Monday, December 29, 2008

Monday Morning Motivators to Slay Your Creative Dragons

By CJ Lyons and Margie Lawson


Ever feel like your brain is just plain tuckered out? The writing goes stale, nothing you read is pulling you in….heck, even your fav authors aren’t engaging you, much less inspiring you to get back to work.

What to do?

Try taking a break from processing words and switch gears to more visual pursuits.

Grab some paints or crayons and create some art (no one has to see it except you). Or re-cycle those old magazines by cutting out photos and creating a collage. For those more computer savvy, make a video.

Think of your story as you work, use it as your inspiration. Relax. Have fun. After all, it’s not writing, it’s playtime.

You might be surprised by your results! I know I was.

Using a free, fun-filled site called Animoto, designed for cyber-klutzes like me, I created this video Took me maybe ten minutes--and I could "re-mix" it as often as I wanted.

I think it nicely captures the romance, suspense, medical elements and that these books focus on the women characters. But mainly it was fun! If I ever try again, I can do something different to fit my mood or put the emphasis on a different element--I might even try to do one as a brainstorming exercise!

Obviously, it's not professional quality--it's just me, having fun. But it did inspired me to hire Circle of Seven to make a real video in time for WARNING SIGNS' release on January 27th—and now I can't wait to see how the professional version turns out!

Bottom line: Switch gears and return to your writing rejuvenated and refreshed!

As a pediatric ER doctor, CJ Lyons has lived the life she writes about in her cutting edge suspense novels. Her debut, LIFELINES (Berkley, March 2008), became a national bestseller and Publishers Weekly proclaimed it a "breathtakingly fast-paced medical thriller." The second in the series, WARNING SIGNS, is due out January, 2009. Contact her at

Margie Lawson -- presenter, psychotherapist, writer -- lives at the top of a Colorado mountain west of Denver. Margie merged her two worlds, psychology and writing, to develop psychologically anchored editing systems and techniques that teach writers how to write page turners. A former college professor, Margie works as a psychotherapist, writes fiction and nonfiction, and presents full day master classes for writers internationally. Go to for more information.


Brian said...

Thank you CJ,

Thanks to this post I feel validated. I have been engaging in a writing pursuit to switch gears from my photography projects and was starting to feel like I spinning my wheels because no one really reads it but me but now I realize that I am rejuvinating my visual side of my brain by switching gears. Thank you so much,

I feel re-energized.

Brian Darnell

Beth Barany said...

Great post, CJ. Thanks! I love and have started making 30 second movies. As I writer, I love taking a break from words and playing with photos and music. I even pick up the coloring pens and pencils and make whimsical images. And I love making collages. It's getting to be about that time. I don't use these visual activities to stimulate the fiction that often, but I have made visual story boards of my novels, and wrote about it here in this blog post here:

organicsyes said...

Oh! thanks for this...I will try it out!