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Cheryl Reif

Cheryl lives and writes with her inspirational family, two energetic dogs, and a small mammal menagerie, all of which are fairly tame. She writes about cool science stuff for children and adults, daydreams about stories and characters 87% of the time, and tries not to plot novels while driving. You can also find Cheryl on Twitter @CherylRWrites, Pinterest., and Google. Come say hi!

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Ten Ways to “Write” When You Feel Like Dragon Dung

I have this great post all outlined for today…and have been fighting some blechy virus for the past three days which, apparently, makes me incapable of writing that particular post.

So instead, I figured I would write about what’s top of my mind today, when the weather is lovely, I have several kid-free hours in which to dive back into my WIP—and zero energy and creativity with which to do so.

Helga Weber-2 Photo by Helga Weber

What the heck does a writer do when the body refuses to cooperate with the creative spirit?

  1. Take a creativity nap. Seriously. Ask yourself a story question, write it upon an index card, place it beneath ye olde pillow, and let your dreams work on the answer while your body works on recovery.
  2. Read your work-in-progress. Something about that not-quite-100% mindset can help you view your writing with fresh eyes.
  3. Read something fun. I know you have one—that pile of books waiting for you to find a spare moment so you can read them. Let some amazing tale transport you away from your not-so-amazing reality for a while.
  4. Read something boring but necessary. Hey, it might help you get some much-needed sleep!
  5. Watch a You-Tube video or documentary related to your work-in-progress. It’s work. Really. It just feels like you’re wasting time.
  6. Watch something completely unrelated to your work-in-progress. Did you know that many creative leaps are inspired by seemingly unrelated inputs? The live webcam of that squirrel nest box might be just the thing to spark your next story twist.
    Free live streaming by Ustream
  7. Surf the web. Collect ideas for stories, blog posts, or characters.
  8. Daydream. (See #5 for justfica—for explanation.)
  9. Clean your office. Sometimes I’m not sick enough to take the day off, but not well enough to be very creative, either. This is a perfect opportunity to clear the decks so I’m ready to write when my brain cooperates again.
  10. Journal, doodle, etc. Because you can.

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