writing

Writers Wednesdays – Setting Up Your Own Writing “Retreat”

October 11th was a federal holiday in the United States (Columbus Day or, as the better informed among us prefers, Discoverer’s Day or Indigenous People’s Day). I initially planned to join a forest therapy retreat being hosted at Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden. However, the event was cancelled, and since I was off from my regular job, and I had already blocked off a portion of my day for the retreat, I figured that I shouldn’t waste the time.

So I planned my own retreat at home.

I planned this at the last minute, so the instruction I’m giving you all are close to what I did, but not quite the same. I did the best I could: after all, I had initially planned to be forest bathing in a gorgeous botanical garden, so this last-minute change was unexpected. When I take time to do this again (before the end of this year), I’ll use these points as a guide. Here’s how I would – and did – plan an ideal writing retreat.

Pick a day and time, and block it out on my schedule. I already had the date and time, based on the forest therapy retreat. I mentally blocked it out of my schedule, and made sure to plan my activities for after the retreat. I also took care of what I could over the weekend, and I scheduled anything that wasn’t pressing until the following day.

Select what I’m going to work on during your retreat. I already had three books that I am working on actively (as shared in the previous Writer’s Wednesday post), so I knew what I wanted to work on. However, if I was planning this during a month when I didn’t have a writing plan, then I would select the book I’d work on before I embark upon my retreat time.

Clean up the space where you’ll be writing and retreat-ing. Or, if your budget allows, get a hotel room for at least 24 hours (48 hours would probably be best). I didn’t want to book a hotel room, but I knew that I could tidy up my office and make it feel pretty and relaxing. I took some time during the weekend before the 11th to wipe down surfaces, unbox some stuff that was overdue for a permanent home, and clear space for my laptop and anything else that I may need.

Add things into the space where I’ll be writing that will make it easier to feel like I’m getting away from it all. Fragrances I enjoy (that make me feel creative or inspired), a tray of fresh fruit and sparkling water, a cozy blanket, a yoga mat, and a playlist of great tunes were all prepped and ready for my home retreat. I also brought in my Himalayan salt lamp and a few fun crystals, just for good measure.

Have a variety of writing equipment and material. Since my retreat happened in my office, I already had a plethora of pens, pencils, markers and even crayons nearby. I also have a variety of notebooks and journals nearby, for convenience. If I want to write by hand, I have everything I need, and if I want to type, my laptop is always nearby, too. And, if I feel like voice typing, my headset is in my office and ready for use.

Set a timer for my writing. I set my timer to start, and I stuck to it, just as I would if I was scheduled for a meeting at work, or if I had a tutoring student session on my calendar. I set the timer for the length of my retreat, and when the timer goes off, I do a couple of yoga stretches and then continue with the rest of my day. I don’t allow anything to interfere with my time during the retreat.

Last but not least, I prepped my loved ones. I told my beloveds that I was not to be disturbed during this time, and I left food where they could easily access it. I put up a sign on the office door to confirm again that I was not to be disturbed. I turned off my ringer and let them know that I wouldn’t be reachable until after my retreat time.

Those are my tips for creating a fantastic writing retreat at home. Did I miss anything? Let me know in the comments below! Also, if you need a pretty journal for your own writing retreat I got a cute one for you. This journal has wide ruled pages and each page has an image of one of five Black American opera singers from the turn of the 20th century: Mamie “Bronze Melba” Flowers, Matilda Sissieretta Joyner Jones, Elizabeth Greenfield, Flora Batson, and Marie Selika Williams. The journal has 179 pages, so LOTS of writing space for your journaling needs. I think you’ll love it!

That’s it for today’s Writer’s Wednesday! I hope you got some tips that you can use. I’ll talk to you all tomorrow!

***This post contains affiliate links.

writing

Writers Wednesdays – How It’s Going . . .

Y’know, I absolutely love doing Writers Wednesdays posts. I often struggle to come up with content for these posts (especially if I’m doing a writing break) but I love that the commitment to only talk about writing – either the art or the business side of it – on Wednesdays keeps me accountable, even on a little level.

So today, I’ll continue in the spirit of accountability and tell you all what I’m currently working on, and how its going. As you recall from the last Writers Wednesday post, I have a writing plan that covers completing one work, editing a different work, and publishing yet another work. I, like many people, find it easy to get distracted, and when that happens, my writing progress slows down to a crawl. The objective of the writing plan is to infuse some major forward-moving energy into my writing practice.

