Monthly Archives: January 2014

Worry kills creativity

In these uncertain times, I find myself spending more time worrying about what is going on (or not going on) in my daily life and unable to focus on my creative life.

My creative world, which offers such a wonderful diversion to the tense, uncertain, and stressful goings-on in my real life, has been suffering quite a bit lately as I worry more about paying bills and wondering what the weather is going to do then how my antagonists will fair in their latest battles.

I’ve always been one of those people who, when they can’t find anything tangible and real to worry about, will invent something just to have something to worry about. Creative writing has always been my stress reliever, focusing my mind on something concrete (in a way) and keeping it off all the what if’s that might befall me real or not.

Like I said, writing used to calm my worried mind and take me away from my real world problems, even if only for a couple hours. But lately, real world worries seem to have rooted themselves in my mind, sapping all my creativity while feeding my fears.

I recently read on another blog about peace. It was a great read and boiled down to the key to having peace is living in the moment and not let future what if’s and what may be’s take away from your joy and peace of the here and now.

The live in the moment statement is something I’ve heard over and over again for years, yet I still haven’t figured out how to work it. I just can’t seem to get a handle on living in the moment because I have a terrible time turning my mind off. Once upon a time, I managed a way around this, helping me to put my worries away long enough to at least get some sleep. Now, however, even that coping mechanism is failing me.

When I was younger, I worried about everything, my grades, my parents dying, my friends not liking me. It ate at me day after day, killing what could have, no, should have been happy times. This went on for a while until I discovered this magnificent coping mechanism. Each night before going to bed, I would close my eyes and tell myself stories. I could envision my characters, the scenery, the locations, and the dialog as if I were watching a movie.

Yes, in the beginning, I would focus on books, movies, or television shows I’d seen or read, taking well-known scenes and expanding them until the real show or book was no longer in evidence. As I got older, I began to make up my own stuff, no longer needing to rely on a ready-made scene to get the ball rolling.

In this way, I’ve been able to create some wonderful ideas while keeping my fear and worry at bay. And it worked wonders. Until this year. It seems like real life grew bigger than what my mind could create to contain and downplay it. Now when I try to use my imagination to create, whether on paper or in my mind, real life fears filter in, causing basically what is my own real life horror story.

Yet I know that I was meant to write. Maybe not publish, but write. Be creative, work my ideas. Spin tales like spider webs. I get enough flashes of it to know it is what I am meant to do. A dream I’ve been following since fifth grade, and, I am sure, will be following until my dying days.

I keep identifying problems that are blocking my creativity. Now I need to identify solutions so that my creativity will pour out again. I need to focus less on all the worrying and more on the writing. I can do this, I know I can.

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Finding my writing self in 2014

I can honestly say that 2013 was not my year. In fact, it can be described as one of the top 5 bad years. And even though 2014 is not starting out strong, it still has the shiny new packaging of a year with promise and potential.

There have been a few good moments in 2013, though looking back they are hard to see. I managed to do more personal writing in 2013 then I’ve done in a long time. Though that has taken a back seat at the moment as a new job is making my hours crazy. But I intend to get back to it. I am making it a personal goal to carve out writing time for 2014. Even if I have to forcefully schedule it in every day instead of the winging it write as you think of something style I’ve had in the past.

I have a few other personal goals I want to meet this year, but writing is my main focus. It still shocks me that I don’t write as much as I need to since I am always generating new ideas, paragraphs of writing, and introspective thoughts that may lead somewhere. I realize now that I am not making writing a priority in my life. I am lazy and haphazard when it comes to my writing life and if I am going to get anything completed I need to step it up a notch.

I’m having a hard time coming to grips with how lackadaisical I am with my writing. I remember a time when I would stay up late to finish a story or poem then wake up early to start the next one. I’d blame it on the realities of life, but let’s be honest, other writers have to balance their writing with the rest of their life and they manage to do it without complaining. So yeah, it’s me and my attitude toward life right now. And that is what needs to change.

I need to take control. Take some of these ideas churning through my brain and turn them into something. I need to put my stuff out there and start getting some feedback on my writing so that I can improve. I need to challenge myself, push myself forward, and become the writer I think I am in my head. And I need to learn to do it while juggling all the other aspects of my life and not let it slide by the wayside when something else gets a bit complicated. If I am ever going to be the writer I want to be, I need to start writing, period. Beginning today.

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