Guest blogger Heidi Mannan on creativity.
Relax. Creativity is the the lifeblood of good fiction. To tap into raw creativity we have to turn off our logical left brain. The only way one can accomplish this is through relaxation.
Sometimes relaxing during plotting or writing can be hard. We want our characters to be well-rounded and sympathetic. We want the plot to clip along at the perfect pace, the setting to entice, the voice to charm. It's a tall order and can bring stress into a writer's world. But stress is the enemy. If we're tense, our minds freeze. If we're worried about our stories, our creative flow chokes. We have to let it all go.
One of the best ways to do this, to clear the mind of left brain antics and free our creativity, is through physical exercise. It doesn't matter what kind of exercise as long as it's intense enough to make us focus on it instead of our stories. Not only does exercise provide space for the unconscious to come in, but it increases blood-flow to the brain, which makes us smarter. A smarter brain mixed with right brain activity makes for some seriously creative problem solving.
Another way to relax and get out of the left brain is to meditate. Watching dancing flames, listening to rhythmic drumbeats, and taking a hot shower are proven methods to creative inspiration. I personally find long walks in the woods very inspirational.
To learn more about Heidi, check out her website.