Six Ways to Recharge Your Creative Mojo

2014CalendarImage2I just returned from the Rocky Mountain Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators 2014 fall conference – and it may have been my best conference experience yet.

I know, I know: I think I say that every year! But this particular year seemed to deliver exactly what I needed, leaving me recharged, filled with ideas to explore, and excited to dive back into creative work.

If you’re in need of a creative recharge, a conference is a fabulous remedy – but not one that’s always available. Fortunately, you can gain many of the same benefits even if you’re too late for this year’s RMC-SCBWI conference :). Read on for a few ideas gleaned from my recent conference experience…

1. Step away from the desk!

A change of scenery jars your brain out of its routine and forces you to turn off your autopilot. Just as important, stepping outside your ordinary environment removes the distractions of everyday responsibilities and worries — allowing your imagination room to play!

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Symbols for Writers: the Snake

About the Symbols for Writers Series: I’ve found that symbols and imagery can trigger valuable insights into writing, life, problem-solving, finding joy, and more. This series was born because I wanted a collection of symbolic images coupled with text and questions intended to kick-start the creative process, help identify a creative block, or aid expression of complex concepts in condensed packages–and I thought you might enjoy such a collection, too! If you’d like to know more about how the Symbols for Writers series came to be, check out the first post in the series.

How to Use

This week’s image is meant to inspire thoughts about success and what it means in your personal universe. You can also use the image as a creative prompt, or as a reminder of some key idea you want to remember in the coming week. Have fun!

The Snake…

 snake

SOMETHING THAT IS: UNPREDICTABLE 

OUT OF CONTROL

UNKNOWN

FEARED

HIDDEN & THREATENING

* * *

SNAKES CAN ALSO SYMBOLIZE TRANSFORMATION

SHEDDING THE OLD, AS A SNAKE SHEDS ITS SKIN

What thoughts and emotions does this image bring to mind?

Take a good look at the image above, then close your eyes and take a few slow, deep breaths. Let your thoughts wander through the meanings this symbol can carry.

  • Is your gut reaction to the snake image positive or negative?
  • If positive, what transformation might the snake image bring to mind?
    • Is there a change happening–or a change that needs to happen–in your life?
    • Can the snake help you think about a transformation one of your characters is undergoing?
  • If your reaction is negative, what feels unpredictable or out of control in your writing life?
    • Consider how these ideas might apply to your characters: does one of them face something beyond their control?
    • Do they face a betrayal? A danger that might strike without warning, like a snake’s sudden attack?

Take 5 minutes and journal about the snake symbol and the thoughts or images it sparks. 

How could this image relate to something in your writing life? Please share in the comments!

Friday Fun Poll: How Do You Celebrate Success?

 What’s Your Vision for Success?

Balloons

Yesterday, I sent you on a guided visualization about success and how you envision it for YOUR creative life. I’d bet the poodle that every single person who went through the exercise came up with a different vision.

“Success” means different things to different people. Heck, it means different things to the same person at different times! 

Unfortunately, we humans have a tendency to reach one goal and immediately latch onto the next, without taking time to celebrate along the way. It’s all too easy to live in a constant state of if only…

I’d be happy…IF ONLY

  • I sold a short story
  • I found an agent
  • I got that book deal
  • I got a good review
  • I hit the bestseller list
  • I ______________

I have to make a conscious effort to celebrate success in my writing life, or those successes slide by unnoticed. 

How do you celebrate when you have a creative success or reach a goal? Check out the poll below to cast your vote and see where your fellow writers land!

[poll id="9"]

If I didn’t include your favorite celebration in the answers, please share in the comments–I love to hear from you!

Symbols for Writers: Balloons!

About the Symbols for Writers Series: I’ve found that symbols and imagery can trigger valuable insights into writing, life, problem-solving, finding joy, and more. This series was born because I wanted a collection of symbolic images coupled with text and questions intended to kick-start the creative process, help identify a creative block, or aid expression of complex concepts in condensed packages–and I thought you might enjoy such a collection, too! If you’d like to know more about how the Symbols for Writers series came to be, check out the first post in the series.

How to Use

This week’s image is meant to inspire thoughts about success and what it means in your personal universe. You can also use the image as a creative prompt, or as a reminder of some key idea you want to remember in the coming week. Have fun!

Balloons!

 Balloons

CELEBRATION!

GOALS

DREAMS

OVERCOMING
OBSTACLES

RENEWED HOPE

OVERCOMING
DEPRESSION

 

What thoughts and emotions does this image bring to mind?

Take a good look at the image above, then close your eyes and take a few deep breaths. Imagine a celebration for your upcoming success. Visualize it in all its glory, the sounds, the smells, the food and drink. Let your mind relax and savor the scene. Feel the flush of success!

[Tweet "Visualizing your success can provide both motivation and clarity! #writingtip"]

Take 5 minutes and journal about what your vision. Here are a few questions to get your mental gears turning:

  • What are you celebrating? A book sale? A book release? Hitting the bestseller list?
  • How do you feel–excited? Scared? A bit of both?
  • Who is celebrating with you? What familiar, friendly faces are in the crowd?
  • Who are your fans, joining the celebration? What do they look like? What do they say as they crowd around you?
  • What do they love about you/your work?

Did this image resonate with you? Why or why not? Please share in the comments!