Not Feeling Creative? 4 Ways to Reignite the “Wonder” in Your Writing

Writers are supposed to be magical beings who live somewhere in the glorious wilderness between insightful reality and abandoned creativity. Sometimes that’s exactly what the writing life feels like: heady with inspiration, swirling with visions of people and places beyond the prosaic world in which we actually live. Everything has meaning and wonder. Who needs drugs, man? It doesn’t get better than this. Except it’s very easy to find ourselves not feeling creative.

It’s one thing to be creative. There are protocols for that. If you understand how the pieces come together, you can pretty much make creativity happen whenever you sit down at your desk. But the joy of creativity is a little more slippery.

Originally, I was going to write this post over on my “personal” site, since it’s inspired by a deeply personal quest. But then I realized it really is an instructive post, because the pursuit of creativity is something all authors understand and that many of us will struggle with at one stage or another in our lives.

Why Is Creativity Associated With Childhood?

I rolled over into another decade this year, which naturally is a good cause for reflection. How’s my life going these days? Is it headed in a direction I’m happy with? Are there any changes I need to be making?

Whenever I’ve written out my list of personal goals these last few years, something that has repeatedly jumped to the top of the list is a desire to “focus more on creativity.”

What’s up with that? Am I not an author? Don’t I write full-time? Isn’t my life a great big whirl of creativity?

I answer that last question with regret: no. There are too many days when I find myself not feeling creative.

And that’s a new thing for me. What happened to me in the last ten years?

Basically, I got busy. I started writing full-time–which really means that what I started doing was running a business full-time with a couple hours of writing on the side each day.

In short, I grew up.

Being busy is a good thing. Being an adult is a good thing. Writing full-time and running a business: very good.

What wasn’t so good though was the realization that somewhere along the line I’d lost touch with that manic wonder of childhood creativity. That‘s what Neil Gaiman was famously talking about:

Neil Gaiman Growing Up Is Highly Overrated Be an Author

The world is brightest, our brain cells burn hottest when we’re children. Everything is new. We don’t yet understand life well enough to be fully pressured by it. Our creativity and the resultant stories are entirely ours, with no demands placed upon them by what others want (or we imagine they want). Brendan Kiely, co-author of All-American Boys, noted in an interview in the January 2016 issue of The Writer:

Kids grapple with the immediacies of their life because they aren’t out there in the world in the same way as adults. Their world is pretty close.

The trick for us as creative adults is to recapture that precious mindset. It’s the key to everything we do.

Genius is nothing more or less than childhood captured at will. Charles Baudelaire

On Adulting and Not Feeling Creative Because We’ve Let It “Slip Away”

I (like a gazillion other people) find great truth in YA author Stephen Chbosky’s famous line from The Perks of Being a Wallflower, spoken by a teenager in those magic twilight years between the end of high school and adulthood:

And in that moment we were infinite wallpaper

Click to download as wallpaper.

I read that, and it was like somebody sucker-punched me. TotallyThat was totally the feeling I had about *everything* when I was young. Every song on the radio mattered because it held the promise of potential in my own life. Every movie and book mattered. Sunsets were bigger than just sunsets: they were portals to all that unexplored everything out in the world.

Back then, I breathed and dreamed stories. They were with me every step of my day. I lived them, literally acting them out. Characters were always talking in my head and through my mouth. Everything I was physically doing in the real world became a part of a story. It was, as Julia Alvarez writes in the afterword to How the Garcia Girls Lost Their Accents,

…the wonder of the world seizing me with such fury…

And why not? I didn’t have anything else to think about. Do a few hours of school, keep the horses fed, wash the dishes, devour some books. My schedule wasn’t jammed. There were no deadlines to meet. There was just me and my right brain having fun.

I’ll be frank: I’ve lost that. And I miss it. And shame on me.

4 Ways to Purposefully Feel Creative Every Day

It’s true life only gets busier the older we get (until a certain point when, God forbid, there’s nothing left to do but watch Gunsmoke reruns and Judge Judy on TV). It’s also true (lest I give the wrong impression in this post) that I adore the busyness.

Yeah, while we’re being frank: I thrive on the busyness. I’m totally addicted to it. The necessary scheduling and organizing and checklisting makes the OCD hamster in my brain run constant circles of adrenaline-laced delight. I love everything (well, almost) about the business side of writing.

