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magnetic words courtesy of Big Stock Photo
Gina Quarles : Fill in the Blank

Healing Through Creativity

Fill in the Blank _____

Puzzles and word lists prompt and inspire

By Gina Quarles

Do you ever find yourself at a loss when it is time to create? You sit down to write and nothing comes to mind? All you see is your hand holding the pencil or pen and a blank page staring at you? As writers and or artists we are all faced with this. No one has great ideas all of the time. So I find that we need prompts or things to get our creative juices flowing.

One way I do this is by opening a dictionary. I know that does not sound very exciting, but bear with me. I then page though it. I notice a word that intrigues me. I then will move to the thesaurus. I know it sounds silly but, it really works. I begin collecting interesting words that I have not used in awhile and I jot them down.

Then I take the words and write them on pieces of paper. I typically will use at least 30 words. I get my scissors ready and cut each word off, fold them up and put them in a jar (or whatever you wish to use) and then I will mix them all up. I randomly choose five words. With those five words, I try to create a sentence or part of a sentence. If I need more of them, I will then grab five more words. I open them all up and begin constructing.

Now, this may not be the topic or what you ever thought you would like to write about, but it gets your mind and thoughts going. It is a warm-up for the brain. Think of it as stretching while working out. I have used magnetic word calendars as well. These are wonderful. They are not so easy to find. You may have to do some searching. But I would start at Amazon. They have it all. I would word search "create your own words calendar."

The calendars have a magnetic board on the back of them with about one hundred separate words to use. You make your own sayings each month. You can have just a word that may mean something personal for you. Or you can build sentence upon sentence on there. You can add to it each day. I used to do that and before you knew it, by the end of the month I had a poem or a nice start to what could be a creative story I would have not have thought of otherwise.

I have used word searches as well. I have an application on my Kindle that I like to use. Or if you prefer, you can use the good ole fashion ones from the store located by the coloring books and or crossword puzzles. [Or download and print some from Creativity Portal.] Some people prefer to use a pen or a pencil and not an electronic device. I too find I will go back and forth. There is something special about putting the pen to paper.

Many times when I feel "blank", I will often go back and read my finished works. Something about rereading your own work triggers something in my brain. I remember when I wrote the piece. The emotions that I felt during that time seem to come alive while reading. I remember where I was, who was with me, if I was eating, if I was in bed and even the smells come back! It seems suddenly all of my senses are engaged and alive. Then the magic begins to happen.

I find I am now ready to write, draw, create, complete the poem or redecorate the room. Whatever it is that I want or need to do, I am ready to accomplish! The creative juices are flowing and I am excited and ready for my newest piece of art! The rush of being in the zone, as I like to call it is just priceless. There is no better feeling out there.

When you get to this creative place, it is as if nothing can stop you. Some of my best pieces were created under this very condition I am speaking about. Where your excitement runs, your passion will follow. Sometimes, we just need a little kick start to get it going. Then no one can stop us. So create away! •

© 2012 Gina Quarles. All rights reserved.

Gina QuarlesGina Quarles is a mom, wife and a creative soul who is passionate about the art of writing. She's currently recovering from a near-death auto accident and working on a book, which is an outlet for her healing. She encourages others along the way through kindness and hope. More »

12/28/12