The last week or so, my creative time has been rare. Partially due to sickness, a busy schedule, and a tired mind. A wise man and friend, our Pastor Denny Livingston, has taught me to know the season I’m in.
He also taught me to plant for the next one. This is true in every area of our lives, including writing, or other area of interest. When I’m in a slump, I try to follow a three step process. First, no matter how small, I try to write my idea down. I may never use it, or I might use it in another form, but I’ve learned this. It has to be recorded to remembered, and it had to be remembered to be developed.
Second, when I do feel an idea kick in, I take a few minutes and expand on it. It may be anything from a sentence to a few paragraphs, but over time they form a post, a story, or a book. Don’t try to do a final edit on a first draft, there will be time for it.
The idea may seem stupid, weak, or a rehashing, but it’s a fuse. That’s where number three comes in. Find time, when no new ideas spark, to reexamine old ones. Two post ideas may actually be parts of one blog. A plot idea may not work in that tidbit you wrote two weeks ago, but it may fit something you jotted last month.
Don’t be afraid to reevaluate an idea. You’ll be prepared for constructive criticism when you practice it yourself. Ideas, no matter how much they entertain us, are not people. They are building blocks, and like them, you can turn a house into a bridge with a few changes.
We all go through busy times in life when we wish we could do a,b, or c. Don’t get discouraged. Whether it’s a matter of time, or a struggle for ideas, seasons change. Live the season you are in, and plant for the season that will naturally occur in your life. When prepared for anything, productive sessions occur in every area of our lives. Even if we don’t always recognize the form they take.