Lake Atitlan, Panajachel, Guatemala

Monday, October 22, 2012

Fifty Shades of Gray

Another guest post by the lovely Debra Harris Johnson!

Fifty shades of gray can sometimes represent how writers can descend into boredom with each shade of gray getting darker than the one before. Let's face it, writing is a solitary endeavor. No matter how passionate we are anyone of of us can fall into the doldrums.

The routine of writing blogs, reading blogs, commenting and responding to comments after awhile can get to be monotonous. Your wonderfully exciting WIP after a couple of months may become "stuck" and cause you to disengage.

You can lighten up those shades of gray by pursing something (other than writing) that you love to do.

1. Go plant something... flowers, veggies or whatever makes your heart zing.

2. Learn something new. Nothing gets your heart racing like the anticipation of fresh knowledge.

3. Take a trip. A day trip will do. Explore, seek out new friends and adventures. Go boldly where you have never gone before.

Do one or all three of these suggestions and I guarantee you will come back with an awakened inspiration and armed with new material for your contest entry, articles, blogging or WIP. It may kick start a new way of writing.

I found my MOJO by learning something new about an old passion of mine. As a result my entire blog will change and I will step into a new genre of writing. Are you thinking about trying any of my suggestions? Have you been thinking about a change in how or what you write? I want to know, maybe we can learn from each other.

If you like this post, go to where visits and following are always appreciated.


  1. How exciting - you're trying something new. Am looking something to that.

    (You know what I do to ring the changes!)

  2. Dear Debra, my new adventure is simply the one of working to get a routine into my day so I do not fritter away the hours. Peace.

  3. Thanks for sharing these great tips. I frequently find myself in the shades of grey and it is smothering to my creativity.

  4. Hello lovely KarenG and lovely Debbie!! Love these positive ways of finding one's mojo again! Thank you! Take care

  5. Hi Karen G and Debbie. Those suggestions are great. In fact, I do that all the time. I plant a garden, meet new people, explore different places, and I read a lot. Reading is an enlightening exploration that sparks new ideas. Nice to meet you, Debbie.

  6. Debra, you make an excellent point. For myself, I often find my passion for reading is the perfect escape when the act of "writing words" seems a bit over or underwhelming. Thankfully, I've not had that moment of needing to get completely away just yet. Though I won't deny it could come at any time :-)

  7. Learning something new always works for me. It's a great way to keep my brain 'elastic' and writing.

    Great tips, Debra!


  8. That's why I play guitar - keeps me fresh with every new song I learn.

  9. Debra, Thank you for sharing another inspiring post on my blog! These are such excellent suggestions. I've taken a little break from writing fiction right now to focus on reading novels and enjoying life. I figure when I come back to it, I'll feel rejuvenated and strengthened in my creativity.

  10. I'm learning to take E-Breaks. Batteries need charging. Makes sense.
    I also move away from my WIP between drafts. I like you planting suggestion- whether virtual or even better- real.

  11. Much fun and joy to you, in moving toward your new direction. Exciting stuff, this thing called life.

    Cheers and boogie boogie.

  12. Fantastic advice, Debra. Too many hours at the keyboard turns us stale. I'm going on a break now - giving my daughter a driving lesson. Hope I survive to tell the tale!

  13. Great suggestions! I hate getting caught in the doldrums. ;)

  14. Sage advice. Too much of anything, regardless of how much we love it, can become tedious and monotonous over time. Taking a break relaxes the mind enough to help it recharge, IMHO, or at least that's been my experience. The only problem I've ran into is knowing when enough is enough. I tend to push myself to the point of burn out. Then I wind up taking too much time off. There has to be a balance. Enjoyed reading your post. Looking forward to seeing which genre you've chosen.

  15. Hi, Karen, Hi, Debra...

    Your advice is SO dead on. I do all of them. I seem to change genres like my shirts. But it's fun and inspires me.

    The other day I took a different street to my usual shopping destination. My jaw dropped. Only about eight city blocks long this street housed some of THE most beautiful mansions and architecture I had ever seen in mid Chicago. Just steps, and I mean steps from traffic jams, buses and a major shopping center housing all of the usual retails stores.

    It certainly made my day. I love to discover pockets of the city that are usual and hidden away. But locating them from such a heavily trafficked area is like finding a diamond on a subway grate.


    I hope you're enjoying you're reading.... I have another excerpt up from my new wip of Film Noir if you have the inkling to travel into the 1940's....

  16. Thanks for sharing all these great tips and advice. I hate feeling down in the dumps- probably to do with my underactive thyroid!