The status of the writing plan is this: so far, so good. I started off with the editing project, because that’s my least favorite part of writing. I reread one of my completed books that I had shelved a while ago (the idea was that I would eventually come back and edit with “fresh eyes”) and realized I had even less love for editing than I recall. I seriously considered picking up a different book and editing that one instead. However, I’ll stick with the book I initially selected. It’s the first novel I ever wrote, and I would love to make some editing strides with it, so I can (hopefully) publishing That’s why I’m saying “so far, so good”: by pushing through (what I feel is) the most unpleasant part of writing, I know that the rest will be a breeze.

More about the So Cozy: Hygge Journal in a moment . . .

I’ll be finishing the first round of edits this week, then I’m leaping right into finishing a book I’ve been working on for almost two years now. I only have about 2-3 chapters left; fortunately for me, once I start writing, the process goes quickly. The trick is getting into the flow: it’s hard to hit my stride when I’m thinking about the other 4,739 things I have to do. On the bright side of things, the editing process has forced me to be ruthless with my schedule, so I don’t have to hunt down my free time in order to complete the chapters that still need to be written.

The last phase of the writing plan is to publish a book. I have a great book that I have already edited extensive over the past few years, that just needs some minor tweaks, illustrations, and a great cover. Once all of that is done, it should be ready for publishing. Knowing me, I’ll probably add quite a bit of additional text to it (just so I can hit a page count that seems appropriate for the subject matter) but I find a lot of consolation in just knowing that the books is more than 80% ready to be released into the world.

If, for some reason, that book isn’t able to be published, then I’ll make it my goal to publish two more children’s books before the end of the month. Those books are simply enough to be written without a need for extensive editing, and I love that I can get that sense of accomplishment without having to make a major time investment in the creation process. I already have two children’s books in progress, so finishing and publishing them would be a breeze.

That’s my not-so-brief explanation of how things are going. Things are moving along, and I’m pleased. Oh yeah, that reminds me: I’m trying to promote my books more (I think it’s about time that I started acting like a real author and publisher LOL!) So, for each Writer’s Wednesday, I’ll highlight a book that I have created, that I think would be of interest to some of you. The book for this week is the So Cozy: Hygge Journal. It’s the perfect little journal for capturing all of your autumn musings. The journal is super-cute and a really nice size (6 in x 9 in). Also, it’s only $5.99USD! If the cover isn’t a design that you love, never fear: I have multiple cover options. I’ll feature some more of them in the weeks to come.

That’s it for today. I hope you all are having a great Wednesday, and I’ll tlak to you all soon. Take care!

***This post contains affiliate links.

goals · writing

Writers Wednesdays – The October Writing Plan

Happy Writers Wednesday! Recently, I’ve been thinking about the remainder of this year, and how I’ll be approaching this time frame as respects my writing practice. And to be clear, this is DEFINITELY a practice: I’m aiming to make it more of a consistent habit going forward. Fortunately, I’ve already been improving my writing consistency over the past couple of weeks and seeing the results.

That being said, I found myself taking an hour long ride with one of my friends, and I mentioned, very briefly, my October writing plan. It was such a succinct, easy way to vocalize how I envision some of my works-in-progress (WIPs) moving forward. So, here’s my little plan, as I would like for it to play out:

  • Finish a book (Part 1)

This part of the plan is all about finishing a rough draft of one of my WIPs. This isn’t about editing; as any writer will tell you, trying to write and edit simultaneously severely impacts your speed and disrupts your creative flow. So, I’ll just be writing the ideas as they arrive, with the focus on completing a story. I’m really excited about this, since I have several books that have fallen into my creative purgatory of sorts.

  • Complete the first round of edits for a book (Part 2)

This is my focus for one of the books that initially completed several years ago (2013, as a matter of fact). I’ve started doing the edits a while ago, but never made it past the first few chapters. It’ll be nice to see this book finally get the full editing treatment. I know this is only the first of (what I anticipate will be) multiple rounds of edits, but I can’t get to the finished product until I do the editing process to my satisfaction. This will probably be the most intensive part of my plan, but it’s also the part of the process that I’m most looking forward to completing.

  • Publish a book (Part 3)

I could do a really simple book (like another children’s book), just to ensure that this goal is met. However, I’d rather take the time to actually publish something that I have already edited and that has been waiting to be released into the world. I have one book in mind, but if I don’t choose that book, there’s at least one more book that is pretty much ready to go (outside of some light editing, and some formatting magic).

