Refilling Your Creative Tank

now playing on my iPod: Unissasi Laulelet (Chamber Version) by The Dø

I’ve been doing some plotting lately. And character studies. They’re fun. They’re awesome. My favorite plotting comes from Truby’s The Anatomy of a Story. Also, I love my friend CJ Redwine’s workshops for keeping things focused and clear. You can find character stuff that works on Writers Helping Writers.

But today, I’m not going there.

I need a refill of dream, nightmare, beauty, longing, rage, passion, drive, fear, understanding, confusion. If I don’t have a nice, full tank, I can write. But not well. 

So where can we go to get this refueling on?

Here are the three I’m enjoying this weekend.

1. Deviantart. It is a website where artists post amazing things. Mind-blowing things. Things that will keep you up at night. In good ways and bad. There’s one up right now called Oath by wlop…well, I haven’t stopped looking at it since I found it an hour ago.

2. Great Lines. No, I don’t have a specific website for this. It’s just a time when I manually flip through my favorite books, plays, and poems, looking for lines that kick me in the gut or make me laugh out loud or sigh really dramatically. Here are a couple if your Sunday laziness doesn’t allow for flipping or searching.

“‘Aquamarine is a wonderful color, and I won’t be made to feel bad for wearing it,'” Gansey said.” —The Raven Boys by M. Stiefvater

“Come what come may, Time and the hour runs through the roughest day.” —Macbeth by W. Shakespeare

“Even when she did not like Archer, she loved him.” —Fire by K. Cashore

“Tessa heard a light crinkling and realized it was the sound of the silk flowers on her hat being crushed against the side of the carriage as his body pressed hers back.” —Clockwork Prince by C. Clare

“The unflinching blue eyes looked squarely into the Colonel’s, and there was a devil peeping out of them, the devil of recklessness that is born of despair.” —Captain Blood by R. Sabatini

“Maddie flew back following the 70-mile, 2,000-year-old dragon’s back of Hadrian’s Wall, to Carlisle and then south through the Lakeland fells, along Lake Windermere. The soaring mountains rose around her, and the poets’ waters glittered beneath her in the valleys of memory—hosts of golden daffodils, Swallows and Amazons, Peter Rabbit.” —Code Name Verity by E. Wein

3. New music. I’m rocking some pretty trippy tunes at the moment. Pandora/Spotify/manyothersites can give you fresh songs. Resolution by Thievery Corporation just came on here in my kitchen/living room. Nice stuff. It’s perfect for allowing the brain to wander about the less-traveled recesses of memory and idea and connection. I promise. I’ve only had lemonade today. Pinkie swear. But seriously. It’s fun to daydream. No matter your job or goal or position in life, it’s good for the soul.

What are your favorite creativity-boosting activities?





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2 Responses to Refilling Your Creative Tank

  1. Karon says:

    What a great post. I listened to Resolution, and it certainly generates some interesting images as you listen. Music is definitely a creativity booster for me. Just having some soundtracks in the background sometimes helps me to push through with what I’m writing. After seeing a really good movie, I often leave the theatre feeling pumped with themes and ideas. Deviant art is such a great idea. It ties in with my recent decision to cave and join Pinterest where you can pin pictures and visual cues. I’ve created a writing inspiration board, and I’ve posted pictures of people who remind me of the characters I write about, images that give me ideas and other story inspiration. I’ve seen other writers doing something similar.

    • I’m so glad you enjoyed Resolution. Oh yes, the theatre! Also a fantastic inspiration. I’m going to see Shakespeare in London this summer (Merchant) and I’m super pumped about it. Beautiful language always gets me going. 😉 I use Pinterest, too! It’s so important for my world-building. When I pin a scene, I can see tiny details I’ve forgotten since visiting that place. The way the light hits a certain type of plant. The shape of the buildings. Crowd flow. Some writers post fan art on their boards. I think that’s amazing. I can’t wait until I can do the same! Thanks for you comment. 🙂

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