Creative writing, for me, has been like a water hose attached to the outdoor spigot behind my house. Everything works fine under “normal” circumstances, but when a freeze settles in the flow slows down to a trickle and eventually stops altogether. Until… things solidify and expand and… watch out when the pipes burst!
Things gush without limit, without control. One can only get out of the way, or search for the manual override switch.
Intuitively, I knew there would be hard times in the writing process. My seventh-grade English teacher, Ms. Brewster said, “Writing is hardest for those who do it best.” Small comfort when the muse has not only left the building, but also taken your passport on open-ended vacation.
In my quest to get through the drought, I took recommendations from several seasoned writers. Here are some suggestions for your bag-of-tricks, should they ever be needed:
- Write, just write, write anything – grocery lists, bucket lists, or an inventory of your music collection
- People-watch – the screaming child kicking your seatback on the airplane, the driver applying makeup on the interstate, the highly-pierced customer service member
- Read – for entertainment or inspiration. Whether it’s great writing or horrible, it could give you needed encouragement.
- Gravity – it’s a force of nature and eventually you will be pulled in the direction you need to go
- Create or update your Facebook, blog, or Twitter activity – or just lurk and read other people’s contributions. I found lots of fodder after reading other people’s posts, and discovered that tweeting is painless (confession of a previous twitter-phobe).
I’ve filled a whole notebook with musings this week, so it looks like my personal drought has ended. Now, where is that manual override switch?