Skip to content

14 Tips for Nurturing Your Creative Spirit During Challenging Times

Middle-grade author Donna Gephart gives her top 14 tips for how to invigorate your writing when things are tough.

Having a hard time focusing and feeling productive these daze, er days? Who isn’t? Here are a few things that help me be productive during these challenging, distracting times that I hope will help you …

(10 Scientifically Proven Ways to Beat Writer’s Block)

14 Tips for Nurturing Your Creative Spirit During Challenging Times

1. Start the day with habits that get you ready for work. 

I walk our dog, Benji, with hubby, do ten minutes of yoga (Yoga with Adriene and Yoga with Kassandra) and make of mug of hot tea or coffee. Always. When I do these things in that order, my mind knows the next step is creative work. (Notice checking Twitter, FB, and email is not on this list.)

2. Check in with an accountability buddy. 

Angela DeGroot and I begin each workday with an email sharing our goals for the day and catching up on each other’s lives. Sometimes we end our workdays with a quick email to say whether we reached our goals on not. During National Poetry Month in April, Angela includes a new poem with each daily check-in.

The Paris Project by Donna Gephart

IndieBound | Bookshop | Amazon
[WD uses affiliate links.]

3. Make your goals super-specific—either in time for each project or in page counts.

Last week’s goals for me were to revise a seven-page synopsis and eleven pages of the beginning of my next MG novel and submit them to my agent. I reached that goal. This week’s goals are to re-imagine an outline for a chapter book series and write a rough draft of the first book. Sometimes I reach my goals. Sometimes I don’t. But the odds are ever in my favor if I break them down and make them as specific and manageable as possible.

4. Because it’s hard to focus and easy to become distracted, I use the Pomodoro Technique

It helps you use whatever time you have more efficiently. I’ve written eight middle-grade novels, a picture book, scores of essays, and this article using the Pomodoro Technique. Knowing a short break is always coming helps you power through the task at hand.

(The Writer, The Inner Critic, & The Slacker)

5. Breaks are vital. 

For those in the back row: BREAKS ARE VITAL, especially now. These days, I allow longer breaks than usual at the end of the workday to take walks in the woods, read, prepare a vegan dinner, chat with a friend, listen to a podcast, sip wine on the patio and watch The Dog House UK on HBOMax with hubby and Benji. (The Dog House UK—a sort of match-making service between dogs and their humans—is a terrific antidote to the news of the day.)

6. Take weekends off, if you can. 

Your brain requires more time to rest these days. Besides, if you have steady work habits, when you’re not working your subconscious is working—figuring out knotty plot problems and putting separate pieces together in interesting ways. Trust that your subconscious is doing its job when you’re taking a break from doing yours.

7. If you need extra time off or are unproductive one day or two or more, let go of the guilt. 

It doesn’t serve you. It doesn’t serve the work. These days, I clock about 2 ½ days out of 5 that are complete duds. Can’t even complete a shopping list without drifting to something else. Accept that and let it go. Celebrate the 2 ½ days that are productive.

8. Your process during this challenging time is your process. 

Don’t compare your process to someone else’s because you’re comparing their shiny outside to your messy inside. Apples to oranges. It’s like comparing your first draft to someone else’s polished, published book. Just. Don’t. Do. It.

9. Try something new! 

If novels are too daunting right now, write a funny essay, an article, or a poem. Find joy in these things. Take baby steps. Forgive yourself. Love yourself. You’ve got this, friend. It’s hard. We are sensitive but resilient.

10. Find community. 

When I moved away from Florida, I left a monthly SCBWI critique group I loved and had been consistently attending for 18 years. I don’t know how I wrote my novel, Abby, Tried and True without them. During the pandemic, since half of us lived out of state at that point anyway, we reconnected for twice-weekly critique meetings on Zoom.

(6 Writing Group Best Practices: How to Lead a Successful Writers Group)

11. During these twice-weekly critique meetings, we do much more than critique each other’s work. 

We check in with each other and offer support when one of us is having a hard time. We show our cats and our dogs. We toast each other’s successes, no matter how small. Any excuse for a glass of wine.

