That’s just the way it works

Writing is different for everyone. What is written, how and why. There is no wrong or ultimate right way. Sometimes the words flow easily other times the creativity bed is dry and parched. The pace at which I write can depend on a great number of things.

Time of day
Available time
Mental Health
Physical Health
Emotional State
Energy level
The writing space itself
Anything that takes you away from the train of thought/creation.

The inspiration for writing can come from anywhere. Whether it’s a blogging daily prompt, a movie recently watched, a trip taken or a bug hitting the windshield. It can come at any time in any place in every and any possible form. The factors above can easily affect the ability to recognize inspiration just as much as it can throw a wrench in the actual writing process.

There are days when I actually can’t keep up with what I need to write. Then there are others where I take multiple pauses to imagine out the different scenario possibilities. Then there are the times when nothing happens.

I think of my writing phases like this

Drought – There is just nothing there. Noooothiiiing.
Foggy lake – The ideas are already there just below the surface useless beneath the fog. 
A spring rain – The ideas are on the way, gathering and about to bloom beautifully.
A storm – The ideas are raging and pouring down. I need to write them down so I don’t lose track Too much too fast, but still manageable.
A flowing River – It’s all good, I’m in a groove and loving every word of it.
A Vast Ocean – too much going on to bring it in line. No direction, currents of thought taking me in too many directions at once.

On drought days I walk away. I do something different and don’t worry about the lack of writing. Taking time to live life and gather moments that lend experience to inspiration, are just as important as writing. It’s how the spring rains come or the fog lifts from the lake.

Things that can get the creative river flowing

Music (I can’t count the number of times a song has inspired a chapter or character story arc. Sometimes it’s as simple as the emotion it evokes)
A party
A Play
A comedy that induces laughs and chuckles (Or just laughing)
A visit to the park/amusement park/carnival/pier/zoo/pool etc. 
Basically anywhere where people/animals are to do interesting things.

I’m not talking plagiarism or stealing ideas, I’m talking about being inspired. Everything was written was inspired by an outside influence. That’s just the way it works. Some idiot mouths off in a coffee shop. Voila, new minor villain enters my creation factory. I tweak, twist and give them something plot related to say and Bam! Jack the sweaty asscrack guy with a racist comment enters the story to stir up trouble. That fly that hit the windshield? Toss that into the factory and instead of one its a swarm that actually paints the car in a crunchy gooey sticky mess… But why? And welcome a disgusting plot twist.

I’ve talked about creativity drought before (Post link is below) and it will likely come up again. Why? Because it happens. I see it every day with fellow writers and even myself from time to time. The frustration it can cause is real and can quickly become a cycle of frustration, doubt, depression, frustration and back around and around and around.

The trick I think is to recognize your writing phases (however you like to imagine them) Whether you see them as rivers, cogs turning, wheels, or even seasons. Be able to recognize when you’re in them and what you can do to move to a more desirable one if need be.

My advice about how to write.
Do it your way, that is the only way that will work for you. Never shy away from advice but don’t take it as gospel. And always, always take time for you.


Some Posts that touch on creativity:

Doubt clouds out creativity

Query letter “creativity drought”.

(Insert description here)

Desperately procrastinating

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