All writers have a process that allows them to create. However, the art of "Writing" is often mistaken for that "Process." Hopefully this blog explains the difference, and inspires people to develop their crafts, become writers, or just keep on writing.
Monday, April 13, 2020
The Creative Rut of Isolation
At some point, our enthusiasm wanes, if only for a bit, and this is particularly true with writers. We take on more ennui than usual. Our passion for the written word fails us. We don't see it as a gift or a challenge to reach new creative heights, but a chore or a burden. The way I heard it described (and applied to the above) is, "Some days our descriptions end with exclamation points; other times the end with ellipses..."
Nowadays, with a number of my fellow writers sequestered away from their jobs, classes, families, etc., their creative candle is burning low. They took this opportunity to write, sketch, or otherwise create, but in the broader sense the midday lull has hit like a caffeine crash, only there's no taking a nap under the desk for a few weeks to ride it out (not that I ever did that).
I do not want to call this Writer's Block. I consider that a different monster altogether, and one that some people insist does not exist. No, this is that time where repetition and limited options wears one out the where they want to sit in that nook between the filing cabinet and their desk just outside of the view of the senior economist and nap (not that I did that oddly specific task either).
On these creatively draining days/weeks, I found the total reroute would help. I would set aside my commentary on China and do something with spreadsheets, or data modeling. Damn the words, let's do the number thing! These days, I set aside the pen and - yes - watch a show on Netflix. I binge the hell out of things, but only to a point. What point? Glad you asked.
At some point in my mindless binge of a show I have seen tons of times, I will catch myself thinking, "Ahh, by having that character tell the story in flashback rather than showing the experience, the story gives us the character's present state of mind in relation to the event." At that point, I realize my creative mind wants a seat at the table again. I need to create good things. The typing must commence, because I have an idea!
And just like that, the exclamation points are back in my life. I hope they never leave yours, but if they do, give yourself permission to head another direction, and take the occasional nap in the economic research library closet (not that I did that).