DIY MFA: Prompt #4 What Feeds Your Creativity

I’ve never actually thought about what fuels my creativity. It’s a good question; one that I’ve needed several days to ponder and I’m still left with an inadequate answer. 

I don’t have a physical writing tool box that I reach into when depleted. Only recently have I started participating in writing prompts, which, consequently have helped rejuvenate my often meandering, unfocused and lackadaisical self. 

I’ve tried online writing workshops; however, I have a real problem with follow-through: I never seem to complete all of the required exercises.

Traveling helps, whether to another country, another state, another building (i.e. writing at my local library rather than at home), but aside from changing my writing environment, I travel in limited amounts.

Reading and listening to music help. If anything music is my greatest arsenal in reviving creativity. While I read something everyday (whether fiction, nonfiction, poetry, blog posts, news articles, essays…) novels are what relax me most, transporting me to fantastical worlds, and I don’t read novels and short stories every day. 

Music on the other hand, is a constant companion. I listen to music in the shower, while I cook, when in the car. I listen when I prepare to write. Daydreams are accompanied by song and often I write to music, carefully selecting the song(s) so as not to affect the mood. Sometimes when writing a scene I’ll listen to the same song on repeat to not interrupt my flow. 

Candlelight also helps. There are times when I turn off all electricity in my office and sit only in candlelight. I love the the soft, flickering shadows candles create, infusing my office with a dreamy, almost otherworldly atmosphere that lets me reach into the depths of my mind more easily. 

Writing workshops are the last tool in my arsenal. Not only do they get me out of my own head (and, bonus, out of the house) but I get to meet other writers in person, and improve my craft. It’s a win-win that helps immensely. Sometimes I just need to be around other writers to talk about the crazy things happening inside our minds, and the joys and frustrations of the craft. By nature I’m an introvert so it sometimes takes me a while to reach out to others, but I always feel better when I do, even when it pushes me outside of my comfort zone. 

It’s funny, in writing this, I’m learning that while I don’t have a “physical” tool box, there are lots of practices I engage in to help refuel my creativity. 


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