* Put your MP3 player on shuffle. Draw a picture/illustrate the song or some of the songs’ lyrics.
* Just put stickers or deco tape everywhere
* Read A book (I know this sounds obvious, but it puts you in a new world for a bit. When you finish a chapter, treat it like a homework assignment; write a summary and an emotional response to it!)
*Invent your own world. Write about it, or draw a map of it. Plot out the economy. What do the people look like? Blue with three heads? Talking toucans? Go nuts!
* Make lists. LIST ALL THE THINGS. Favorite songs, worse things to happen when you go camping, movies that scared the pants off you, jokes that made you laugh so hard you nearly peed yourself… anything! The small stuff matters!
* See a post on tumblr that’s funny? Jot it down! Trust me. It’ll serve to inspire later. I wrote one about pickles earlier today that had my RP partners rolling.
* Start collecting random things. Or three or four things. I collect polymer charms for my charm bracelet, bracelets in general, stickers, and deco tape.
* Cut up books. WAIT DONT HANG ME FOR THIS I’M SERIOUS. I love books-most writers I know do-but I’ll admit I’ve picked up some awful ones (anything that is on the shelf at walmart. No thanks). Rather than throw them away, I re-purpose them. Either I make new journals from them by gessoing the pages, or I cut them up all together. The same with comic books
I’m not sorry.
*Spend a day coming up with an alias (like a Tumblr URL, sorta) that you’d like to use in your journal. Document the process. You’ll learn a lot about the things that are meanigful to you as you do; mine comes from a novel I’m currently reading called “Parades End” by Ford Maddox-and the name “Chrissey” is an affectionate moniker for my favorite character, Christopher Tietjens.
*Bummed you don’t have the money to travel? That’s OK, that’s what your brain is for! Find blogs that inspire you. Study urban sketching, and then draw those places that you want to see.
*Visit Ten Thousand Questions. See you in like never maybe (I get stuck there).
*Hook up with a pen pal from another country. Send old fashioned letters NOT EMAIL. I had one from France that taught me French in backward fashion through our letters and it was amazing.
*Pick up a copy of National Geographic. Cut out a picture and glue it in your journal. Your job now is to cut out other words and phrases from other sources and tell a story about what’s in the picture with them that is different from the source story.
*Go for a walk in a park. I find a lot of goodies this way. I’ve stained my journal with berries, found feathers, ect. The zoo is another great place for this, and most are dirt cheap to get into. Mine is only five bucks on weekdays.
*Buy a packet of plant seeds; just a couple of different plants you’d like to grow. Document the process. Talk to the plant. This works, trust me.
*Watch the stars and heavenly bodies. If you live in the city and can’t, write about what you’d imagine that meteor shower would be like. If you can get to a place where you can see these things, make a field trip of it. A little skywatching can expand the mind.
*Like to cook? I don’t, I hate it actually. Except for when it comes to baking goodies. Try a new recipe once a month. Document it from start to finish. I tried sugar cookies from scratch this week. It was a disaster. Next time I know not to use so much butter. Upside: my daughter loves my welsh cakes. I now have a mom-recipe.
*Want a really fun one? Take a willy wonka approach. Become a candy connoisseur. Try a new one whenever it’s feasible (payday, ect). Jot down all your impressions, likes and don’t likes, pluses and minuses. Or be a wine snob. Or a beer snob. You know. Whatever floats your boat.
*Get in touch with your personal element. Mine is salt water; I love the ocean. For some people it might be molten lava. Others it might be glaciers. Whatever you feel embodies you. Then you can actively search for things containing that element; volcano books, pumice beads at the craft store, flecks of obsidian. Put whatever you can fit in your journal. Revel in your connection to it. What do you feel it says about you? Make it a form of meditation to explore this and write it down!
*Become obsessed with something. Write about it all the time. Write write write. Is it Supernatural? Go nuts! Put it everywhere in your journal! When I was in high school, I was obsessed with Star Trek. A friend of mine was obsessed with Savage Garden. We kept “fan books” to see who could collect the most pictures and articles (printing them off was cheating). I ended up winning. She filled up two small photo albums. I filled up four 8X11s. Oops. Write everything in it! Your ships, your sketches, your feels. ALL THE THINGS. (Just don’t be a creeper, ok? No stalking the actors or hiding in their bushes or whatever).
These are just a few things to help get you over a dry spell or bad journal-writers block. Good luck, and happy writing!