How many times have I been here before, or for that matter have you? Sitting before a blank page on a screen or in a notebook with an empty head and a tight chest as the feeling of disappointment strikes with the realization that here you are ready to work but without anything to say.
In the words of Bianca Del Rio…Bologna!
I’m not sure that any human at any given time is without some kind of utterance or opinion. We are, after all, alive and passionate creatures given the wonderful gift of independent thought and speech, so why do we feel the need to downplay our inherent abilities and settle for grunting?
The truth is that if we simply allow ourselves the freedom to articulate – be it through pen, keypad, mouth or any other various form of expression – without necessarily some prearranged goal, just the basic free-flow of thought, our thoughts on any given topic that comes to our heads, that inspires our thinking, that triggers responding response then we will find that we have more to give, to “say” then we would ever naturally give ourselves credit for.
It can suck – trust me I know – when you sit down with time to work on an ongoing project and all you can seem to do is draw a blank. You sit and you stew and you go over and over starting points in your head that never seem to make it to fruition, in fact they are so pensive and frantic attempt that they usually drown the use of each other out and as soon as you think you’ve thought of a starting point another takes its place just as you were beginning to write it out.
And so we erase, we backspace, we cross out, draw over, turn or rip page and are quickly back to where we started…blank space.
It could drive one mad all that white. All that opportunity that one seems to be squandering. We beat ourselves up and remain dissatisfied as we chose to move on and away from our work, cursing a lack of muse and motivation.
I am just as guilty of this as anyone, however, I am not one – blame it on the responsibility, accountability and self motivating drill Sargent I have ingrained in my brain – to not try to fix what I see as not right.
It started with journaling, I would go and start writing down whatever it was that I was thinking when I opened book. It didn’t matter what was or wasn’t in the forefront of my thoughts, because it lead me to the core of one truth or other that allowed me to walk away having learned more about myself.
And so I thought how this could be applied to my work, to my writing and my characters, imagine if I just started writing when lost, when blocked, just began to play around with possibilities, it is after all my world, probability is on my side and thanks to drafts no one need know what crazy experiments took place here?
Call me Dr. Frankenstein because I said to myself that I didn’t care what I felt or thought that I would write, I would just start no matter how good, bad, ugly or unusable the material was…and guess what, I found that most of the time what this did was spark my inspiration back to where it needed to be. Even if I didn’t use what I had written I didn’t lose what it was that it inspired. The truths it led me too about my characters or story, the secrets it revealed, and yes, sometimes the flaws, sometimes it would point out a hole in need of patching, an irregularity in need of straightening out.
No matter the result it would put me back on task by keeping me on task. No writing is ever a waste because it keeps your mind moving, your juices in flow and you in check helping to reveal all sorts of truths that could otherwise be dulled, diluted or squandered.
So go on, keep writing, keep going you’ll be surprised at the brilliant things you discover about yourself and about all things your kind of creative!