I’m anticipating that I will spend roughly 10-12 days on part 1, 15 days on part 2, and 3-4 days on part 3. But, those are just rough estimates, based on nothing more than what I expect will take me more or less time. I could easy finish all of these things before the end of the month, but I don’t want to rush myself (in case I have a day or two when I really don’t want to be bothered). Also, I know that I’ll likely hop from task to task, based on inspiration, and any given day could include me working on all three parts of my plan. Time will tell what this actually looks like in practice.

That’s it for the October plan! Do you all have any writing plans for October? I’d love to hear all about it!

writing

Writers Wednesdays – Success!

Happy Writers Wednesdays! This week will be another short post (similar to last week’s). Likewise, this post is a follow-up to last week’s.

I mentioned last week that I would be working on a booklet to offer for free over on my business website, Bronze Butterfly Books. And I’m happy to announce that I have the content for my booklet all written out: all I have to do now is format it and turn it into a PDF. I anticipate that I’ll be able to publish the booklet sometime next week.

I actually fell short on my goal of having the finished product ready by today. But I have the content, which is more than I had last week. I’m learning to be gentler with myself, and avoid criticizing myself when I don’t quite hit the mark. Progress, not perfection.

For those that are curious, the booklet will help aspiring writers tap into their unique skill sets and customize a practice that inspires them to write their best works. I’m proud of what I’ve created, and I’m excited to share it with you all soon.

That’s it for this edition of Writers Wednesdays! Are you currently working on a writing project? I’d love to hear about it in the comments below!

writing

Writers Wednesdays – A New Booklet Coming . . .

I hope you all are having a really great week. This is going to be a short post, because I’m not working on any longer writing projects this month. I felt this was a good time to take a quick break, since I intend to doing some intense writing sessions starting in the fall.

Photo by Karolina Grabowska on Pexels.com

However, I did have a mini-project that I wanted to knock out this week. I had this genius “flash” of inspiration while driving a few days ago, and I felt very drawn to putting that idea into writing, then publishing it as a free booklet that I will offer here, as well as on my publishing website, Bronze Butterfly Books. I’ve been keen on creating more freebies for visitors because I know how much I’ve benefited from the materials that other content creators have generously offered on their platforms.

So today and tomorrow, I’ll be writing all of my thoughts that I want to put into the booklet, then I’ll spend some time editing and structuring the booklet over the weekend. The goal is to publish the booklet before the end of the month (just a few days). I’m eager to have it ready by September 1st, and the only way that will happen is if I work on it, starting today.

That said, that’s all for today’s post! Stay tuned to see what the booklet will be about, and I’ll talk to you all soon.

life curation · words of wisdom · writing

Reblog: A Guide to Severing Ties and Moving On

Today, I’m doing a reblog of a post that I released 9 (!) years ago, almost to the day (originally posted August 11, 2012). I remember writing it, but I honestly couldn’t remember what I wrote! So it was fun to read through my old musings. I didn’t bother to edit it, since the typos and grammar errors I noted were minimal. So here you go: my guide to severing ties and moving on. Enjoy!

“Last July, I wrote a post about inconsiderate people, and different tactics for dealing with them. After giving people some time to correct course, you may find it necessary to cut the person loose. I don’t particularly enjoy severing ties with people, but SELF-PRESERVATION comes above all else. In my case, “self” extends to those that I love and want to protect from inconsiderate individuals. There is NO ONE that I will allow to mistreat me. Please do not misunderstand me: there are people that are supposed to love you, that can, and will, mistreat you, ignore your concerns, and regard you with little respect.

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What does it take to cut someone loose? You must first decide to do it. You can’t simply talk about it: in fact, I recommend you stop talking about it. At the point where severing ties becomes necessary, you’re probably tired of talking. I don’t recommend that you talk until you are weary, but if the relationship means enough to you, you’ve probably tried to talk and mend/correct things until you are blue in the face. Save your energy, and decide to just let the person go.

Eliminate contact with the individual. No more texting, phone calls, emails, letters, or homing pigeons LOL! Don’t announce to the person that you are ceasing contact with them: simply do it. If you feel compelled to tell someone “I’m cutting you off” then you probably haven’t made a firm decision to get rid of the individual. Giving an inconsiderate person a goodbye speech only opens the door for more dialogue, delay in correcting action, and more time to HURT YOU. So close the door, do it quietly, and deadbolt it.

