If you are stuck in a rut, the best thing to do is take a step sideways. If you are sitting staring at a blank page and nothing seems new or interesting, it is a sign to get out of the house.
Julia Cameron describes it in “The Artist’s Way”, an artist date is when you go out to refuel your batteries. It can be shopping at a craft store, walking in the park, people-watching in the mall or exploring an art gallery. You deliberately nuture your inner artist with new sensations of taste, touch, smell, sight and sound.
Consider taking a class through adult education. Attend cultural programs at the library. Borrow a pile of books on a subject you are interested in. Watch instructional videos. Practice something new.
Find out about conventions in your area. Become a tourist of your own town. Consider traveling to conventions as a mini vacation. I had an absolutely fabulous time at Dragoncon, and I would recomend it to anyone who is looking for inspiration for any kind of SF/fantasy project.
WorldCon– the world Science Ficiton Convention. This is big, full of important authors speaking about the writing process, trends, and the publishing industry. People usually have to plan far ahead to go, since it is an international convention. 2012 is being held in Chicago during Labor day weekend. This is more geared toward professionals and literary fans than media fans.
Dragoncon– Held in Atlanta, GA, this is a MASSIVE convention, held in four hotels. This is a fan’s convention and a costumer’s dream. There is something for every kind of fan here. Plan ahead for this- rooms are sold out a day after they are available.
Other conventions to check out:
- Pax and Pax East tech and game conventions on both coasts
- San Diego Comiccon and NYC Comicon the biggest comic conventions on both coasts (check out the NYC Castle event coming up in March! looks cool, wish I could go!)
- Gencon– ginormous gaming convention
- Origins– gargantuan gaming convention
- Backspace Writer’s Conference
- Book Expo America
Join a group that relates to either your passions or your craft or both. There is something for everyone. With the powers of the internet, you can find a writer’s critique group, a manga costume group, a cake-pop group or a live action roleplaying group easily. If it’s at all possible, try to meet up with at least one group in person. It is very energizing to talk to a person who likes what you like just as much as you do. It is also helpful to get outside input when you are revising a creation.