That’s part of the problem. I’ve let the left side of my brain take over. My creative side used to run the show; now, it’s firmly strapped into the backseat.

If you’re like me and you have any reason to lament the lost wonder and ease of childhood creativity–if your daily busy life is taking over in spite of or because of you–then let’s do something about it, shall we?

Here are four steps I’m taking this year to reclaim the wonder in my life.

1. Schedule Creative Atmospheres

Most of my day is taken up by thought-intensive work: write a blog post, edit a novel, balance the budget, pay attention to story structure while watching a movie. Unlike when I was a kid, there isn’t enough mentally free time in the day for me to spend just “imagining.”

So I have to consciously and purposefully create regular moments in my month when I can fall into my creative zone. For me, this means fire nights. It’s my adult recipe for wonder: fire pit, music, moonlight. Real life–adult life–slips away, and I’m right there in the world of make-believe with my characters.

2. Minimize Daily Distractions

For every important task taking up our brainpower during the day, there are probably six significantly less vital tasks clogging up the works. Last year and again this year, I’m getting ruthless with pointless distractions.

Last year, I notably cut out news consumption, streamlined my process for responding to emails (which is why it can sometimes take me up to two weeks to respond to writing questions–sorry), and moved my writing time to first thing in the day instead of the last thing.

This year, I’m focusing on the 80-20 rule (80% of your results come from 20% of your effort), trying to weed out all the dead weight in my work and personal life.

Your goal should be to eliminate the nonessential non-creative aspects of your life, so you have the time and energy to focus on staying in the creative flow.

3. Control Your Thought Patterns

Back in the wonder years, I had so many story ideas going in my head that I literally assigned one story idea to a day and just cycled through them (yes, I was OCD even back then). I’d be out walking the dog or grooming my horses, and I’d consciously focus on that day’s assigned story. That’s what I’d be thinking about all day long.

What am thinking about these days? Schedules, emails, the state of the world, funny cat memes–anything and everything but creativity. Serendipitously, last night, I happened to read prolific author Julianna Baggott’s interview, also in the January 2016 issue of The Writer. She said:

I have four kids and my life is very demanding, loud, messy and chaotic. I had to get into these spaces mentally where I was creating and visualizing scenes while cutting vegetables, driving in a car pool or waiting for somebody’s soccer practice to be finished. If I found myself thinking about things that were not really important, I would stop myself and envision a scene.

Bingo. That’s what we need to be doing. We think of creativity as some airy-fairy thing that just flows easily. But it’s not. It’s a discipline, and now more than ever. Discipline your thoughts to focus on what’s truly important–not the latest bit of celebrity gossip or the state of the neighbor’s lawn.

4. Seek the Wonder

As children, wonder is all around us, to the point we don’t even give a thought to the idea that we might have to pursue it. But we do. We have to court it assiduously, with tenderness and adoration. We need to make a priority out of–not just the act of writing–but the act of wonder-seeking. We need to re-learn how to see the world through our child eyes, to see the potential in every sunset, the awesome infinity in every choice.

Are you with me? Shall we make 2016 a mass return to wonder and the joyous lifestyle of creativity?

Wordplayers, tell me your opinion! What interferences in your life are most likely to leave you feeling not creative–and how can you overcome it? Tell me in the comments!

Don’t Let Your Creativity Slip Away: How to Reignite the “Wonder” in Your Writing Life

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About K.M. Weiland | @KMWeiland

K.M. Weiland is the award-winning and internationally-published author of the acclaimed writing guides Outlining Your Novel, Structuring Your Novel, and Creating Character Arcs. A native of western Nebraska, she writes historical and fantasy novels and mentors authors on her award-winning website Helping Writers Become Authors.


  1. I absolutely loved this. I forget how to be creative and you’ve just helped me remember. Thank you.

  2. This is a very good post; this is something I think about a lot with my stories. I’m not published (yet), so I don’t have the demands of a business and readership, but I often wonder about how things will change once a book of mine might be out there. And I love that Gaiman quote!

  3. This is a very good post; this is something I think about a lot with my stories. I’m not published (yet), so I don’t have the demands of a business and readership, but I often wonder about how things will change once a book of mine might be out there.

