Not feeling creative?

What do you do when you don’t feel creative? I’m not talking to those folks who don’t feel creative ever! I’m talking to those whose job requires them to be creative from 9-5…and then some. And I’m not talking about writer’s block. Regular visitors here know that I think writer’s block is just a way for a writer to be lazy…but I’ve already made that argument.

No, what I’m talking about are those days that you get up and stare and the computer and just don’t want to mess with your hero. You’ve got these ideas running around, but you don’t want to put them down and move them around like a puzzle. You don’t want to have that conversation with the antagonist that will give you insight into his motivation. Again, I’m not talking about the normal hesitations or anxieties writers feel when tackling tasks like that. I mean when your want to ain’t doing what it’s supposed to do.

I had a day like that recently. It coincided with laundry day and so I blamed it on the laundry all day. But then when I sat down that night to write in my journal, I just didn’t want to. I mean, I had stuff to add—Brittany and Brett supply an endless stream of journal material. I just didn’t want to do it.

It scared me a bit.

I got over it (I’m writing this, aren’t I?). But it did make me wonder what sort of strategies I should take to get the want-to back in gear. Often, I just shift to something else (writing wise, I mean). Sometimes I get up and do the dreaded house and yard work that I certainly don’t want to do. I find that doing some of the chores gets my mind going and prepped for writing. Mowing the lawn, as much as I dread it, is a good chunk of time when I can just let ideas cook without interruption. I don’t think writers cook their ideas much anymore—too big of a hurry to get it out there.

Another thing I do is read. Actually, reading is probably the number one strategy for me to get the want-go going again. The funny thing is, I find that I’m inspired by all kinds of writing. I’m inspired by the good stuff because I want to be able to replicate things that they’ve done. I find that even the bad stuff inspires me in a couple of different ways: 1) I think if it can get published, then my work can; 2)I want to be sure when I write it doesn’t come out that that!




Filed under writing

4 responses to “Not feeling creative?

  1. Mom

    Must have caught it from us. Dad and I have been missing a lot of “want to” this summer and seem to be lazier than usual.

  2. Hi Roland. I read of a good trick to get the words flowing. If you’re writing fiction, stop in the middle of a sentence. Then when you pick up the next day, you know exactly where to start.

  3. Actually, mowing the lawn works great for me. I have a large lot and riding mower, so mindlessly driving around in that circle ( or rectangle) lets me have time to ‘cook’ my thoughts, as you call it.

    I also like to sit on the porch with a glass of pink lemonade ( or wine, in the evenings !) and listen to music – from classical to classical rock. ( This is usually after I’ve mowed the lawn 🙂 )

  4. Michele Walker

    I can relate. After writing quite a bit in my late teens and twenties, I sort of put it aside. Writing nothing more than words of encouragement on an occasional greeting card. However, I’ve recently been motivated to start writing “something” again, so I’m giving it a go by starting a blog myself.

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