I know that *someone* will want to do the “cutting you off” speech. If it gives you a feeling of closure, then go for it. I personally feel that true closure comes from making a decision and sticking to it, and having the satisfaction of knowing that the other person didn’t see it coming, nor do they know all the details behind your decision. But if finale speeches are your thing, then go ahead and do you. The best way to do it is to lower the boom, while ensuring that the other person CANNOT RESPOND TO YOU. If that means blocking a few phone numbers, sending emails to the junk folder automatically, and blocking them on all forms of social media, so be it. The last thing that you want is an open door; open doors only lead to more suffering.

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Now that the door is closed and a particular person is cut off, what do you do? MOVE AHEAD. Don’t dwell on your decision: when you find yourself regretting your actions, take time to remember all of the things that preceded your decision. Hopefully, you did not cut someone off hastily. More than likely, however, you have given the person adequate time and warning to correct course, yet they insist on staying the same. When you start regretting the decision to move on, you must not doubt yourself! If your life and routine feel weird after removing certain people, it’s probably because you’ve become accustomed to the dysfunctional relationship. You probably aren’t missing that person, you are just feeling awkward because you are readjusting to normal living.

Removing inconsiderate people from your life is a lot like having sea legs. After spending some time on a boat, you may feel weird when you start walking on dry land again. But the problem isn’t the ground that you stand on: it’s the abnormal condition (walking on a sea vessel) to which your body got adjusted. You’ve had to learn to keep your balance in a naturally unbalanced environment; likewise, dealing with inconsiderate people can cause you to adapt to their off-kilter ways. But, just like sea legs, you will adjust to normal living again- in time. The key is to keep moving on dry land, or, in the case of someone post-cutoff, immerse yourself in normal living.

Immersion into a normal lifestyle is the key to moving on after severing ties. But how is this done? For a time, avoid the places, people, and activities that remind you of that individual. Did you two enjoy a particular restaurant, entertainment venue or activity? Now is the time to stop going, at least until you can go without reminiscing over the relationship. Did you two have mutual friends? You may even want to avoid them for a spell. Of course, you may want to stay in touch with any of your mutual friends that are mature enough to neither take sides nor do anything that will distract you from your goal of eliminating the toxic person.

Get involved in any activity that will keep you from thinking too much about the person that you cut off. This *could* mean throwing yourself into your work, if you find that you are just as or more productive than before. But don’t get absorbed in work if you find it draining or depressing. Now is the time to meet new people, do new things, and get caught up in a whirlwind of enjoyable activity. Make plans to do all the things that you couldn’t enjoy with the inconsiderate person, or that you didn’t have time to do, because Mr. or Ms. Inconsiderate tied up your time, zapped your energy, criticized your dream, etc.,. Have you always wanted to travel out of the country? Start setting aside money for your trip (preferably in a bank account that you find it difficult to access.) Want to finish school? Sign up for a class and move heaven and earth to attend it regularly. Always been interested in painting? Buy some watercolors and a canvas and have at it.

One of my favorite recommendations for satisfying distraction is retail therapy (also known as shop ’til you drop LOL!) Retail therapy can be great and very satisfying (as well as distracting!) But if you indulge, keep all of your receipts and make sure that you know the store’s return policies. Last thing that you want to do is buy something far too expensive, something that you’ll NEVER enjoy, or a ‘spite” gift (i.e., buying red lipstick because the inconsiderate person hated it and thought that red lipstick looks cheap) just because you needed a pretty distraction. Buyer’s remorse is bad enough, but being able to undo the madness is golden. Done responsibly, retail therapy can be effective at helping you move ahead.

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That’s just a few of my tips for severing ties and moving on.  I hope you all enjoyed it. Please look out for more posts soon: my maternity leave will be over in a few weeks, so I got to get as much writing done as possible, before I’m thrown back into the working world LOL! Until next time …”

business · career · writing

Writers Wednesday – Is a Writing Coach Necessary?

Happy Writers Wednesday! Today’s topic came to me after I spoke to several people that are part of writer support groups, or they have gotten writing coaches to assist with creating their books. Further, I’ve seen numerous advertisements for writing coaches that are appearing on the scene, all claiming that they will help the aspiring authors to finally release their works into the world.

The question on my mind (and possibly your mind) is this: is a writing coach necessary?

Personally, I’ve never used a writing coach, but given how many delays I’ve encountered on my writing journey, perhaps a coach would be a good investment! That being said, I will admit that I don’t think a writing coach is necessary for *most* people. I think that there is only a tiny subset of people that actually need a writing coach. However, I believe there are enough people in the subset to provide an abundance of potential clients for writing coaches.

