• Kathleen Cassen Mickelson

How do You Kick-Start Your Creative Process?

What are your favorite methods for moving your writing or other art ahead? On those days when you feel completely uninspired, what is the first thing you do?

Here are my top 10 methods:


  1. Walk away from the computer. Sometimes I just need to let my eyes rest.

  2. Go outside. A change of scenery never hurts.

  3. Walk my dogs. They love me for this and will behave better when I go back to my computer.

  4. Hop on my bike and pedal around the neighborhood. I don’t have to pick up dog poop when I choose this exercise option.

  5. Walk around the nearest lake. Easy to do in Minnesota – we have lots of lakes. There are usually other people around and we can all acknowledge each other’s existence. This is important when one works by oneself all day.

  6. Take my notebook and pen to the table and chairs outside and free write by hand. I really think a different part of my brain engages when I write with a pen versus a computer keyboard.

  7. Stroll through my garden and pull weeds. Now there’s a metaphor for revision.

  8. Eat something. This is probably my worst and most desperate choice unless it actually is mealtime.

  9. Watch a cooking show. At least someone somewhere is doing something creative with the materials at hand.

  10. Read a magazine, preferably one that has nothing to do with techniques for writing. However, this choice occasionally reminds me that there is probably something else I could do with my life. 

One of these will almost always work. The ones that require me to move my body the most are usually the best. If nothing is working, then I figure I need to forget it and do something else….like sleep. 

Now, pardon me while I walk away to see what’s popping up in our rabbit-infested garden.

DO A KIND THING LINK: This week is Bike Walk Week in Minnesota. And, we are celebrating Minneapolis’ designation as the best bicycling city in the nation for this year. With that in mind, Minneapolis is debuting Nice Ride Minnesota, a bike-sharing program good for people, good for the earth. Check it out here. Search Amazon.com for creative inspiration

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