Based in New York City, Dana works for a national magazine on weekdays and coaches nutrition at a gym on weekends. She merged her education in health with her passion for media, and founded The Health Ring in 2013. Visit her on Instagram @NutritionHealthCoach or join her on Facebook at Facebook.com/Dana.Baardsen! Click here to receive a free publishing guide and to receive more information on self-publishing your book with Balboa Press.
Stuck in a writer’s rut? You know, when you’re curled up in your sweats staring at a blank document on your computer screen, yet nothing comes to mind. The absolute worst thing you could do at this point is tell yourself that you’re not cut out to be a writer, based off of uninspired moments like this. Trust me—don’t do it.
Instead, choose to lift yourself out of this writer’s rut by whipping up some inspiration, using just four simple ingredients. I am going to share with you the secret recipe for accessing the ability tap into your creative source at any given moment.
- Have a Peaceful Heart Sounds a little intense, huh? Well, it’s really just a basic standard that needs to be implemented if you want to draw creative energy forth. This involves knowing who you are, what you stand for, and understanding what special messages you are worthy of delivering. It’s so important to take a hike backwards into your past, and find peace within your heart and soul as you reflect on all of the good and bad occurrences that happened over time and molded you into who you are today.
Start here: Pick up a journal, and jot down your earliest memories, both positive and negative. When you recall relatives or friends that showered you with love, meditate on it, and bring it to life. Sink your mind and skin into the appreciation and gratitude you feel for those cherished moments. When you hit a tougher recollection, imagine hopping into a time machine and revisiting that moment. Visualize holding your past-self’s hand and providing what was lacking. Relive the moment over and over again, until it becomes less painful and you begin to heal. This could be extremely cathartic on the first try, or it could take months, even years to truly sunset certain painful memories.
- Prioritize Body Care Taking care of your body has some bonus perks, and one of them is setting your creative cells afire! That’s right—the way you treat your physical body will totally affect your ability to write. The cells in your body that feed your brain are like little sponges, and it’s important to plump them up with what they need, and not deplete them.
Start here: Make sure you get proper sleep every night, and sip on water throughout the day to stay hydrated. Infuse water with ice, fruit, vegetables, and herbs if you aren’t enthused with drinking plain spring water. Eat smaller portions of balanced meals, especially before writing, as you want to steer clear from feelings of lethargy. Stretch when you can grab a few moments to yourself, and go for a walk if you can swing it. Feel alive! Envision your cells red, round, fluffed up and full of life—feeding and nourishing your body and brain.
- Let Your Mind Dissolve If you can’t let your mind go blank, then the ideas floating around up there likely haven’t been birthed from the creative source. You know how it feels, when that pure wave of creativity hits you. Your senses heighten, you’re filled with joy and light as you begin to craft, your skin may start tingling, and eventually even time seems obscured. That’s a totally different experience than trying to logically come up with brilliant ideas, and that’s what we’re trying to unleash. If you can’t let your mind go blank, all of the creative goodness itching to reveal itself just won’t be able to break on through!
Start here: Practice meditation, and even invite music into the room to assist in training your brain to be silent! Turn up some classical tunes and zero in on one of the instruments. If you can listen to a whole orchestra, and single out the violinist, you’re in great shape. Practice other soothing things, like beading, or picking up some colorful paints and going to town on a blank canvas. Letting your mind linger in nothingness will leave you with a deep rooted craving to put that pen to the paper.
- Stay Current Within Your Niche Read, read, read, and read more. If you’re trying to write a book on staying positive, read a book on staying positive. If you’re trying to write an article about coping with grief, read an article on coping with grief. Study the different styles, use of language, and learn from it! When you surround yourself with what you love, embrace it. When you really dive into a pool of information, your subconscious starts going to town and it will save you’re uninspired bottom from sinking into a plushy writer’s rut cushion.
Start here: Follow your favorite authors and news sources in digital and print. Make a list of who you like, or what publications you admire, and study up! You can even create go-to lists on Twitter, which lets you choose what stories will pop up in your feed. Also mark your favorite journals, blogs, or news platforms in the menu bar of your web browser. Keep a beautiful box at home, where you can store cut outs of clips, or copies of articles and book chapters. Since I do a lot of nutrition writing, some lists I revisit are:
- Five Nutrition Gurus Who Inspire Me
- Five Nutrition Researchers Who Inspire Me
- Five Nutrition Speakers Who Inspire Me
- Five Nutrition Journals to Find Studies in
- Five Health Columns in News Publications
When you’re ready to get the creativity cookin’, keep these four ingredients close by. Your time spent writing will start to feel a bit more magical, and prove to be much more lucrative!
Balboa Press authors who’d like to share a 350-600 word experience related to the self-publishing of their books, are invited to do so by sending a message through our Facebook page at www.facebook.com/BalboaPress, by tweeting us @BalboaPress, or by emailing dghosh@ balboapress.com. We may not be able to use every story, but we will read and consider them. Balboa Press reserves the right to edit stories for content, grammar and punctuation accuracy; as well as for space.