How Do You Get Your Inspiration Unstuck?

Portrait of Gertrude Stein, 1906, Metropolitan...

Gertrude Stein

Inspiration comes from the strangest of places, but sometimes, no matter how inspired the initial idea, the flow of creativity needed to see it through gets stuck.

Yesterday I was working on a scene from a novel I’m writing and I’d gotten to that place where inspiration wasn’t flowing. The scene felt forced and I’d lost touch with my main character. I tried several things including making another cup of tea, leaning back and staring at my computer (while eating chocolate) and going back to my notes. Suddenly, there was my dog, Henry, sitting and staring at me with his puppy dog eyes, and I knew it was time for a walk. For someone who barks at shadows, it’s surprising how intuitive he can be. During that quiet walk, my character started talking to me again and by the time we got home, I’d written the rest of the scene. All I had to do was type it into the computer.

It is said that Gertrude Stein wrote poetry while sitting in her car. For me, I find the combination of quiet isolation and movement gets my creative juices flowing again. Walking my dog not only improves my mood, and my writer’s butt, it frees my imagination. And two of the most successful (writing-wise) ideas I’ve had, came to me while driving. Considering my driving record, that is a bit scary. Non-the less, it’s true.

Yet, despite this clear correlation between movement and creativity, rather than take action, more often I stubbornly sit there and try to force my way through. Ah well…as they say, it’s tough to teach an old dog new tricks!

My question to you is, how you get unstuck? While you’re thinking about, click on the link below to check out a video of John Cleese talking about creativity. It’s brilliant!

KarmaTube: Squeeze Out Your Creative Juices.


9 thoughts on “How Do You Get Your Inspiration Unstuck?

  1. denisedthornton says:

    I also find walking does the trick. I wrote an entire novel while walking in Lake Woods Forest Preserve with my golden. My brain was trained to shift gears as we stepped into the woods. I would just say, “All right, Scott. What are you going to do now?” and watch it play out before my eyes as my feet followed the paths. (I got pretty lost in there more than once while seeing the story more clearly than the park.)
    I think that the brain works better with that slightly elevated circulation that gentle aerobics provide. Think back to our hunter/gatherer ancestors who spent their days walking and looking for things to eat. It’s probably our most alert time.


  2. Melanie says:

    lots of ways… walking… changing into a different art form… flower essences of iris and blackberry… self-CCT… and sometimes sitting with what is & going into how that feels… horrible, scary* or allowing the evolution to come as it will. Thanks for sharing!


  3. FASTInstructor says:

    Imagine that inspiration develops from extremes, as a natural law, to help re-establish balance. Therefore, try extremely good or bad music, temperature, food, smell, touch (eg, pain), etc.


  4. zenmamajo says:

    changing activities, connecting with friends, oh – a big one: sleep! (which is hard to do when i’m trying to tie up loose ends…) there’s something about sleep and clarity…


  5. Pingback: Get Unstuck and Transform Your Book into a Reality Part II- Rebecca Sebek – Creative, Ghost, and Freelance Writer

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