Too often of late, I find myself setting goals and falling short. I beat myself up when I miss a deadline. I curse at the cursor blinking at me on an unfilled screen. And as I sit, head in hand, my cup of tea growing cold, I wonder... is this helping? Does the pushing, the pressure bring forth the creative spirit or make it turn tail and run?
I have no easy answers for what makes the Muse respond. I can only share what I've found helpful and here are but a few:
1) Walking. Just a quick tour around the yard, rain, snow or sun, refreshes my spirit and gives me access once again to that illusive voice of inspiration.
2) Laughter. Finding a moment of joy releases momentum from it's bound-up place. Most author's have access to them- silly memes or YouTube videos that bust a gut. Beware the hidden danger, though: I only allow myself a few good chuckles, or I'll end up lost in the internet haze.
3) Companionship. Writing is a lonely vocation. Sometimes, I take my laptop to a local coffee shop and though I may not be directly interacting with the other caffeinated souls, I can absorb their energy and know I'm not alone. An added bonus: people-watching is a great source of character development.
4) Set small, doable daily goals. Sometimes, they are as simple as writing one sentence, or jotting a few notes to research. The point is, each day offers unique challenges. Sometimes, you're better off tailoring goals to match the available time and energy.
5) Nurture yourself. Go easy. Breathe through stress. Remember the reason you are writing and let that carry you forward. Dream big, but find the joy in day.
What about you? Got any tips and care to share? I'd love to hear from you!