    • K.M. Weiland | @KMWeiland says

      Don’t get me wrong: I’m very thankful to have a readership and a business. But it’s also true that *everything* changes after you’re published, some things for the good, some not. The pressures definitely go way up. So enjoy this time when your writing is still mostly just for you.

  4. Thank you for this wonderful post.

    I’ve been wondering about “wonder” itself. The power of our imagination to lead us in the right path and show us a world so different from our own.

    It was definitely much easier to do this when we were children. As adults, we’re constantly sucked into the critical and often harsh realities of life. We become aware of Death, Life, and so much more stuff that’s begging to grab our attention each time someone mentions it (and even stuff that’s somehow remotely related to it).

    Distractions, even when small and momentary, could actually cripple our writing in the sense that instead of using our time for perfecting and enhancing our prose, we are lured into delaying work (which might ultimately lead to procrastination).

    That’s why I’ll stop to think about what I’m doing, saying or thinking every now and then just to prevent this scenario from ever happening in the first place.

    The podcast was lovely as well, dear. God bless and happy holidays.

    • K.M. Weiland | @KMWeiland says

      “The critical realities of life”–I think that’s a key right there. I love the line from Jerry Maguire about how “we live in a cynical, cynical world.” And it’s crying shame. Cynicism is way overrated (and I’m preaching at myself here).

      • IKR? I can’t help but feel that most people are unconsciously becoming cynical themselves. It’s sad, but that’s life. The best we can do is use our art to inspire them to see how things truly are.

        I think you’ll agree with this: “The truth is in the art itself.”

        Oh, why are you preaching at yourself? How has it affected you? 🙂

  5. Oh, I loved this post so much! Is it a paradox it made me think of that sense of wonder that there always seem to be present in Disney movies? That´s exactly what I want my work to feel like! And it ain´t easy.

    Life keeps us busy, yes, and as you said much more now than ten years ago (since we´re the sama age :P) and I will give this tips a try!

    We all need a little inspiration, right?


    • K.M. Weiland | @KMWeiland says

      Hah, yes. I think we grow up with the Disney version of life and think real life is going to be as easy as that. If only! :p

  6. Thank you for this great post K.M. I remember my childhood years. They were the best years of my life. Better than my adult years. I was free from adult responsibilities. Tended school during the week and on weekends I did anything I wanted. Play with friends, ride a bike, read a book. I remember when I started writing my novel. The desire was strong. The creativity was flowing like water from a faucet. Then I hit writers block near the middle. My mind jumps from the middle of the story to the end. I can easily envision romance. I can see in my mind how I want the story to end. It’s connecting the middle to it that is hard.

    Life gets in the way. It always has and always will. I just have to make time in my quiet place at home. Sometimes listening to music with a headset helps set the mood of what I’m writing. I’ll listen to Cinematic Orchestra Arrival Of The Birds for example or Haunting Mysterious Music if I’m writing a spooky scene. I’ll listen to two steps from hell red omen hunter if I’m writing a battle scene.

    Working a day job eats up most of my work week leaving me very little time to write. My day starts at 4 am and ends around 8:30 pm. I’ve been known to write even when I’m tired and most of the time the words I type out are pretty good. But it’s hard to do.

    I love creative writing away from everyone and everything. No distractions and interruptions. I love the freedom of creative writing. Of letting my imagination inspire the words I type out. I hate working for the private sector. Unrealistic demands and expectations from unqualified managers and leaders that don’t know how to lead. But it pays the bills.

    I’m glad you shared this post with us K.M. It reminded me of childhood wonder and creativity.

    Merry Christmas and God Bless!


    • K.M. Weiland | @KMWeiland says

      Music is a gateway to wonder for me as well, I think because it’s raw emotion without the intellect getting in the way. And I love Two Steps From Hell!

      BTW, if you’re struggling with your story’s middle, you find this post helpful: How Story Structure Prevents “Saggy Middle” Syndrome.

    • Eric,
      Keep up the hard work. Your experiences and difficult daily grind are inspirational to me. They show that hard situations don’t keep good men down. Keep writing and thanks for showing up to the job everyday to do the hard thing of earning a living.