12. I joined a book club for readers and writers of middle-grade novels over Zoom. 

I watch free craft webinars from SCBWI. I listen to craft-based podcasts for inspiration, like Book Friends Forever by Grace Lin and Alvina Ling and First Draft by Sarah Ennis. Reach out. Connect. Nurture your soul and your creative spirit.

(How to Create the Mental Space to Write)

13. Change your exterior space to ignite your interior space. 

Hubby and I splurged on two nights in Princeton, NJ to have a different environment in which to work. While there in the cozy loft space, I rediscovered my love for creating funny essays. Can’t work in your town’s library? Can you work on a bench outside of it and watch people come and go as you scribble ideas? We even went to our niece’s rooftop deck in Philadelphia, PA once just to have a different atmosphere in which to work.

14. Mostly, take care of your precious self. 

Fill your well at every opportunity. Your job is to get through this tough time. Any creative output is a bonus to be celebrated. Your work matters. Your voice matters. Your story matters. But your physical and mental well-being matters more. 

When you take this online workshop, you’ll explore creative writing topics and learn how descriptive writing can breathe life into your characters, setting, and plot with Rebecca McClanahan’s Word Painting. Stretch your imagination, develop your creative writing skills, and express your creativity with this writing workshop.

Click to continue.

Published inUncategorized

79 Comments

  1. discount finasteride discount finasteride

    Eflora

  2. ivermectin rosacea ivermectin rosacea

    receta viagra espana

  3. hydroxychloroquine tablets for sale hydroxychloroquine tablets for sale

    Propecia En Falta Receita Medica

  4. Lasix Lasix

    Tadalafil 10 Mg Tablets Good Price

  5. Zithromax Zithromax

    Forum Viagra 50 Mg

  6. Онлайн консультация Онлайн консультация

    Психологи онлайн. Онлайн консультация Консультация психолога.
    Консультация психолога в
    Киеве Психолог Онлайн. Консультация психолога онлайн.
    Консультация и лечение психотерапевта (психолога) Психологи онлайн.

  7. Курорт - 2021 смотреть онлайн Курорт - 2021 смотреть онлайн

    Веном 2 – смотреть онлайн в хорошем качестве https://bit.ly/venom2-2021

  8. Delta airlines phone number Delta airlines phone number

    Веном 2 – смотреть онлайн в хорошем качестве https://bit.ly/venom2-2021

  9. zovrelioptor zovrelioptor

    I really like your writing style, superb information, appreciate it for putting up : D.

  10. side effect of prednisone side effect of prednisone

    Viagra Senza Ricetta Roma

  11. buy anabolic online buy anabolic online

    Веном 2 – смотреть онлайн в хорошем качестве https://bit.ly/venom2-2021

  12. Хэллоуин убивает смотреть онлайн Хэллоуин убивает смотреть онлайн

    Иван Грозный – смотреть онлайн в хорошем качестве https://bit.ly/ivan_groznii

  13. zovre lioptor zovre lioptor

    Those are yours alright! . We at least need to get these people stealing images to start blogging! They probably just did a image search and grabbed them. They look good though!

  14. Cialis Cialis

    Order Now On Line Bentyl 20mg Price Overseas

  15. buy cheap cialis discount online buy cheap cialis discount online

    Diarrhea Amoxicillin 500 Mg

  16. Viagra Viagra

    Order Suhagra Online

  17. Lasix Lasix

    Levitra Spedizione Rapida

  18. buy cheap finasteride buy cheap finasteride

    New Primatene Mist Inhaler

  19. paw paw

    This site advertises gambling. Gambling is a risk based activity – the entertainment value is directly derived from the risks being taken. ThePOGG.com always encourages all players to engage with gambling in a responsible fashion and accepts no liability for any harm or detriment that may result as a consequence of your engagement with the gambling services advertised here. All gambling you undertake is strictly at your own risk. If you are concerned about your gambling you may find that our free responsible gambling tool BetBlocker useful to help manage when you can access gambling services https://staging.acepokersolutions.com/community/profile/katjabamford07/ 7th Heaven Pokies | Mobile Pokies Banking You are using an outdated browser. Please upgrade your browser or activate Google Chrome Frame to improve your experience. To be able to continue using our site you need to provide your ID (Front and Back) or passport. Until your identity is verified, you won’t be able to play games, make deposits or withdraw winnings.

