Creative Slumps. How do you get out of them?

So, here I am again, having not blogged or written anything, for over a month. Rubbish.

My big plan to write a thousand words a day has petered off into the sunset of dreams and is never going to happen...

I find it really hard to write anything with other people in the house and as my eldest has been off FOREVER (since finishing her GCSE's sometime in June). Then my youngest joined her, and then my husband had three weeks off as well.

This was obviously lovely and we did lots of family things, including a trip to Scotland, the Lake District and Wales.  We also taught the kids some card games whilst on holiday, including Twenty-Five (which if you have any kind of Irish ancestry you will be aware of) and Texas Hold'em. Yup, that is excellent parenting right there; teach your kids poker AND how to bet on poker. Awesome. 

We also played Hive, which is a weird game for two players a bit like chess, without the need for a board and with bug counters. It's quite quick, so the winner stays on. I would definitely recommend it as a travel game.

Hive - Beware it brings out your competitive nature

My children aren't even that demanding, they are 12 (going on 18), and 16 and quite capable of feeding and watering themselves during the day. As long as I make an evening meal they are fairly content.

Once again I digress, this isn't about holidays or my kids, it's about me, me, ME!

OK, tantrum over.

So how do you gather some alone time and curl yourself up in it, because, boy oh boy, in the summer holidays it is a massive challenge?

For me alone time comes in the form of an early night and a read of my book. I try to get at least half an hour most nights. That helps. And I lied a bit about not writing, I keep a diary, not every day but when I can, so I do try to do that, so I suppose I have written something. Not my creative masterpiece admittedly, but something.

And then there is that. My Creative Masterpiece. I wrote my final EMA for my first year of my OU Masters course and thought it was OK as an opening to a novel, I'd done my research, backed myself up in my commentary and was happy. Then I get the result, and I pass, which is good but didn't do as well as I hoped. The critique is less than you get for all the shorter TMA's and less constructive, which seems a bit odd. Leaving me feeling deflated, and knocks my confidence.

My plan was to continue with this story into the second year of my course, but now I don't know. It's quite personal and so the critique felt personal. Maybe I should do something completely different.

I was hoping over the summer I would come up with a genius idea, in all my alone time. Or be inspired by beautiful/Scotland/Wales/Lake District...but nothing has come to mind. I appear to be in a creative slump.

Beautiful Glencoe, sadly not helping me get out of my slump
I am heading towards the second year of my master's mid slump and I quite concerned. I wrote a nice little poem about a daisy the other day, but that's not going to cut it...

So my question to all of you out there in the world is -  How do you climb out of a slump? Is it just nose to the grindstone, and write anything and hope inspiration will follow, or do you go somewhere, listen to something, watch something, talk to someone, because I have to do something.

Any advice gladly accepted.

And to finish, a nice little poem about a daisy.

Happy clockface,
Wiggling in the sun's embrace.

Mirror image, bright
Yellow shine.

Perfect circle, perfect smile,
White and palest pink dials.

Uniform symetry, clever nature

Joy, oh joy. 

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