  7. Yeah, if only 😛 But I think you are right, the wonder is something we can sneak back into our lives until it conquers the throne again, lol! I think you are very lucky to have the chance to live of this, that´s my dream!

    • K.M. Weiland | @KMWeiland says

      We’re all lucky, as authors, because at least we still get to step through the door back into the wonder of childhood dreams.

  8. Katie, as usual, you’ve written a beautifully written blog. The way you wrote the first part made me relate to your childhood and now I can understand mine more.

    What I got mostly out of this is that discipline is the most important thing to writing. One of my weakest points in life in general. Why? Because there’s always tomorrow. That line of thinking has got to come to an end.

    As I read, I kept coming up with excuses of being too busy. Well, you kicked that to the curb with Ms. Baggett’s story of four children and all that she has to do.

    Thank you for this blog, Katie. I really needed the wake-up call.

    • K.M. Weiland | @KMWeiland says

      Glad the post resonated with you! I like to say there’s no such thing as “I don’t have enough time.” There’s only: “This isn’t important enough to me to *make* time.”

  9. Pretty much exactly what I needed today (while busily balancing glorious Christmas preparations + all the people in my life + working on some blogging projects + trying to finish short story edits and meet a contest deadline by the end of the month). 😉 So excellent post as always!

    Now I’m off to wash some dishes and think through tweaks that could be made in the opening scenes of my short story…. 🙂

    (P.S. I think I accidentally posted this twice — so if so please feel free to just delete the first one. :P)

    • K.M. Weiland | @KMWeiland says

      Good for you! Use that “creative lollygagging” time wisely. My mom always told me washing dishes was important. 😉

  10. Hey Katie:
    Life is great. I’m waiting to turn into an adult. Not sure when that will be as I’m only 75 right now. I love what you have written here and the freshness it provides. Distractions are the biggest issues. I don’t mind slipping a day or two. I guess my journalism/public relations career has kept me writing every day, always for someone else. Now though I enjoy a new freedom to write for myself, to have my own voice. I hopped into NaNoWriMo this year and found the 50,000 words relatively easy to come by. The discipline to do that every day stirs afresh. Prayer works, always. — Graeme

  11. As a child I used to make up all sorts of stories, draw all kinds of characters and dream about amazing works I would bring to life. I had absolutely no idea how I’d manage to make those crazy projects come true, but that didn’t stop me from dreaming.
    Today, I still retain the same dreams; actually I’m much more serious about them than ever, and I even have an idea of what path to take to achieve them. if I told anyone about my wildest dreams, they’d laugh at me and call me a kid. Great! The kid inside me is alive and well.
    The daily hustle is consuming a large chunk of my time but thankfully I manage to find time to refill my creative pool.
    Keeping in touch with my inner child is an activity I have to consistently undertake in order to keep an eye on my dreams. Just going back to shows and books I enjoyed in my childhood fills me with a surge of inspiration and positiveness. I also like to stop and observe the small things of life that, as adults, we don’t pay attention to anymore: pigeons, clouds, sunset, sea. Maintaining that ability to marvel at nature is very important to me. It reminds that there is a big world out there that is waiting to be explored, and that life is more than just earning the daily bread.
    Thank you KM for this article, I love this kind of topics as they motivate me to continue my journey.

    • K.M. Weiland | @KMWeiland says

      It is interesting to me how the stories we ingest as children are usually the ones we love best all our lives. Goes to show the power of those early influences!

  12. I love that childlike sense of wonder when creative flows like water from the tap. Thanks for sharing these tips today! While I’m at it, Merry Christmas!


  13. Your comments about Potential spoke to me.

    I find one of my favourite places is the entrance of Officeworks (you probably have that over there, but in case you don’t, it’s a supermarket for office supplies – duh).

    Ok, the entrance, and ten feet inside. Because that’s where the maximum potential sits. Where anything can be in there, and it’s all blank and waiting to be filled with… well, anything.

    And I often feel the movies and tv shows I like best are those where they may not have executed perfectly, but the potential…

    Seems potential = wonder to me.

