Tips to Refresh & Refill Your Creative Spirit

by Edie Melson @EdieMelson

We all have way more
things to do than time to do them. But lately it seems that more and more of my
writing friends are facing serious issues. Often we have to keep working, even
when the world is crashing around us. But that’s when the necessity of feeding
your creative spirit becomes non-negotiable.
When life gets insane
and and I’m running on empty what I want to do is pack my bags and leave on
vacation. But I don’t often have time to lay out for a couple of weeks and
recover. There are still more commitments and deadlines looming in the near
future.
So how do I keep going
and find a way to feed my creative spirit? I do a little inventory and then get
my schedule down to the basics.
Evaluate Where You Are
Take
an inventory and rate your mental fatigue.
  When my mind is like a
muscle that’s been overworked it needs time to recuperate. To give it the time
it needs, I’ll be watching the clock while I’m working and taking frequent
breaks during the day. I’ll wander around my yard, have lunch with a friend, or
just sit and enjoy a TV show.
Next
I’m looking at how disrupted my routine has become.
Many of you know I keep a pretty
regular schedule. I have to, I’m too easily distracted as it is. A schedule
helps me focus and stay productive. But the past few months my schedule has
consisted of sitting in front of the computer for twelve to fourteen hours a
day, seven days a week. No one can sustain that kind of workload for any length
of time.
So I’ll become very
rigid with my schedule (including the break times). This will help me stay on
track, even as I give myself time to recuperate. My writing time will be
shorter and my breaks a little longer.
The
third thing I’m looking at is how starved my creative spirit has become.  
I need something to rekindle that
creative that’s burned so low in my soul.
Here’s how I’ll get
some nourishment in my starving creative well:
  • I’ll be spending more
    time reading—for pleasure. I may try a new author, or revisit an old favorite.
    I plan to go where my whims lead me. NOTHING from my to-do reading list
    allowed!
  • I’ll
    be doing some things that spark my creativity, like jewelry making or knitting.
    Something creative, but not something I do for money. Just opportunities that
    encourage my imagination to soar.
  • I’ll
    be going to the movies. This gives me the opportunity to immerse myself in
    worlds that other creative geniuses have imagined and most important,
    much-needed time with my husband and with friends.
  • Finally,
    I’ll be finding a time for a short vacation. It may only be a one-day trip into
    the mountains or a local park, but my husband and I need the unplugged time
    with just each other as our focus. 

Now
I’d love to hear from you. How do you refill and refresh your creative spirit?
Share your suggestions in the comments section so we can all learn from each
other.

Edie Melson—author, blogger, speaker—has written numerous books, including While My Soldier Serves, Prayers for Those with Loved Ones in the Military. She’s also the military family blogger at Guideposts.org. Her popular blog for writers, The Write Conversation, reaches thousands each month, and she’s the director of the Blue Ridge Mountains Christian Writers ConferenceConnections: Social Media & Networking Techniques for Writers is a print expansion of her bestselling ebook on social media. She’s the Social Media Mentor at My Book Therapy, the Social Media Director for Southern Writers Magazine, and the Senior Editor for NovelRocket.com. Connect on Twitter and Facebook.