Tag Archives: The Habit of Art

I Think I Just Rescued Myself

Peter Mothersole's House

A Bit of a Wobble.

I had a wobble today.

The ‘Writers Block’ wobble.

You know the one:

I can’t I can’t I can’t I can’t I cant I can’t I can’t I can’t I can’t I cant I can’t I can’t I can’t I can’t I cant I can’t I can’t I can’t I can’t I cant I can’t I can’t I can’t I can’t I cant I can’t I can’t I can’t I can’t I cant I can’t I can’t I can’t I can’t I cantI can’t I can’t I can’t I can’t I cant I can’t I can’t I can’t I can’t I cantI can’t I can’t I can’t I can’t I cant I can’t I can’t I can’t I can’t I cant I can’t

and so on and so forth.

That moment when you think:

I have nothing to write about, nothing to say, no way of saying  it.  I am empty, dry.  I will never write another word again.

Oh, the horror, the horror…

But that’s not true.

The real truth is that I am avoiding writing what I know I should be writing. (oh yes, oops, prizes for all those who picked out the Bingo! word there – SHOULD.  Because we don’t do SHOULDS here at Evenlode’s Friend, do we?)

I have a great list of ideas of things to tell you about.  But right now, the juice is not flowing.  I don’t want to do them. I feel like the idea of my writing about writing or creativity is preposterous.  I mean, what the hell do I know?

It is a very short step from here to writers block, the neurosis that prevents otherwise creative people from writing for months, years, sometimes forever.  It is a scary thought.  I don’t want to go there.

Maybe I am just not ready yet.  Maybe I am still getting over my family care stint.  It was, after all, pretty emotionally demanding in so many ways.  And physically too.  Frankly, I don’t feel well, either.

So, instead of beating myself up about all the things I SHOULD be writing, I decided to write what I COULD write.  I always have a little story going on my head, something to pass the time, a little tale to entertain me, a bit of dialogue, a few jokes, anything from a silly children’s fable to a torrid love scene.  Something was definitely developing while I was ironing pillowcases after lunch, so I decided I would write it down and see what happened.

Pen to paper.

Two hours later, and here I am with a 2000 word fanfic done and able to write the blog post I never thought I would be able to get to you today.

The Moral of the Story:

Write something.

Write anything.

It doesn’t matter what it is, or if its good, or whether anybody will ever see it.  It doesn’t matter what it is about, whether it is part of your novel, or a section of your non-fiction book, a bit of memoir or just a few lines of description.

Just write something.

And once you get a few words lined up on the page, you will find you can get a few more lined up.  And then a few more.  And then, O Wonder of Wonders!  You will be writing again.

Crisis averted.

Please do not allow yourself to tip over the edge into CAN’T.  Take a deep breath, get out your pen and write a shopping list.  Or a list of the things you can hear right now.  Or what that smell reminds you of.

Because you CAN.

Happy Creating,

EF

 

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The Need for Habit

calendarI’m crabby.  It’s been two days, and I’m not fit to know.  This should not be happening.  I’ve had a lovely holiday, nearly two weeks with the Husband at home, sunshine, dear friends and family visiting, trips to the beach and great food.  Yesterday, even the Husband noticed I was out of sorts, which is saying something!

This morning I was fed up to the back teeth with myself.  I really hate feeling like this.  Stale.  I sat down with my journal and worked it out.  What is it that is making me so grumpy?

Turns out, it’s the very thing that should be making me happy.  My holiday.

The critical mass of creativity has now built up to such an extent that I need to get back to work.  Holidays are great, and important times for reflection and rest.  Don’t get me wrong.  But I’m ready to get back to it now.

What I’ve been saying all along is true.  You need the Habit of Art.

Well, I need it, in any case.

I need to get back into my routine.  I need the Husband to go back to work so I can have the house to myself.  I need my thinking time, my moodling time, and I can’t have that with someone else in the house, no matter how much I love them (and I do), because my first reflex is always to consider them first, and put myself and my art second.  Even inside my head.  I find myself resenting the people I love, and my family and friendship commitments, if I don’t have this mental and creative space.  My well has been filled, my Muse is ready to let rip, and I am bubbling with ideas.  What I need is the time and space to get to it.

I need my routine back.

I can’t do this yet.  I’ve a bunch of things to get through first.  Lots of socialising with dear friends.  There will be more trips to the beach, and strawberries to eat in the garden in the sun.  My Muse can get as grumpy as she likes, but I can’t let her out just yet.

It’s not long now, though.

And it’s great to know, thanks to my journal, that it’s not the fact that I have run out of ideas that is making me a bad-tempered cow.  My creative juices haven’t run stale.  It’s just that there is no space right now to get the words or paint on the page.  I must be patient.  The time will come.  I have had my rest, refilled the well, and now I am revving at the start of this new race!

And then, come the green light, and Hooray for the Habit of Art!

Happy creating and holidaying, whichever you are doing,

EF