    Changing tack to how to schedule creative time: for me it’s mowing the lawn. I get away from everyone and perform a mechanical task that frees my mind from distraction or immediate thought. I have a reel mower (pushy) so it takes a little longer than a powered mower, and I look forward to that time in my week to solve all those prickly creative problems. Free-spinning wheels run quickest.

    • K.M. Weiland | @KMWeiland says

      I get that totally! I don’t know that we have Officeworks here, but I get that same feeling walking into a Staples supply store. And the smell of paper!

  14. Thanks so much for this post. I live in a world of adults, so my never having figured out how to be one can make for some lonely times. It’s always amazed me how connecting to my characters in those moments of isolation—something the self-proclaimed grown ups in my life tell me is a problem in need of fixing—can bring me back to that childhood innocence and possibility. It’s the only time I ever find peace within myself, the only thing that makes putting up with the responsibilities of the world bearable. How unfortunate that those pressures often leave so little time and energy for escape, or worse, the doubt that the escape is inventive enough, fresh enough.

    But even when I can’t sit down and write, I love knowing the characters are there, still living their lives nestled in my head. Thanks for the reminder to set them free and stop letting the adult try to force them into being what it thinks they’re supposed to be. 🙂

    God bless and merry Christmas

    • K.M. Weiland | @KMWeiland says

      What’s truly sad is that 90% of people lose this childhood ability altogether. No wonder the world’s a mess. :p

  15. It’s actually the process I was going through in my own life. To me, instead of marketing, writing rules were the thing that was actually bogging down my creativity. I was like trying to put all the 500 stuff — that you might have read at one point or another — to put in the first page.
    For a long time, I was always focusing all my free time in studying the craft through blogs and writing how-to books. And that was numbing my mind with anxiety.
    Recently I posted my first chapter in a critique group and they were all pointing out the things I should have done. Except I had read at somewhere or another that it is a rule not to put that in the first page. :/ It confused me a lot.
    So my strategy of re-igniting that wonder is, to do all the stuff that made me want to be a writer in the first place.
    Animes, fantasy novels, ancient history books with a lot of vagueness that always used to raise a lot of what-ifs in my head back in the day. And yeah, my more mature side do kick in and make me question what is working in this book or that show. And now I am realizing which rules to follow and which ones to… dump.
    I have also put a quota to only research the craft of writing one hour per day. Since it really does help, if only you don’t let the knowledge overwhelm you. 🙂

    • Creativity is too large to be bound by “rules”. There are so many rules around, many of which are conflicting. Follow your instinct.
      Too much theory and conventions will drive you to burn out. Sometimes you have to stop analyzing and just have fun.

      • Yeah, that’s exactly what happened recently. I get a really rough critique only because I was following too many rules.
        And after reading all that stuff I should had cringed or cried at my incompetence. But I felt relieved. “Oh, so there isn’t need to show that much, that would be easy. 😉 “

    • K.M. Weiland | @KMWeiland says

      I think we all go through that at some point. Honestly, the novel I was writing when I actually learned *how* to write is the worst thing I’ve ever written. 😛 But it was a tremendous growth experience. Don’t put too much pressure on yourself. Just write and keep learning and trust that every story will always be better than the last.

      • Yeah, now that you mentioned it. Maybe the first bolt to the learning curve is a bit hard to go through. But slowly, things start to make more sense. Resulting the writing to go about easier. 😀
        My problem is that I am a slight bit too attached to this particular project. I wish I had the habit of finishing them just like you had. Finishing projects and moving on. But I am completely invested in one, and will tweak and re-tweak it until it is publishable. :/

        • K.M. Weiland | @KMWeiland says

          Nothing wrong with that. Just write something else in between tweaks. 🙂

          • That’s part of the plan. 😀
            Right now, I am knee deep stuck in editing a really bad draft.
            And going through your method of starting the research of my next historical. 😉
            Ah…I tell everyone around me, “give writing a try, your life will be awesome.” 😀

  16. Colin Orian says

    I’m in my last year of high school this post really connected to me. I take great pride in that I didn’t let my creativity die when I entered into my teen years. Back when I was a little kid I loved those imagination games (you know, when you pretended to be superheroes). When my friends grew out of that stage, I didn’t have anyone to play with so that energy and creativity manifested into writing. When I settle down for bed, I think up ideas for my stories. I’ve done this for as long as I could remember and I’m sure it’s what prevented my creativity from disappearing when my friends left that stage.

