In trying to keep tradition by at least posting once a week, I decided I would drop a post today that reflected my current thinking status:
Today’s post will be about…nothing.
Because we all have those days where no matter how creative we’ve been in the past, somehow, someway we have those days where the brain just decides to take a break from creation and we just sit in front of the TV all day watching re-runs of Sherlock or whatever movies were DVR’ed from the free HBO preview weekend. Because some days the only productive thing we do is post a meaningless cat video on Facebook for everyone to see. Because some days are just full of writer’s block, and the wall that’s been built to block our creativity needs a hammer as strong as Thor’s to break it down.
So what do you do when your creativity produces nothing?
I’ll admit that today was a day I did not feel like writing. Not that I didn’t want to, of course, but after four days in a hospital caring for a family member, I can’t help but feel a little tired (and a little queasy from whatever gravy-rice combo they served in the cafeteria.) And even though I wanted to write, it seemed like the creativity-the ideas-just wasn’t there. It’s like my mind went on vacation but left my body staying put.
My frustrations about my writer’s block reminded me of a piece of writer’s advice I came across a few days ago: write everyday. I’ve heard this from numerous authors, screenplay writers, and literary authority figures whenever they’re asked to give advice to aspiring writers. At first when I heard this advice, I thought, “Yeah right. There are just some days where you just can’t write. Ever heard of writer’s block?” And so I only wrote when feeling “creative” or “inspired”. Don’t get me wrong-good writing was produced and I was happy with the pages I completed. But soon I got busy-work, church, friends and family-and since I was only writing when I felt “inspired”, my writing became more sporadic. Writing didn’t happen as often and soon the novel I swore I’d have finished by the end of the month ended up sitting pretty on my computer’s hard drive for three years, nearly untouched.
It was then I decided to listen to the advice I was given-write everyday. I started writing when I had no inspiration, when writer’s block seemed to halt my creativity. I’ll admit most of the writing produced was far from perfect, but suddenly ideas started springing as I was writing. More content was being created. I learned how to edit and why it was important to go back and make changes. I also learned that writing doesn’t just rely on inspiration-it also relies on persistence and dedication. Anyone can write a story, but it takes a true writer to craft that story and make it into not a work of inspiration, but a work that inspires.
So now that I’ve rambled long enough, I’m going to end this post about nothing and return to my regular schedule of working, eating, and sleeping. I’m happy to say that I’ve written today (as practice makes perfect in the long run). But I’ll be honest-there are some days where I get busy. I don’t get to write everyday. But on the days I do get to write, I find that even when I’m not feeling creative, the creativity’s still there somewhere. I just may need to work a little harder to find it.