuperating during December that the new year begins and I'm in a creative slump. I'm bursting with motivation to write and a plan laid out, but I'm drawing a blank. Part of being a writer is developing a working process that gets you out of that inevitable creative slump.

Now, I'm not going to give you some step-by-step list of things to do because the other part of being a writer is discovering what your process is. Here, however, are some suggestions that work for me.

1) Podcasts, podcasts...writing podcasts

You know what I love about writing classes? Or Critique groups? Or writing conferences or retreats? Learning from other writers. You know what I slightly don't like with what I just listed? Not always does life let you spare the time to attend any of these.

Writing podcasts are definitely your go-to when you don't have a writing class to attend or a conference to go to. There are so many writing podcasts available nowadays with so many knowledgeable hosts who impart helpful information. Whenever I'm in a slump, I definitely turn to my writing podcasts for some advice and inspiration (since most of them end with writing prompts for you to try). Need some recommendations on a writing podcast? Here's a blog post with a list of what I'm listening to now: [X].

2) Tea Time is a lovely time

There's science behind people becoming more creative when they drink tea. It definitely works for me and has become part of my daily routine to brew a pot to have on my desk while I work.

I've become partial to the floral teas because on top of the lovely taste, there's just a bit of aromatherapy to go with every cup. Want to try something gentler than coffee but still strong enough to perk you up? It works for me and is a beverage I definitely recommend.

3) Ambient environments are must environments

Here's one I will constantly preach to other writers because it really helps me. Ambient Mixer is a free website where you listen to hundreds of environments others have made, you can make an account and build your own environments and share them online.

There's literally an environment for everything on this website: a deep forest, a fantasy castle, outer space, you name it. More importantly, there are plenty of focus environments to use: an office, a seaside cafe, a rainy cabin in the woods. You can edit existing environments and have the sounds of a pen scribbling in the background, typing at a computer, etc. I have a few ambient mixers I've made myself on the website too. I really can't recommend this website enough if you need to make a focus-inducing environment.

4) New reading material is always a good thing

This year I finished several book series I definitely loved and found that I'm starting this year in need of new reading material. Sometimes finding a new book to read or browsing for a new author you'll like can be difficult.

Despite this, I definitely love the excitement that comes with finding a new author to read because of all the new ideas that come with reading a new mind. If you're in the same boat and are lacking in inspiration, maybe it's time to try a new book series and see what other authors you're not familiar with are up to.

This list can go on and on, but the more important aspect of this is to add something new to your schedule, change up your routine and get out of your slump so you can writing in this wonderful new year.

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