Finding My Way Around the Bend

Yes!  How great it is for me to look  out my window to view a beautiful setting, drink a cooler,  and listen to my favorite music while I write!  I find myself getting side-tracked by old Motown tunes  or Gary Moore blues as they work their way down my MP3 player I have playing in the background.  I swear the beat of Motown and the sway and the sexiness of blues never leaves me!  So what does this have do with writing, you may ask.

It’s not that hard to answer, and I do it gladly without remorse or regret.  For the last eight months I have been reestablishing my life after a marriage sadly ended, my job failed, and I was forced to move from the home I love. For the first time in years I found myself really alone in a new world, far from what I had loved and had known.  Oh the anxiety attacks I suffered, the tears, the “what if’s” and the unknown future that kept knocking every time I had to write a check ,make a decision on my own,  and fix my computer that always seemed to cause problems! I hated all of it,and resisted what was around the bend for me, even though I hadn’t a clue what was waiting for me!

“Baby steps” is what my therapist recommended-that,  and some damn good  anti-anxiety pills.  Okay, so I did it…  slowly… resisting less everyday.  I have had moments of pure euphoria when I learned on my own how to post my picture on Facebook, and  download my pictures from my camera to Picassa.  It is empowering to know I can do what needs to be done if no one is available to do it for me.

The next step was more of a leap than a baby step. It was writing again. In my last post I wrote how my husband and I fell in love while we both fell in love with writing.  To write without my best friend, my beloved, was a thought that froze me.  As time has passed, I have remembered  that the reality was actually that we had stopped sharing our writing years ago, with only occasional tries and no success.  We never had an ending to our story, and ironically that was the ending of us.

Taking a deep breath, I have started doing some Internet marketing, writing again on the novel I had started years ago, and started this blog.  I have also joined a writing group that I have yet to actually gone to, but it’s a start.  I promised the leader of the group I would definately be at the next meeting this Wednesday.  Hopefully I can come up with a way to use the two words he has given for us to spur us along in anything we choose to write. “Baby steps”keep rattling around in my brain.

My mind is clearing.  The fog is lifting as sure as it does on the lake I look at while I sit at my desk.  My view is beautiful, and I am finding my way through it with the help of “baby steps”, friends, family, and words that have been taken out of the moth balls.  My husband is still my best friend, and I pray for him that his view gets better as well.  He was a hell of a writer.

So,my writer friends, don’t despair if the words don’t come to the page, or sentences don’t jive or jiggle.  Don’t beat yourself up; it’s there, despite the obstacles. I have learned to listen to the silence, because in silence comes great strength and insight. Let the words come to you in their time.  Just relax, kick your feet up, and soon you will feel empowered to write the words as they want to come.  No anti-anxiety pills are needed, but a good cool one might not hurt.

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So What to Do if Creativity Has Gone on Vacation?

It’s amazing to me how many writers like me are out there.  They twiddle their thumbs, get up from the chair to walk around and sniff out some new dust, and do a number of things to avoid  sitting in front of the computer to work the old brain to create what is so close to the surface.   So what can we do if we suffer from  the creative abyss, the black hole, the point of no return, the desert of unending dullness and sparsity?

Me, I ponder…… and I ponder some more. There are a few ideas that I have found to be helpful in springing creativity from the empty well.  Here are a few of the things I have found works.

1. Go out and eat and have your eyes and ears pealed on what other customers are saying to each other.  Of course be discreet, because otherwise you may be looked at a bit strange!  Try to piece together a story from a phrase or sentence that sounds interesting.  I let my imagination rip, and come up with all types of scenarios from just being “nosey.”  Women are especially fun to listen to, because face it, our best friends are our best shrinks!

2. Join a writer’s group.  It helps to hear suggestions from other struggling and not so struggling writers.  Encouragement is always a good thing, as long as it’s honest and not sugar-coating your badly needed rewrite.

3. Talk to children.  They are the eyes and the ears of the world and see life from a fun and fresh point of view.

4. Fall in love with another writer.  It’s not only fun but he or she can serve as your best critic if it’s an honest relationship.  My writer husband and I met in a creative writing class, and for us, falling in love, brought out the creative juices. I will never forget that most exciting time in our lives.  I’m going to write a book about it!

5. Write an experience you have once had that others may find interesting. We all have our own stories to tell!

6. Don’t be hard on yourself when you have moments of emptiness.  Treat yourself to something you enjoy doing, and come back to the computer once your mood has changed. The computer screen looks a lot brighter when you are rested and feeling good inside and out. Myself, I like to take a brisk walk around my lake, or just sit under the willow tree and meditate.  My mind is free when I come back in to face my writing.

So fellow writers, I would like to know what you do to open up the creative side.  Please respond!

Writing Can Be a Dream

It’s after midnight and my mind is racing in so many directions.  Why is it when darkness falls, all the wonderful imaginings one should have during the day come at night?  I have dreamed my stories and seen them in  bright technecolor, only to forget them by morning. or  I have gotten up from a warm bed to write these wonderful tidbits of characterizations and plot, but by morning when I have had my first cup of coffee, I wonder who that person was that wrote those words on the pages of my journal!
There have been a few instances of dreams that have given me tales I would never have thought of in the light of day- for instance the short story I wrote of Hershal the Traveling Flea who rode on the back of a spider monkey.  It was all a dream, but too good to pass up.
I once went to a writing workshop that was centered on dream writing.  I had no dreams to share, so I used Hershal, and was given some very odd looks, but also some great smiles and nods of admiration.  It worked, so I continue to use my dreams as inspiration if they are not too off the wall or I feel could be quite funny to my young readers.  I would be interested in knowing if anyone else has done some writing from their dreams.