…or How to Loosen Up Those Creativity Muscles
[Can you tell I couldn’t decide what to call this entry? LOL!]
So, I got really stuck once. (Only once? Let’s be realistic about this…I get stuck a lot, but we’re going to focus on the one time.) I was writing Venus Envy and I got utterly and thoroughly stuck. Thank God I wasn’t on a deadline (see: one of the benefits of not being published). I was so stuck I didn’t write for, like, weeks. Weeks, people. This was unacceptable.
Anyway, I wallowed in my stuckiness, which brought on a feeling of suckiness, because I wasn’t being a writer and I wasn’t finishing this book I so desperately wanted to finish. But every time I cracked open my laptop, I froze. I stared at the blank screen. I skimmed my outline over and over and over again without success. I edited what I’d already written…and already edited.
Then, one night, I took a yellow legal pad to bed. Get your mind out of the gutter…there was nothing inappropriate about it. I was just determined to do anything to get words down on a page, any page.
So, I went to bed with paper and pen, and I made myself channel Venus. As the pen moved over the page, smoothly leaving ink trails behind (which I probably would be unable to read later, as my handwriting is atrocious), something started to loosen up. I think it was my creativity muscle. Not sure where this muscle is located, but it was clearly, for me, exercised by putting pen to paper.
I didn’t start anywhere in particular. Without the laptop in front of me — and not having written a coherent sentence on this book for weeks — I wasn’t exactly sure where I was or what I should be writing.
Which was amazingly freeing!
I carried that pad of paper around with me for a month. And I wrote. And wrote. And wrote. I wrote the entire last third of Venus Envy on that pad of paper. Switching it up, changing mediums, was all it took to free me from my writer’s block.
I have no clue why this worked. Sorry. There’s probably some scientific explanation for it, but I haven’t a clue what it is. Flexibility? A right brain/left brain thing? Maybe.
Maybe it doesn’t matter.
What does this have to do with being a Happy Writer? I switched it up, exercised my creativity muscle, and suddenly I was excited about the book again. I was productive and I got it written.
Has this ever happened to you? What tools do you use to switch it up in your writing? Do you know why it works (or why it makes you a Happy Writer)? Cause I’d really like to know.