Friday, July 19, 2013

Writer's What? Ain't No Such Thing? Help Has Arrived! #rndrbn0713

If you are a writer you've probably faced a point where characters rebel, or story plot just floats into the ether and seems to not want to stay on the page. Some would call this condition "writers block". I admit there are stalls when you are writing, usually it's because you are trying to force a character to do something totally out of character for that particular player in your story, but occasionally it's because your well has run dry, your creative well that is. So, how do you keep this from happening?

When I first started writing I picked up a book by Julia Cameron titled The Artist's Way – Julia wrote about creative people in general, writers in particular. Her words resonated with me. Write every day was her mantra. Take artist's days was part of her advice. What are artist days I wondered? They are used to refill your creative well. Just as anything you draw from regularly, like a well of drinking water, it needs to be replenished somehow…So how would you replenish your Artist Well – Your Creativity Well? 

She suggested that you take an hour or a part of a day and take yourself on a journey of discovery. That journey can be a walk in the park, a browse through a local farmer's market or store, but yourself. Alone with yourself you can hear what you think, you can appreciate the fine texture of a blade of grass or an antique vase you examine. You don't need to buy anything, you don't need to do anything but observe – with your total self. Think of the place you visit as a well of refreshing sunlight or water or whatever it is that makes you feel refreshed. Use your five senses to experience what you are doing, where you are going, how you get there, what's there when you get there, your trip home even. An hour or two, a half day, a whole day if that's what you need will replenish that creative well you have been draining for a week, yes she suggests this is a weekly thing you do with yourself. Try it!  It works wonders for your writing.

Another thing she suggests is writing 3 pages a day in your journal – stream of consciousness first thing in the morning, by hand – pen to page. It is amazing what you might discover some days. Other days it might just be clearing the chaff, dumping the garbage from your mind, but every once in awhile you'll uncover a gem buried deep in your mind. And even if you don't your writing practice will serve you well, practice is after all what the greats do whether they are gymnasts, composers, tri-athletes, or novelists. Practice makes perfect, as they say. Try it, you may discover a new zest in your writing when you sit down to write that very next chapter.

Write like your hair is on fire – write like the wind – just write.

To continue on with our little journey here visit the next blog – Beverly Bateman shares some insights and lively thoughts at  Please hop on over and visit her. Please feel free to share this on facebook, twitter, google + or wherever you hang out.


Rhobin Lee Courtright said...

Advise to follow! I love to walk and it's amazing how it refreshes the mind. Thanks, Billie.

darkwriter said...

I love Julia's book. Thanks for reminding me about it.

Billie Williams said...

Thanks for stopping by Robin - Yup a walk is good for the whole person and especially a writer.

I have been spouting praises for Julia for nearly forever - so she just fits here and in so many other occasions. Glad you like her too. Thanks for stopping by.

Lynn Crain said...

I absolutely love The Artist's Way and used it earlier on as well. I'll have to find my copy and go through it again. I think it's one of those book's that one can never read enough.

Billie Williams said...

Exactly Lynn, read and do ACTION is Julia's middle name - she wants to to get busy and do - she is worth reviewing at least once a year or more.

Ginger Simpson said...

Since I'm a pantser, I have to wait for my characters to talk to me. I hate when they go mute, and nothing I do will entice them to chat. I'm at that point right now.