  20. buy prednisone 20mg online buy prednisone 20mg online

    Amoxil 400 5 Water

  21. לאתר לחץ כאן לאתר לחץ כאן

    I was very happy to uncover this web site. I wanted to thank you for ones time due to this wonderful read!! I definitely loved every part of it and I have you saved to fav to see new stuff in your site.} לאתר לחץ כאן

  22. Reinly Reinly

    One of the most popular card games is Blackjack. While most players enjoy a good game at their local casino, there are now online Blackjack mobile games that allow card players from almost anywhere in the globe play at a table; albeit a digital table. Users have the chance to play with others or by themselves. Whichever you prefer, there are now over hundreds of apps that you can easily download. Below are some of the top mobile blackjack games available. A blackjack game works well for a player when they understand the rules and regulations of the game. This will help them to maximize their wins and lose less. Thanks for the feedback, I really appreciate it! Let me know if you have any other suggestions. You can turn off sound via the button on top right corner but I may look into changing the dealing effect. https://careforfuture.org.uk/Forum/profile/rosemariekimbal Roulette. It’s the top class table game that can be maddening and majestic at equal turns. But what is it that makes this classic casino experience so timeless? We’ve come up with seven indisputable reasons why roulette will spin you right round baby, right round… Simple to play If you’re looking to ease your way There are two additional inside bets that are only available for certain variations. The “first four” bet, which covers 0-1-2-3, is only available for European roulette. The “basket” bet, which covers 00-0-1-2-3, is only available for American roulette. It does not seem that Roulette quite has this same notion. Whether it is because Roulette seems so much more gambling orientated than playing on slots, we probably shall never know. They are both simple to play but literally, anyone can play on slots games online and there is a slots game theme and price bracket for everyone. As they are such inclusive games, there is no wonder why they remain the most popular types of games to play in an online casino when up against the Roulette wheel.

  23. Reinly Reinly

    The thing is that there are legit poker sites and rogue poker sites. So while some online poker sites are safe, others aren’t. When Black Friday occurred on April 15, 2011, the United States government seized the domains of PokerStars, Full Tilt, UltimateBet, and Absolute Poker. Of those four, PokerStars was the only site able to recover, as the other three failed and left all of their players without their funds. The arrangement made between PokerStars and the US Department of Justice eventually allowed the vast majority of those players to recoup their monies, but the damage was done. In the future, state lawmakers may enter into a multi-state compact to allow operators to share player pools with online poker sites in other states with legal online poker. In a nutshell, we want to guide you through the world of online poker safely. Most informational sites have other intentions; for example, you’ll find plenty of websites giving the sites the review 10 10 ratings, which basically means perfect. If a website ranks several poker rooms with a perfect ten, you have a good reason not to trust that website’s recommendations. https://online-wiki.win/index.php/Online_roulette_tracker If a Player who wants to play Games (other than Play-for-Free Games or Draw Based Lottery Games Played Online) has both Bonus Funds and Unutilized Funds in their Player Account (regardless of whether the awarding of the Bonus Funds preceded or followed the credit of notional funds to the balance of the Player Account, whether resulting from a deposit of funds with OLG by the Player or the winning of a Prize by the Player),the Unutilized Funds will be used first to play the eligible Games until all of the Unutilized Funds have been utilized, following which time the Bonus Funds will be used. Winnings from wagers placed with Bonus Funds are added to the Bonus Funds balance. There are many online gambling sites that make it as easy as a button click to play roulette online with real money. Young people are especially attracted by the fantastic possibilities offered by the best internet casinos and visit Las Vegas or the legal offline casinos in South Africa just out of sheer curiosity to taste the real “casino vibes”. And there is no wonder in it since in mobile roulette real money wins are as possible as in brick-and-mortar gambling venues.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.