Some thoughts on creativity.

It’s been a few weeks since I blogged – some things have happened that I won’t go into here that just didn’t make me feel very bloggy. I just didn’t feel like I had much in the way of interesting stuff to say, even though I’ve had a number of ideas for blog articles coagulating in my old noggin for a while now. I still want to write those articles, but those thoughts got a little too sticky and I couldn’t muddle out of the mess they were in. I wasn’t inspired. I think one of the main problems is I need a little break.

Years ago, I heard one of my favourite writers, Anne Gracie (if you haven’t read her, you must. Even my best friend who never reads historical romance got hooked after reading The Perfect Rake and other books in the Merriweather sister series) say something very important about muses and wells. The feeding of the muse, the filling of the well. Prior to that, I’d never really given any thought to creativity and how it happened. Creativity had always just been such a part of me – it was just something that happened because I wanted it to. When I was in a play, I would think about being the character I was playing, and I would sink into their thoughts and feelings and become them. Working in Cabaret and Theatre Restaurant, I even got really good at swapping between characters and skits without much more than a few seconds to change costume. Thinking wasn’t really part of the process. When I get up onstage to sing, I feel the music, find the story in the lyric line and let my voice be a reflection of how that makes me feel. It’s just something my muse always allowed me to do. Same with when I played piano and wrote music. Things just came out.

When I began to write, it was very much the same thing. Creative writing for me was always the best thing at school – no real thought. An idea would just pop into my head and spill out on the page, and quite frankly, things haven’t really changed for me there.I sit down without any real idea about what I am writing today, maybe a vague notion of the character needing to do or say this or that, and then I just write and words come out and then suddenly there’s a scene. This is all happening for me at the moment, the same as usual. I’ve never, not even in bad times, had what people call ‘writer’s block’. If I sit down to write, words do come out. Sometimes they’re shitful – but I can fix shitful. I can’t fix a whole lot of blank page though. Which is what this blog has been a bit like lately.

Don’t get me wrong – I love my process, even though I can’t really explain it, but a while ago I was quite enthusiastic to come up with new blog entries and write them and get my thoughts out there on writing and anything else that took my fancy. It was kind of unstructured, but that’s part of my process I think. So, that’s all good. But lately, there’s been a whole lot of avoidance. A whole lot of opening of documents and staring at the blank page and then thinking – ‘I’ll come back to that later’. A whole pile of not even visiting my site because the post that’s been up there for a while was like a great big pointy finger accusing me of being a slacker.

However, I’ve come to realise over the last week or so, that the real problem is that I’m just tired. There’s been some real highs and some terrible lows in teh last year, and some big lows in the last month or so, and while I’m fine and I’ve dealt with it, it’s all left me feeling a bit drained, emotionally and physically. I’ve also got some big things coming up soon – so there’s a bit of tension about that as well adding to the mix.

Which brings me to why I am writing this post. As Anne Gracie said, it’s important to fill the well and feed the Muse, and I think I haven’t been doing that at all lately. I’ve been head down bum up trying to get on top of everything and haven’t taken time for myself, or even a holiday, to help keep my creativity flowing in all ways.

Luckily for me, I am taking time off from work for almost 3 weeks to go to the RWA conference in Sydney for 6 days, then am home for a few days before flying off to NZ for the RWNZ conference as the representative for RWAustralia, which I’m really excited about. Then when I get back from that, I’ve taken the rest of the week off just to recoup, spend some time doing some things for me and just get my mojo back. Might even take the boys skiing for a day or two, if the snow is still good.

Being surrounded by authors always makes me feel creatively inspired, so I think it will be just the ticket. And I’m looking forward to it so much, I wish it was tomorrow. But it’s only 2 1/2 weeks away – so not long to wait. After that, I hope to be inspired to write about those ideas that have been in my mind for some time.

What about you? Do you feed your Muse? What do you do to fill the well?




2 Comments on “Some thoughts on creativity.”

  1. Coincidentally, I wrote my blog post last night on taking time out to refill. ( One of my new rituals is a Sunday night bubble bath, lit by a candle, to lay back and let the thoughts flow. I’ve let my well get a little low lately too – I haven’t been dealing with anything major, just over-tired, over-scheduled and over-stressed, and my creativity has plummeted. I’m hoping a good dose of RWA conference will fill it to overflowing 🙂

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