Guest Post by Jasmine June Cabanaw
When I was a child, I never needed to recharge my writing practice. You’d be lucky if you could pry my notebook from my hands. I would spend hours scribbling away, writing fantastical stories and poems about absolutely everything and anything. In fact, I never thought of having a writing practice at all— writing was simply something I lived to do. It was the way I experienced the world.
But somewhere along the journey to adulthood, my writing practice took a more defined shape and form. I’ve had to fit it into the nooks and crannies of my busy schedule. And oftentimes I’ve been hit with writer’s block or a creative slump. It’s got me pondering why I never had these issues as a child. It wasn’t just that I had no obligations or time constraints as a young writer; the truth runs deeper than that.
The real reason is that children are constantly submersed in creative environments. So it seems to me that the best way to recharge my writing practice as an adult is to mimic the things that sparked my creativity as a child. Below are three activities that have greatly improved my writing practice. Give them a go, reconnect with your inner child, and get writing!
Attend a reading
Think about how many hours you spent being read to during your early years, and all of the ideas those books inspired. Yet it wasn’t just the books that were sparking your creativity, it was also the people reading them to you. While you may not be able to convince someone to read you a bedtime story every night, you can still get out and attend a reading in your community. Connect with other writers, listen to a story being told in someone else’s voice instead of your own, and let the creativity pour in.
Volunteer with children
I absolutely love spending time with other writers, but the people who truly open me up to a sense of wonderment and imagination are kids. Volunteering with children will have a two-fold effect on your writing practice: you’ll gain inspiration and you will cultivate gratitude. Both of these things are perfect tools for overcoming writer’s block and recharging your creative energy. Of course, there is also the added bonus of giving back and making the world a better place, too.
Attend a workshop or retreat
Were you enrolled in classes growing up? Not just regular schooling, but extra-curricular actives, as well? I’m sure most of you probably were. As adults, our jobs take up so much of our time that we often don’t sign up for additional learning. But education is a wonderful way to improve your writing skills and your writing practice. You can either attend shorter workshops or splurge for a retreat (like the recent one we did with best selling author Elizabeth Gilbert in Napa, California. Hint, hint.). Either way, you’ll gain new skills and connect with other writers.
I hope some of these activities help you recharge your writing practice. I know what’s like to hit a creative slump— most of us have been there from time to time. Feel free to reach out and connect with us on social media. We’re always happy to support other writers and meet more of our own!