    • K.M. Weiland | @KMWeiland says

      You’re in that magic “twilight” between childhood and adulthood. Everything’s changing! That’s both exciting and frightening. I would encourage you to consciously cling to your creativity during this time, as the changes of adult life will begin to create new and interesting challenges in your life. If you’re aware of how easily creativity can slip away in the busyness of life, you’ll be that much more likely to hang onto it.

    • Colin,

      Your comment spoke to me so I thought I’d share this with you. I had the same thought when I was your age (almost 30 now…) and good for you for clinging to those imagination games!! I used to tell myself the same thing: every one else grew out of it but I never could.

      Unfortunately, as I grew into life’s challenges, the people around me insisted I was the only one having “difficulty growing up” and it felt that something was wrong with me. Grownups weren’t supposed to play kids games, even in their heads. Please don’t ever let anyone tell you that, no matter how pressured life becomes. Believe me, they couldn’t be more wrong.

      I wish you good years ahead to explore what life can offer with one foot rooted firmly in your childhood.

  17. Thank you for this! Recently I’ve been in such a creative slump. I just can’t get excited about my ideas anymore. I end up thinking “what’s the point”, but I think this is a different problem than creative wells drying up. Still I need to get back into the creative scene it kills me not to be writing (or drawing or any other of my creative pursuits)

  18. I definitely think this is one of your best blog posts ever! By making it personal, you’ve definitely helped us journey inside. Now I see my feelings of childhood aren’t unique: it seems everyone here has the same feelings of nostalgia and a sense of hope and grandeur for the future when we were kids.
    Heck! I STILL don’t feel like an adult. I know I AM one by necessity, but honestly I fight it. I’m an adult because the world sees me as one and because I have the responsibilities of an adult. But I still feel like I think the same (in some ways – maybe that sense of wonder about the world and new discoveries). I know I’ve changed, but I still hold to the mindset of being younger.
    And maybe it’s that: being able to shift perspectives at times… remembering things when they were simpler and freeing up the mind for whatever inspiration might take place; kinda like opening a circuit in the mind for the electricity of ideas to flow. Bah, maybe I’m being just a little too existential! 🙂

    • Gee, I am jealous at that. But I am growing out of adulthood, slowly maturing back in the childhood wonder. 😉

    • K.M. Weiland | @KMWeiland says

      Hah. I still have moments when I’m driving down the street and I find myself going, “Wow! I’m an adult! I’m driving! I just bought a latte!” :p

      Honestly, though, I think that disbelief in our adulthood is a good thing. Maybe the disconnect means we’re not as far from all that childhood wonder as it sometimes feels.

  19. Katie, I grew up a left brain thinker, excelling in math and English. I look back on my education and am grateful, but I had to learn to be a creative person and this has been going on for 3 years. I started with song writing, and a songbook workbook. I wrote some songs but it wasn’t the challenge I looked for. I finally settled on writing novels for the challenge. Your workbooks have been so helpful, I wouldn’t get to where I am without them. I love this “writer business’ and have plans for my own blog. Thanks for all the help you’ve lent me, whether I sell anything or not.

    • K.M. Weiland | @KMWeiland says

      Even though apparently the concept of “left brain/right brain” really isn’t a “thing,” I still love the concept. It fascinates me how left-brained people approach creativity versus right-brained people.

      And I’m so glad the workbooks have proven helpful to you! That makes my day. 🙂

  20. I have never been more moved by your writing. This message is a finger on my heart. Thank you.

  21. Was it you who said you gave away copies of The Little Prince to friends and family recently? 😉

    A friend gave me Narnia: The lion, the witch, and the wardrobe when I was 10. Like many kids, I would constantly check the back of my wardrobe 😉 That book made me want to be a writer. Thank you for reminding us of a). the immensely transformative power of childlike wonder and b).why we chose this insane lifestyle.

    • K.M. Weiland | @KMWeiland says

      I’ve actually never read The Little Prince, so it wasn’t me. But I totally agree with you about the transformative power of those childhood stories. They’re the ones that influence all our lives, sometimes even after we’ve forgotten about them.

