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Keeping A Creativity Diary

February 24th, 2012

simon whaleyHave you ever had one of those days, where you’ve sat down and somehow, churned out 3,000 words of your next novel, or a short story, and wondered: how did I do that? Why can’t it be like this every day?

Many writers assume on that day the muse just happened to be with them. But why shouldn’t the muse be with you every day? Perhaps there are things you can do to encourage it to stay with you.

1. Keep a creativity diary. Actually, it doesn’t have to be a separate diary – just jot down a few notes in an existing diary. What sort of creative day did you have? Was it a fantastic one, an okay one, or somewhere in between?

2. Take five minutes to think about anything that could have influenced your day, and write it down.

3. Do this for a week, but preferably two. The more data you have, the better.

4. Now look back and identify any trends. What things led you to having a good creative day? Was it being able to block out two hours to yourself, or could it have been down to the bottle of red wine you shared with friends the night before? Were there any similar things that led to bad creative days? Did taking the dog out for a walk half an hour later than usual cause the rest of the day to collapse around you?

Once you spot trends, it’s possible to start building upon them. If you notice that having the radio on, quietly in the background, seems to increase your productivity, then that’s a positive step you can take to being more productive everyday. However, if it transpires that the mornings when the kids are late for breakfast are the days when you’re not so creative, then perhaps putting in a little extra effort to get them to eat their breakfast on time might benefit your muse.

simon bookMany of us dream about having the perfect writing environment, but actually, what we dream and what we need might be completely different. Keeping a creativity diary can help you identify those actions that make you more creative!

Simon Whaley is freelance author, writer and photographer, and a tutor for The Writers Bureau. His latest book, The Positively Productive Writer, is available from all good bookshops. For more information about Simon visit his website at www.simonwhaley.co.uk

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