Have your prose gotten a little stale? It happens to the best of us. The New Year presents the perfect opportunity for a writing tune-up. By implementing some inspiring new activities into your routine, your writing can go from dull to delightful in no time.
We all know that, as writers, we need to read as much as we can. It helps us learn new techniques, gives us examples to learn from, and keeps us in the literary groove. What we may not get, however, is the need to expand beyond our comfort zones and read widely among the genres. Naturally, a magazine feature writer will peruse a stack of glossies every afternoon, or a romance novel writer will pick up a new love story each week, but how often do we grab something new? You may never have any interest in writing science fiction stories, but why not try reading one? Stepping out of your writing preferences allows you to experience new things that can improve and inspire your writing. Read everything you can get your hands on: short fiction, novels, magazines, blogs, newspapers, cheap paper backs, best sellers, newsletters, flyers…you get the picture. By experiencing new ways of writing, you’ll introduce inspiration into your own practice.
Try Something New
We all get busy. We get into our routines and it feels as though there isn’t a moment to spare. Even in a career as diversified and unpredictable as freelance writing, our days can become dull and monotonous. Needless to say, boredom wreaks havoc on our creativity, and therefore our writing. Make it a requirement of you job to try something new every now and then. Start up an evening yoga or karate class, take pottery at the local arts school, or join a book club.
Always stay on the lookout for ways to alter your daily routine. Can you try a new coffee shop? Take a new route to the grocery store? Go out for dinner at the weird new sushi bar everyone keeps talking about? Experiencing new things will give your mind a kick-start. New ideas will surround you, and your creativity will get refreshed.
Write In New Ways
In the same way that you should read widely, writing in new ways can also have great results. We all develop our own “voice”, and breaking away from our traditional way of writing can have refreshing results. Try it as small exercises for your personal enjoyment. Write something satirical. Write something scientific. Write something with quirky sentence structure. When you go back to writing in your natural voice, you’ll have greater perspective and a refreshed sense of purpose.
Invest in Yourself
Continuing education can help your writing in numerous ways. It brings you into contact with new ideas, opinions, and subjects, keeps your mind active, and broadens your horizons. Commit to investing in your education this year. Options abound: home-study, classes at your local college or university, courses at your local library, or private online learning outlets. Learn more about your craft, but also branch out into interesting and unrelated topics. You never know what you’ll find to inspire you.
New Year’s resolutions to lose weight, exercise more, and eat healthier abound this time of year. But did you know that a commitment to a healthier lifestyle could pay off in your writing, too? By exercising and eating healthy, you will have extra energy to power through your day. When you feel good, you feel motivated. The exuberance will come across in your writing, as well as your productivity and ambition.
How do you energize your writing when it goes south? Tell us about it below…
Images courtesy of: publicdomainpictures dot com