Thursday, April 17, 2014

5 Ways to Fill Your Bucket

Burned out?

Trying to make sense of your new fiction title, and have finally decided to scrap it?

Sometimes, all we need is a re-fill. When we're full, we can easily return to our projects without a hitch. Here are some ideas:

1. Spend some time away from your desk. Meaning a few hours away. Not just in your front or backyard, or taking a cruise to the grocery store. I'm talking about a real fill-up; the kind that doesn't answer the door or the cellphone. I'm talking about a park. The canyons. The lake. The... (you fill in the relaxing place). You may have to plan ahead, but do it. A change of scenery to ponder and think usually does the trick.

2. If you feel as if you can't leave your place (at least not right now when you're feeling so burned out), take some moments to read. I mean it. Don't read and edit your own work. Read someone else's purely for enjoyment. Don't try to fix the awkward paragraphs (because you will probably still see them even in published works) and don't analyze anything. This is so tough for me because I'm doing it every day on my own work and the works of others, but when I can truly relax and read a good book, I'm filled up for the next adventure in my writing life.

3. Play some music and do nothing. Impossible, you say? Try it. Pick something soothing, lay back and close your eyes. See if you can manage doing nothing for 15 minutes, then return to your work. You'll be surprised at what you come up with.

4. Get creative. Write just because you love it. Start anywhere. From a picture you've chosen from a magazine, from a randomly chosen sentence in your favorite novel, from your favorite quote; just start writing and let it flow.

5. Call someone and tell them you love them. Do something for someone else. Visit someone who doesn't get out much. Call a friend you haven't spoken with in a long time. Get out of yourself. When we focus on someone else, even if it's for a few short hours, it's amazing what comes back to us in the form of new and creative ideas.

We all have buckets we need to fill, and sometimes, we feel as if there are more holes in our bucket than ideas. That's when we need to take a second look at life.

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