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Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Write on Wednesday -- Jump Start

Today's Write on Wednesday topic is about writer's block and jump starting your writing. The prompt reads:

So, how about you? Do you ever feel the need to jump start your writing? What drains the energy from your “writing mind”? What do you do when your creative battery dies?

Can I relate? Oh, yeah! And it isn't just writing, either. I would say one of my greatest problems with my personal writing is that I "think" it all the time, but it seldom makes its way to the page. Or even the notebook. So, is it writing when you don't exactly "write it down?" I'm not so sure. Although, I will say that when I do get it down, it's probably better for all the pre-editing in my head! (Wasn't "The Music Man" all about "the think system?")

But perhaps even more than my writing, I feel that with my art. Sometimes it's just too much to pull the supplies out of the closet or baskets or off the shelves and just start. And sometimes when I do, I can't finish right away -- probably because when I began, I hadn't really thought it out in my head first.

Over the past weekend, I picked up some art projects that were partially done -- and I didn't like them. They looked routine or too dark or too -- well, just "wrong." And I worked them again. Editing, I suppose. A bit of a color change on this one, a new embellishment on that one. I wish I could post the photos, and I will at another time. The point is, I had the time and opportunity to muddle out what I wanted from those. And, they are far better for the wait.

Which leads me back to writing. What drains me? Too much stress, too little time and sometimes not enough commitment to my own stuff. The more I write at work, the less I want to write at home.

I've found that the blog is a good way to jump start my writing. At least I'm writing -- and for me, not for work. Even if I only get a few ideas down in a post, I've thought about the words as I've put them "out there" where anyone can see them. It may not be the great American novel, the finest feature article ever or something that would land me a regular column in a "real" publication, but that's not why I'm doing it. Maybe having the pressure off is a contributing factor to why the blog works for me.

And what do I do when my creative battery dies? I walk away from it for awhile. I'll cook. I'll read. I'll watch telly or a movie. I'll garden or hang with friends. I'll knit. Some of those things actually ARE creative in their own way. When I'm at the lake, I'll take a walk or sit on a beach. I'll absorb all that's around me and it brings me back into the world, which despite so many challenges and travesties really is a beautiful place.

I'll do all the nagging things I haven't done and about which I probably feel guilty (maintaining my space is one of them!) -- for sometimes those are the convenient excuse. And when in control, I'm more in control. When I'm in control, I can think more clearly -- and then I'm ready to create again.

And you? Share here, or if you want to write a post on it, be sure to leave your link here and especially on Write on Wednesday, where other writers will be tackling this question.

14 comments:

Jeanne said...

Love and hugs to you darling one.
Love Jeanne

anno said...

I think my response is much the same as yours: clean the house, bake a pie, talk with my daughter -- act in those arenas of life where I can. I'll feel afflicted by the desire to write soon enough.

Pam Aries said...

Hi Jeannie! It can be really hard to get started on writing. I come and go with it. I always wish I was a better writer, but I don't think I am passionate about it! Thingsd here remain the same..don't forget to call me if you come to Chas!

Seachanges said...

Yes, there are always so many other things in the way that prevent you from writing, from sticking to it. The thing is to just keep going, however slowly, that's what I keep telling myself

Tammy said...

Time is always the key but I do like the control you mentioned. ;)

Becca said...

Great post, Jeanie, and you've certainly had some stressful drains on your energy and time these past days.

My reponse to a dead creative battery is much the same as yours. I try not to panic, and then spend some time doing something totally different.

Your comments about the way you approach "lulls" in your artistic interests were fascinating to me. I find I have similar times when music is just so unrewarding, and I have to steer clear of the keyboard for a while.

And yes, blogging is a great jump starter!

oh said...

This blog "thing" is addictive - and a great jumpstart to writing, I agree with you. I loved hearing the things you do to recharge.

Andi said...

I always start in my head, but I find myself waxing academic (I teach, too) if I stay in my head too long. My best stuff comes, I think, when I don't think too much . . .
But I like the idea of cooking to walk away - that's one I'll try.

susanlavonne said...

Me too! Me too! I'm always writing in my head and somehow never find the time to put it to paper...but also like you, I often knit or something that requires less REAL thinking and of a repetitive response like knitting. You've nailed this one. So little time, so many creative projects...

Andi said...

Oh I think too much, too! I think instead of writing, and that's probably why I have yet to start and finish my book! lol It's all in the head, just gotta get it on paper. And I'm a big fan of walking away. Give me trashy TV and SIMS2 to get me jumpstarted any time!

Beth said...

I sure can relate to another great post. I am not the best writer but I figure if I at least post on my blog, then I am writing. And I also figure I can only do so much right now because of other pressures and obiligations so I try to not put so much guilt on me when I just want to sit and read or do nothing. I figure we need it when we let ourselves relax.
I do Love your posts my friend!
xoxoxooxox

Sugar Bear said...

The creative juices definitely are not always flowing. I walk away or take a break. Mostly, I feel I sometimes pressure myself to do too much in the creative arena and when I feel overwhelmed by myself I just stop for a few days, a few hours, whatever it takes to actually want to do it again.
Karla

julochka said...

very interesting post. i find that the writing i'm not doing because i'm blogging and writing for work is writing with an actual pen in my journal. and sometimes i miss it, but it's what goes in the face of all the typing...

paris parfait said...

I, too, walk away from what I'm working on for a while and come back to it when I'm feeling ready to try again. The important thing is to keep trying until you're happy with it. Hope you have a lovely trip North! xo

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