My recommendation for anyone considering hiring a writing coach is to go through this list of questions and see where you fall on the writer spectrum.

  • Are you having difficulties with determining which direction your writing needs to take?
  • Do you need regular external motivation in order to work on your writing project?
  • Do you struggle with structuring your writing?
  • Do you have questions about writing that can’t be answered through other means?
  • Do you generally respond better to verbal instruction, as opposed to written directions?

Answering “yes” to any of these questions may make you a prime candidate for a writing coach. I’m still of the mindset that the best way to write is to problem solve for yourself, then, after you’ve hit a wall, consider reaching out for help. However, everyone is different, and what works for me may not work for you. I do think there’s some value in the practice of solving your own problems through your own efforts, but I’ll be the first to admit that time is precious and if a coach can save you time and energy, then it may be a worthwhile investment.

I’m curious: have any of you ever hired a writing coach? What was that experience like? Also, if you’re a writing coach, please comment on what that experience is like for you, and how you can help aspiring authors. You can leave your comments below.

That’s it for today! I look forward to talking to you all tomorrow. Take care!

writing

Writers Wednesdays – I Met My Publishing Goal!

Happy Writers Wednesday! It’s official: I met my publishing goal for 2021!

*insert happy dance here*

I added two more of my children’s books to my current series. I’m still keeping the majority of my focus on creating books that educate children on Asian countries, but – considering that I will eventually be finished writing about all of the Asian countries – I’ve started branching out into writing books on European and African countries. The two latest books that I’ve published are Let’s Go To South Korea and Let’s Go To Portugal.

It was a little more challenging to write these books, but not because there was an issue with the content. These books – in particular, the Portugal one – were more difficult to write because I like to use royalty-free photographs for my books, and finding relevant free photos taken in South Korea and Portugal was HARD! So I’m thrilled that these two are behind me, and I don’t have to think about having to find pictures for those two countries again.

I anticipate my next book will be an African country, then I’ll follow with another Asian book, then another European book, an African book, and just keep that rotation until I am ready to branch out into South America. I’ll work in Australia at some point, just so that I can cover the entire globe.

I’m so happy to share with you all that I’ve published FIVE books this year! I’m looking forward to publishing even more children’s books, but also publishing a couple of my works-in-progress that I’ve had on my desk for quite some time. It’ll be nice to see those labors of love FINALLY out in the world and making the impact that I intend for them to make.

That’s it for today. Thanks for stopping by to celebrate with me! I’ll talk to you all tomorrow.

*This post has affiliate links.

business · career · fitness · goals · health · international · life curation · luxury · reading list · travel · writing

July Goal Updates

It’s that time of the month again: time to review my annual goals and give you all some updates on what’s been happening on my end!

As a quick refresher, here is the 2021 goal list that I set out at the beginning of the year:

  • Publish 5 books
  • Lose 15 lbs
  • Manifest 3 international trips
  • Earn 6 figures in my businesses
  • Read 100+ books
  • Luxury purchases – Hermes, Christian Louboutin, Sophia Webster, Ralph & Russo
  • Cure my fibromyalgia

Next week, on Writer’s Wednesdays, I’ll be providing a publishing update, so I won’t be discussing that in depth today. However, I can say comfortably that I’ll have reached my publishing goal by August 1st, though, at this point, I plan to go far beyond my initial goal and aim for 10 books published by the end of the year.

As far as my weight loss goal, I’ve never progressed nor regressed. However, August 15th will be kicking off a dietary overall for me, which is connected to my last goal (curing my fibro). My next few Fibro Friday posts will cover this in more detail, as well as provide some background for context.

My international travel goal is not inspiring me nearly as much as it did when I first envisioned it. Make no mistake: I will be doing some travel this year. But with the Delta variant of COVID-19 on the rise, even my best plans may be thwarted by a new set of travel restrictions. For this reason, I’m focusing more on local travel this year. If an international trip is still possible in December, then yes, I will do that. But I’m not putting a ton of pressure on myself to “manifest” 3 international trips in 2021. Domestic travel can be just as satisfying, and it will allow me to reconnect with loved ones stateside.

My reading goals are coming along nicely. I’ll have my latest Books Read post coming out next week. At the rate that I’m going, I should be at 100 books by late October (fingers crossed). Audiobooks have really been saving me so much time! However, I’ll also be getting back to my ebooks and paperbacks soon: I miss looking at words in print.

