Even the best writers will need a little help keeping their short stories, poems, and novels fresh and engaging. While some may turn to writing prompts or freewriting to boost creativity (and these are both great ideas), trying some different, non-writing activities will stretch your mental energy in new ways! At Writer’s Relief, we know it’s important to recharge and motivate yourself in order to create writing that will resonate with readers. When your inspiration starts flagging, try one of these non-writing activities to boost your creativity.
Activities That Will Boost Your Writing Creativity
The Thirty Circles Challenge
In this innovative exercise, drawing inspires your writing! Using a paper with thirty circles (there are many templates available online), you’ll attempt to quickly turn all the circles into different round objects in three minutes. You can draw anything: emojis, clock faces, pizza, baseballs, etc. It’s okay if you don’t complete all the circles within the time limit. But by using the thirty circles challenge, you may notice a theme—or even a specific drawing—that sparks a new idea or direction for your latest project.
Spend some time sitting in a park or a city square, and you’ll notice different people walking or driving by. Besides reaping excellent character inspiration, you can also jot down ideas about where these people have been and where they might be going. Notice how individuals interact, and imagine what their conversations may be about based on their facial expressions and gestures. An added bonus: Being outside on a nice day is scientifically proven to lift your spirits and relieve stress—which also helps jump-start creativity!
Staying active is part of a healthy lifestyle, and lucky for you, it can also benefit your writing process! Focusing on physical exercise gives your mind a break from the mental work of writing so you can then view your poem, short story, or novel with fresh eyes. Research has shown that exercising on a regular schedule helps your brain come up with solutions, so doing calisthenics or going for a run will make it easier to break through writer’s block.
Whether you meet in person, talk on the phone, or get the whole cross-country gang together via videoconferencing, staying in touch with your friends, family, and writing group can invigorate your creativity. You can collaborate and bounce ideas off of other writers to refine your works in progress. And after sharing the latest updates, you may be inspired to base a new character on one of your friends!
Take A Class
It can be in person or online, but NOT a writing class! Creativity thrives when you move out of your comfort zone and away from established patterns. And the new skills you learn can add depth to your writing. The soup you learn to make during a cooking class could become the one your character’s grandma makes for him when he’s sick. The brushstrokes you perfect in your art class will add color to how you phrase your poetry. And learning a new language may help you phrase your writing in vibrant, original ways.
Meditation reduces stress and anxiety while opening up your mind to your muse. A relaxed state of mind improves your ability to connect with new ideas and allows you to deal with setbacks in a positive, productive way. There are many meditation apps available that take only minutes, but the benefits to you—and your writing—are long-lasting!
Delegate The Busywork
Researching the best places to submit your work, proofreading for grammar and typos, and formatting to publishing industry standards can leave you with very little time left for writing. When you’ve spent hours scouring the corners of the Internet for submission guidelines, it can be hard to switch back to the creative side of writing. Delegating the busywork of making submissions will let you focus all your energy on writing!
For more than twenty-six years, Writer’s Relief has been helping writers make targeted, effective submissions and boosting their odds of getting published. And our system works—check out our many testimonials from happy clients, and learn how we helped time-crunched author Lisa Leibow write more—and get published!
Spend more time writing and being creative: Delegate the busywork! Submit your short prose, poetry, novel, or memoir to the Writer’s Relief Review Board today.
Question: What activities help boost your creativity?
People watching helps a lot. It lets you study body language, too. Eavesdropping can be entertaining and teach you how to write dialogue.
I love people watching. Sometimes when I really need inspiration I’ll go to a local coffee shop and hang out. It’s amazing what you learn just sitting and sipping your beverage. Just sit quietly and listen to those around you. It helps to have a book or something so that you’re not too obvious. 🙂 I always leave inspired and this inspiration has helped me every time.
I enjoy people watching as well, especially on different occasions and at different places, at calm and rush hours. They reveal a lot about people. They 30 circles challenge is new to me but a great idea. Will really help.
I really loved the 30-circle concept. It is simply profound!!!