The night is long, with sparkling stars. On the Solstice, the earth is balancing for a moment between light and dark, a moment when we celebrate the advent of winter and burrowed into darkness where the tendrils of new growth are buried, waiting for the light and warmth of spring.

So it is with our creativity—it is always potential, waiting for us to wake up to its power and gifts. Most writers I know struggle with finding the time or the mind-set needed to focus on their writing. Everyone is so busy working, taking care of the day-to-day in life that time for creativity and writing is pushed down the list. We need to make room so our creative process and new writing has a chance to expand and breathe. We all know some of the tried and true ways of honoring our creative process, but most of us get lost in “The things that must be done.” Let’s look at the basics for enhancing your creative writing spark.

  1. Set aside a small amount of time each day to write—and journaling counts. In fact, it helps us to write away our daily obsessions and distractions, or it invites us to deepen into reflection. Even 10 minutes is helpful and gives a message to our unconscious mind that we are serious about our creativity.
  2. Having that special notebook or pen can be helpful too. Most writers are inspired by something beautiful to write with or write in. Your favorite pen and notebook are an invitation to open the treasure chest of your mind.
  3. To honor the season, make lists of your favorite Holiday memories. Some prompts:
    1. Describe using sensual details—smells, sounds, textures, and colors the best holiday food memory you have. What was the food, who made it, how was the table decorated, and who was there?
    2. How did your family decorate the house, select the tree, and shop for presents? Make your family members real on the page.
    3. Be sure to characterize your family members with action—how do they talk—be sure to include some dialogue—act, and react to other people? Your dialogue is “made up” of how you remember people talking. For instance, what phrases or expressions did they use? I had an uncle who’d say, “Great balls of sheet iron!” Find expressions that fit the moment in the scene.
    4. Find songs and poetry that inspire you. Many writers I know like to listen to Pandora or their own selection of music while writing.

As the earth turns now, surrender to the cycle of light and darkness and the cycles of our writing lives. I hope you all have a wonderful holiday season!