My business goals are … meh. Monday’s post covered this topic already, but I’ll be doing some more strategizing in the upcoming weeks to see how close I can get to reaching the $100K+ mark in my businesses. It’s quite a stretch, but I can see where, with some adjustments, it’s doable.

And finally, about those luxury purchases . . . I’m adjusting this as well, and for good reason. I had a revelation that is far more aligned with the kind of consumer I intend to be (going forward). When you have those sorts of “aha!” moments, doing some course correction is the natural next step. The post all about this revelation will be coming out within a week or two, so look out for it soon.

That’s it for my goal updates! Progress in some areas, stagnation in others, and completely rewriting one or two. I’m pleased overall, and I’m looking forward to seeing how things come together over the next few months.

I hope you all are having a great day, and I’ll talk to you all tomorrow!

business · writing

Writers Wednesdays – 5 Exercises to Beat Writer’s Block

Happy Writers Wednesdays! I took off four days from my bookwriting practice because I’ve been entertaining visiting relatives (yay for finally returning to a semi-normal life!). On top of that, I had a few other things to work on in my ever-fleeting downtime (such as writing on this blog and putting more time into my tutoring business).

However, when I resume my writing practice, I want to ensure that I am able to hit the ground running. So I took a little time to think of some additional ways to beat writer’s block. I’ve discussed some strategies before that I find to be effective, but I’ve never done a consolidated post – until now. If nothing else, I hope these tips can help those authors-in-the-making who want to bust through those uninspired moments so that they can finish writing the book of their dreams. Here are my five favorite techniques for beating writer’s block.

  1. Try haiku or a limerick. I have found it really helpful to switch up my writing whenever I’m feeling stuck. Since I usually write fiction or how-to manuals, I try a few short poetry styles (like haiku or limericks) to get the creative juices flowing. Something about breaking up my routine really works well for helping me to get over creative challenges. I chose haiku and limericks because they are are so drastically different from the type of writing I enjoy most and they engage a different part of my brain. Of course, you can use any type of writing that differs from what you usually do. The key to this is to keep the exercise brief so that you aren’t overwhelmed by the process.
  2. Do 7 days of stream of consciousness writing. Anyone can do this, but it is especially good for anyone that is working on an autobiography or some work that involves self-reflection. As soon as you wake up, you write for 10-15 minutes about whatever comes to mind. You don’t reread or judge what you’ve written until you’ve finished doing it for 7 consecutive days. After that time, you can look over what you’ve written and figure out if there are any patterns or latent messages that are being revealed. If nothing else, you may find that your mind is under- or over-stimulated, and you can adjust your routine accordingly.
  3. Go somewhere or do something you’ve never done before. Speaking of under- and over-stimulation . . . Sometimes, the blockage comes from boredom. We know that boredom is a problem that everyone experiences at some point in time. But, we are so conditioned to view time on the internet as “doing something” that we feel guilty about claiming to be bored. It’s very possible to scroll endlessly on social media, news websites, personal blogs, or video platforms, yet still feel bored. So break up the monotony and try something new: do something you’ve always wanted to do, and see how that improves your creative blocks. Alternatively, the block may be happening because you’re overwhelmed. In that case, disconnecting from your daily activities and severely reducing your “to-do” list may be just what you need to get inspired again. Try a no- or low-stimuli routine for a defined period of time, and see how that improves your creativity.
  4. Have someone to tell you a story. This works particularly well for me, because it passively engages my storytelling “brain”. As I listen to the story, I try to anticipate what will come next, and I’m always delighted when the story takes an unexpected turn. There are some times where an author needs to transition from the role of storyteller to the role of captive audience member. Listening to someone else tell you a story gives your brain a pleasant rest from trying to figure out what’s next with your own writing projects.
  5. Do a scent (or flavor, or sound) summary. This is a really good practice for writers that struggle with creating sufficiently descriptive passages. Instead of focusing on your latest work-in-progress, try flexing your adjective and adverb muscles, and attempt to accurately describe your favorite food dishes flavors, your favorite musical genre (focusing on the instruments used and how the sounds make you feel), or your favorite cologne or perfume. Go beyond that, and perhaps try your hand at describing the smells, flavors, or sounds that make you feel excited, sad, angry, or fearful. This exercise takes you outside of your normal writing practice, but it still engages the creative part of your mind.

Those are my five favorite hacks for busting through writer’s block. What are some things you’ve done to help with those creative blockages? I’d love to hear aobut them in the comments below!