7 Ways to Avoid Writing and Still Win

Often I find settling down to do the work is just hard. Seat in chair, we writers are told. Here are

7 Ways to Avoid Writing and Still Feed Your Imagination:

1. Take a walk in the woods. The fresh scents and sun-stretched tree shadows will have you waxing creatively in no time. This is a scene among the big trees in Goldstream Park in Victoria, B.C.




2. Go for a ride on a merry-go-round and fill your brain with childlike thoughts which know no inhibitions. Allow your imagination to pump up and down with the animals and remember how children say whatever comes into their heads. Remove your own thought filters for the day and see what happens.

3. Watch a sunset. Start early and sit comfortably, letting the panorama paint before your eyes. Just clear your brain and let the riotous colours edge out all your worries. When you go to bed that night, put a pencil and pad on your night table just in case your brain calls you to jot ideas after priming it with such beauty.

4. Find a picture from one of your holidays which allows you to glimpse other civilizations. In spite of yourself, you’ll start seeing stories of days gone by where people long dead and gone speak their secrets and you capture them (the secrets) in wondrous words.

5. Follow a little child around a zoo and watch the look of wonder as they discover the animal world for the first time. Imagine describing your settings with that wide-eyed approach. Relax and let it happen.

6. Look at an iceberg which tipped upside down overnight and is now showing its underside to the little boat of chilly but enchanted watchers cruising beside it. Later take a drink of 10,000 year old ice dipped from the sea and chipped into glasses. Think how small each of us is.

7. Go hiking in the mountains near Canmore Alberta with friends and know just what your insignificant place is in this world. All else is nothing.

Consider leaving a comment to suggest how you clear your brain so the imagination can slip in with novel (pun intended!) ideas.


18 thoughts on “7 Ways to Avoid Writing and Still Win

  1. Beautiful pictures, Elaine. We must be kindred spirits. I think I have the exact same pictures, all things I have been so lucky to do. You’re so right, we have to get out, clear our mind and experience new things, or we’ll have nothing to draw on for our stories.


  2. Engaging in art forms other than writing inspires me. It gets my creative juices flowing. Watching children painting and drawing inspires me. Overheard conversation inspires me–I will sometimes sit in a fast food restaurant, order something to eat or drink and just take in the conversations. Walking behind someone who is talking to himself/herself and listening to the dialogue almost always inspires me–the madder the conversation, the better. Going down to the Queen’s Quay in the summertime and sitting near the water inspires me. Trips to an art gallery inspires me–especially if I’m viewing the works of a favourite artist. Attending concerts inspires me. Thumbing through books/magazines/newspapers and looking for single words that jump out at me inspires me. Thunder storms inspire me. Talking on the phone with high energy creative people inspires me–especially if they have a passion for writing or some other art form . . . oops, I’d better stop now. Ha! I enjoyed this article. M.A.


    • You’ve just inspired me to get my paints out and daub a bit on canvas. They haven’t seen daylight in a couple of years.
      And you sound like a very creative person. From Toronto, I wager, unless there’s a Queen’s Quay somewhere else? Thanks for visiting.


  3. I find painting or looking at paintings inspires me. Or listening to music – Patti Smith is great because she incorporates her poetry in her music. As mypeandme sats, any art form really. Good post – ta k you


    • You’re welcome, A.K. I’m not sure where that post came from as I just sat here wondering what my Tuesday post would be about and I managed to turn my lack of enthusiasm for writing yesterday into a reasonable post. I guess that proves Seat in Chair really works, eh?


  4. These are great suggestions, Elaine. I too love to walk where nature is abundant. I love the mountains and have been through Canmore but never hiked in the mountains out West. I would have liked to, but we were part of a tour and did what they arranged. I love to walk through large gardens. I missed that park in Victoria unfortunately, but did spend quite a long time in Buschart Gardens and took loads of pictures. I only wish digital cameras had been around back then (1981). I think just taking photos when I am out in nature inspires me to something. I’m not exactly sure what, but I do love it. I wish I had the time to get my paints out and do a different form of art, as Mary Ann mentioned above. I haven’t painted for decades and I do miss it sometimes.


    • This is the downside of living a life of trying new things and new places–we just don’t have time to keep them all up. And, like you, we’ve often driven in amazing scenery but there is no opportunity to walk it. Luckily friends in Canmore took us, great hikers that they are, and we delighted in seeing the mountains from a different height. Even our altitude problems seemed small compared to the distant and not-so-distant glories all around us. I stopped painting because I wasn’t so good at it as to sell it and the canvases were burying us. What do you do with your creative output under these circumstances? Making jewelry ended up the same way although I still do a little of that when I just want to play.


      • I was fortunate that for a few years I had a craft business and was able to sell much of what I created. I used to paint pictures on those fan-shaped shells, attach a velvet ribbon and make them into something to hang on the wall. After a few years I was able to completely support myself with that income, but then things changed–actually started to go downhill. Crafts weren’t as popular. Booths cost more and more while sales were less and less. So eventually I had to give it up. Now I don’t paint, do paper tole, make jewellery, sew, crochet or knit–just a few of the things I used to do. So I don’t have to worry about stockpiling anything.


      • And we all have those same memories, Diane. Still love making jewelry, though I don’t sew, quilt, knit, crochet, or most of the other stuff I did for years. Now I write and research and long for the day when the products are so numerous I have to move to a bigger place. Ha Ha.


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