Okay, so I've been writing for a while now. Years, even. That certainly doesn't mean I know everything; pursuing something creative is a never-ending quest to find what is beautiful.
One of the best ways for me to come back to what I love most about writing is to stretch myself. Then I enjoy the creative wrestling with figuring out the exact right word to use, finding the perfect voice for each character, and/or discovering the style each story should have.
I've gone through a couple of these "stretching periods," where I analyze the way I've been writing and desire to renew myself and my craft by trying something new.
I think employing this idea of stretching yourself is one of the best ways to combat the feelings of inferiority and jealousy that can be prevalent in this industry. I think we have to be consistently (not constantly) thinking about how we can improve ourselves.
Many of us do this in our personal lives. We try to be kinder to others; we set physical health goals; we endeavor to try new recipes or a new hobby.
We can apply this to our writing as well. It's how ELEVATED came to be. I had written about 100 pages of the book, and I was stuck. I couldn't figure out how to end it, or even where to go next.
I'm not sure what prompted me to try writing in verse, but I did. And it stretched me as a writer in ways I didn't anticipate.
I sort of feel like I'm on the cusp of another stretching period. I've written a fair few books now, and I want to try something new. A new genre. A new POV. A new style. Something. Not sure what yet, but I'll figure it out.
What do you think? Have you experienced any stretching periods? What have you done to stretch yourself creatively?