Did you know that 80% of Americans report the desire to write and publish a book? That’s a couple hundred MILLION people that aspire to be authors. Does one of those folks include YOU?
If yes, I urge you to think about doing some exercises to boost your creativity in 2017. I’ve narrowed down my suggestions to seven, and then added some resources at the end of this post for further research/inquiry. I’d be happy to answer a question for you on my new “Ask Kathryn” feature of this website. Check it out on the sidebar, top right.
1. Clutter clear your space physically. You might be thinking, what does that have to do with being creative? Creativity requires open space, and I think much of what happens for us emotionally and mentally can be triggered by what is happening for us physically.
2. Try meditation to help clear the mind. Yoga classes can be helpful for those with very active minds. I came up with the title for my book, “Mountain Mantras” during a yoga class. Marci Shimoff reports feeling stuck in her writing career until she went on a 7-day silent retreat; it was there that the “Chicken Soup for the Women’s Soul” came to her. This exercise comes from Marci Shimoff and is a beautiful way to start out the year.
3. Get outside in nature. UNPLUG. This tip is very useful for people that won’t try or stick with tip #2.
4. Step into the role of a creative person. Own it. If you are writing a book/want to write a book, start calling yourself, “author of the upcoming (insert working title of book)”. If your creative endeavors are painting, call yourself “artist” or “painter”. You can read more about setting intentions here.
5. Create a power phrase for your creative life. Your power phrase will help you get into that magical place–the “zone” where your creativity just flows. (The “zone” is different for everyone and can range from typing like a madperson to a peaceful trace where the words just come out). But remember when you start to speak about it, you can get into it.
“watch your words, they become actions; watch your actions, they become habits; watch your habits, they become character; watch your character, for it becomes your destiny.”
Want to know my power phrase? I have heard Michael Hyatt say this phrase a few times, but it is attributed to Dawson Trotman. It reminds me that the reason WHY I write, whether it a blog post, an article or a book:
Thoughts disentangle themselves when they pass through the lips and fingertips.
In other words, I write because it helps me to think more clearly about the things that are most important to me.
6. Get organized. Now that you have your mental and physical state in order, pick a spot that will be your creativity spot. Get all your research materials oraganized and handy at that spot.
7. Get started. I remember when I wanted to write my first book, and I called my friend and author Jen Weigel for advice. She said, “Kath, just sit down and write. That’s all there is to it, just write your first shitty draft”. 🙂
(I recently posted about just STARTING on wellness goals for the new year; you are welcome to check out that post)
When I looked up more information about Dawson Trotman, I found another quote by him that helps me with my writing:
The greatest amount of wasted time is the time not getting started.
Further resources for folks interested in writing/publishing.
Learn more about the publishing industry and writing industry at the Independent Book Publishers Association‘s Publishing University. I will be speaking about author financial planning*, and there are so many incredible workshops to learn from. The keynote speaker this year is Jane Friedman, who is one of my favorite resources for everything writing.
I am also going to give a webinar for IBPA on February 8th, 2017. Learn more and register here.
*Contact me if you are already a published author and would like to get involved in my pre-workshop research comparing self, hybrid and traditional publishing models. It is an awesome group so far, and we are learning so much from each other!