Here’s a few suggestions if you are feeling a bit uninspired:
1) Walk through the library stacks and just make note of the titles that jump out at you. These can be great spring boards for ideas. You can use the title as a subject, for example, or for character development. Don’t intently browse, just let the words catch your eye.
2) Take a walk and let the character develop as you’re walking. See the world through his or her eyes. You may see a beautiful fall day, but if you want your character to be morose, focus on the aspect of death. (I always call fall a beautiful death, but then, I’m an unwavering optimist.) This strategy is also helpful, of course, in developing setting.
3) I’m going to borrow a quotation from Winnie-the-Pooh: “Never be afraid to sit and think a while.” We get so busy with our lives, our schedules, our Facebook addictions (I know you just smiled a guilty smile) that often our heads are too cluttered with “busy-ness.” Take a moment, make some tea or coffee and just let your mind wander. Wander away from bills or what you’re going to have for supper or that report on your desk or that stack of papers you have to grade…
Throw it all off your mental desk (imagining that really helps clear the mind, too) and just concentrate on the hum of the heating/cooling system, the crickets outside your window or the tapping of your foot on the break room floor.
4) Call a friend, especially a non-writerly friend, and tell them about your project. Sometimes, they will offer important insights, or, if nothing else, welcome encouragement.
5) Indulge in something you loved from childhood. Whether it’s a Mr. Goodbar, a cup of rich hot chocolate, or Cool Ranch Doritos, it can transport you to a different time and place. Scent is the strongest memory trigger, after all.
That’s about it for today. I like to keep these short. Think of them as bursts of encouragement. Even though there’s a small audience here so far, this advice is nevertheless helping me, too!!!
Be well and write on,