That's good advice. The hardest thing about being creative for a living is the terror of continually facing down the blank page. No one knows where creativity comes from, or how to dependably access it. Thankfully, over the years I've developed a library of tricks, tools and mind games to help me past that initial abyss. For instance:
- Start the software. That sounds really elementary, but waiting for Word to boot up can waylay one who is not hot on the trail of a good story to begin with.
- Just write and see what happens. I eventually figure out what I'm writing about, and may actually have something worth salvaging.
- Mind map. There are fancy software programs to do this, but I like a big blank sketch pad and colored markers. I write my central theme in the center, and brainstorm outward from the center. A trick to engage the right side of the brain is to doodle and use color. In the end, I wind up with a rather random outline. Thoughts get organized, and more often than not, I'm ready to write.
- Take a walk.
- Scrub the tub, empty the dishwasher, pick things up--anything to get moving for a short period of time. The key is to make it something that doesn't take long, but gets me in a constructive mind set.
- Read Bartlett's.
- Set the timer for ten minutes and surf the web for inspiration. I especially like to look at really great photo sites like Clandestina, Caedes and Daily Dose of Imagery, to name just a few. It's like taking a virtual vacation, and I can return to work feeling refreshed.