  22. Thank you so much for this! I really needed to read it today! For me, there seems to be so many things pulling me in different directions that it is often hard to give myself permission to take time and sit down and write.
    Like you mentioned though, creativity is discipline. I have found that if I take the time to schedule writing time into my days that helps my brain to realize that this is important! And I find that the more I take the time to write and be creative, the more my creative side begins to peek out from its hiding place and the wonder of life comes back to me.
    Thanks again and blessings!

    • K.M. Weiland | @KMWeiland says

      I think that is totally true! It’s like once we give that creative part of ourselves a safe place and time in which to come out to play, it starts getting braver and braver and coming out more often.

  23. I love all of your posts, Katie. This one has really struck home. I’ve spent my life wanting more time to be creative. Now that I am retired, I should have a zillion hours to wile away in painting, writing, reading, and the list goes on. And yet, life still gets in the way all too often. Love your ideas.

    • K.M. Weiland | @KMWeiland says

      I think there are ultimately two big reasons we let life get in the way of our creativity:

      1) Creativity *is* work. It requires focus. Hence, it’s much easier to sit in front of the television.

      2) We don’t always rank creativity as highly as other things in life. Hence, it too easily gets shuffled down the to-do list by more “important things.”

      We have to tackle both problems consciously and with dedication to overcome them.

  24. A.P. Lambert says

    Thank you for writing this. As much as I love all your posts, this just might be my favorite yet!

    Yes, let’s bring the wonder back in a big way! The idea of sharing and exploring wonder is actually part of my (working) mission statement. It’s so crucial and yet I so often forget about our deep need to maintain a sense of wonder, especially in writing.

    Thanks for the constant inspiration and encouragement toward that end.

  25. Thanks for this post. Great advice as always! I think losing the “magic” of creativity is highly related to fatigue or writer’s block. Based on my experience, I sometimes get too immersed on a certain project that I tend to lose focus on what I should be doing. I’ll keep these in mind. Thanks again!

  26. Thanks so much for this post.

    I’m currently writing a fantasy novel based on a fantasy I had when I was 10. It’s a great way for me to sink back into that creativity and in the beginning I was surprised at how easy it was. Then I thought: maybe I’ve never lost that creativity. And three months later I’m at 45.000 words, 77 A4 pages.
    And I’m amazed by how much creativity I still have.

    I still need to find a beta reader though, and some other people to inspire with my fantasies.

  27. Bob Herdman says

    Reignite the “Wonder” in Your Writing. Click the “Play” button to Listen to Audio Version doesn’t work at

    • K.M. Weiland | @KMWeiland says

      Bob, so sorry you’re having trouble with the audio! I checked, and it seems to be working correctly on my end. The first thing you might try is loading it another browser.

  28. I really needed to find this today. I’m making my way through much of your blog (actually found this one while rereading your “Learn How to Make the Most of the 5 Stages of the Writing Process” article. Due to some personal issues as well as just life’s steady progression, I’m finding it harder and harder to find creativity when needed. Reading used to be all I needed. That hasn’t been helping like it used to. Reading this though, was immensely helpful! Thank you so much, Katie!

    I continue to find inspiration and a path for my own writing process in your words.

  29. For me who worked with children most of my life, wonder is in the details. It is in using the senses to experience the tiniest details. Look closely at a flower notice what you see, smell, etc. Watch a sunset or sunrise or gaze at the sky full of stars, walk in the woods and use all your senses. This is what I did with my students. It’s amazing to watch them experience nature. If you can’t go out, find videos of time lapse photography, it’s amazing. Take a mirror with you and watch yourself or better yet take another person and watch them experience nature. It will stimulate a lot to write about.


  1. […] Source: Not Feeling Creative? 4 Ways to Reignite the “Wonder” in Your Writing […]

  2. […] Source: Not Feeling Creative? 4 Ways to Reignite the “Wonder” in Your Writing – Helping Writers Be… […]

  3. […] Having trouble sparking your creativity? Angela Christina Archer marvels at how her painting her fictional world and coloring her characters is analogous to her daughters’ creative play, and K. M. Weiland relates 4 ways to reignite the “wonder” in your writing. […]

  4. […] K.M. Weiland offers four ways to reignite your sense of wonder in your writing. […]

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