Friday, November 14, 2014

Creativity: 5 Tips to Nurture the Writer’s Best Friend

Edie here. Today I'm so excited to introduce you to a writer friend of mine. Jerusha and I finally got to meet in person at the ACFW conference this year and I convinced her to be my guest here. She's an amazing writer and I know you'll love her as much as me!

Jerusha Agen is a lifelong lover of story--a passion that has led her to a B.A. in English and a highly varied career. A member of American Christian Fiction Writers, Jerusha is the author of the Sisters Redeemed Series, which includes the titles This Dance, This Shadow, and This Redeemer.

Jerusha co-authored the e-books A Ruby Christmas and A Dozen Apologies from Write Integrity Press. Jerusha is also a film critic, with reviews featured at the website,

Jerusha relishes snowy Midwest winters spent with her three large, furry dogs and two small, furry cats.

* * *

5 Tips to Nurture the Writer's Best Friend

Creativity and I have been friends for years. But, we don’t always get along. Sometimes I’d call our relationship sort of love-hate. Yet, as a writer, I need creativity. Without it, I can’t write at all. With only a smidgen of creativity, I can’t write well.

When I’m trudging along on some writing project, I feel like my creativity forgot to show up for our appointed meeting time. When I get stuck in a big way, unable to write or think of ideas, I wonder if my creativity has died. If it were still alive, it should be by my side, helping me write, shouldn’t it?
At such times, I tend to panic and wonder if my creativity is gone for good. What if it never comes back and I’ve lost the ability to write forever?

I know I can’t be the only writer who feels like this. After all, we are only able to be writers because we have been gifted with creativity. And we need that creativity to keep writing.

But, like a friend, our creativity isn’t going to keep being there for us no matter how we abuse it. We have to take care of our creativity, and in return we’ll have a terrific best friend that won’t bail on us at the sight of a fast-approaching deadline.

How do we nurture the writer’s best friend? Through my rather shaky relationship with my own creativity, I’ve had to come up with some ideas to help sustain the friendship:

1. Have Fun: Could you thrive in a friendship dominated by work and stress? Neither can your creativity! If you’re struggling with writer’s block or writing that’s frustrating and anxiety-causing, chances are you aren’t having enough fun. Take a second and remember why you wanted to write in the first place. Then make sure that what you’re writing allows for enjoyment. If the problem is what you’re writing, think about switching to writing what you actually care about. If the problem is you or stress, then remind yourself why what you’re doing is fun and give yourself permission to enjoy it!

2. Quality Time: Can you have a good friendship if you don’t spend time with your buddy? If you want your creativity to stick around and help you out, you have to spend time together. This means that long hiatuses from writing or anything else creative will hurt your ability to create in the future. It’s possible to pick up your creativity again after an extensive break, but you’ll have to work hard at rebuilding that relationship for a while before your creativity will be your best friend again.

3. Give It a Rest: Nobody wants their friend worn-out, right? Everyone’s creativity is different, but many seem to suffer under too much use without a break. When you feel mentally sapped or hit a snag in your writing, try letting yourself take a five minute break on something else. Set a timer, though, or you could fall into writer’s avoidance, another deadly trap.

4. Feed the Friendship: When we care about a friend, we find out what that friend likes best, and then we give it to him or her as much as possible. That’s feeding the friendship so it will have the energy to last and always be at its peak. You need to find what feeds your creativity. Your creative muse might be reading books, watching movies, painting, basket-weaving. You’ll know the best food for your creativity when you find it—you’ll get ideas and breakthroughs in your work-in-progress, and you’ll practically feel your creative brain cells firing like mad (okay, so I’m a writer, not a scientist!).

5. Trust: If you can’t trust a person, remaining friends is difficult and sometimes impossible. You need to trust your creativity through thick and thin. If you’re creative, then you have creativity. Trust that and rely on your gift to pull you through tough spots. For me as a Christian, this trust actually means that I’m putting my trust in the One who gave me my creativity and other writing skills. God gave me creativity for a reason and wants me to use it to His glory. God gave you your creativity, too, so relax; you’ve already got the writer’s best friend.

Have you tried any of these tips to nurture your creativity? Which ones worked or didn’t work? Do you have more ideas that work for you? Please share!

Don't forget to join the conversation!


Creativity: 5 Tips to Nurture the Writer's Best Friend - via Jerusha Agen, @SDGwords on @EdieMelson (Click to Tweet)

As writers we must nurture #creativity like a best friend - via Jerusha Agen, @SDGwords on @EdieMelson (Click to Tweet)

This Redeemer
by Jerusha Agen

Not all prisons have bars.

Charlotte Davis should know—she’s lived in one for years. She can handle getting slapped around by her boyfriend, Tommy, and even being forced to do things she would never choose, but when Tommy turns on her 10-year-old daughter, Charlotte must try to escape. With nowhere else to turn, Charlotte runs to the stranger her dying mother believed would help her.

Looking only for shelter or cash, Charlotte finds a family she longs to call her own and a gentle man she could learn to love. But if Tommy catches up with Charlotte, these strangers could discover the truth about her. Will they send her back to Tommy? Or can a Father’s love set her free?


  1. Jerusha, I knew creativity was key to e as a writer, but I never thought of it as my best friend. I love that concept - I'll never look at the same way again! #5 is tough. Thanks so much for visiting us here! Blessings, E

    1. #5 is my hardest, too, Edie. I always have to relearn it over and over again. Thanks for hosting me!

  2. I, too, enjoyed this, Jerusha. Thanks. The culprit that's stopping my creative juices from flowing is a bout of chronic pain that makes it difficult to stick with it physically and mentally. Any suggestion?

    1. Wow, Patricia, that's particularly hard. I'm so sorry to hear you're having to deal with chronic pain.

      I'd say #3, Give It a Rest, would be key for you. Be patient with yourself and build in lots of breaks so you don't wear yourself out. It's amazing how much you can actually accomplish by just writing a little bit consistently. If you can manage a small amount of writing with plenty of breaks every day or even just a few days a week, you'll make consistent progress and, before you know it, you'll have a finished book!

  3. That's a perfect way to look at it. Thanks for showing me something new, Jerusha!

    1. I'm glad you enjoyed the post, Julie! I hope it helps!

  4. I'm just getting around to reading this Jerusha, but this was so timely (God knows right?) Like Patricia, I write in a state of constant chronic pain. Resting is key and fun is essential but it's the one thing I tend to neglect so I appreciate your reminder. I've decided that writing three sentences a day on each of my projects will have to be enough for now and so far it's working. This post was awesome!