Archive for May, 2011

One of the biggest challenges I face in my writing life is organizing my creative spurts of inspiration.

These explosions of mismanaged creativity are natural occurences that are common to all writers. Spurts of inspirational thought of plot, character, and verbage come at any time. To try and not lose the opportunity, I write on scraps of paper, or send myself a quick text message. Sometimes I’ve written in book margins, or a post it note.

I have progressed to having a folder to place these precious scraps of future greatness. However, since my general personality is to be structured and organized, I require more order than most to begin writing. If I feel disorganized, my thoughts are jumbled and I just can’t concentrate until there’s some semblance of organization set in place.

Here’s the tools of the trade that seem to be working well for me.

1. File folders labeled either by subject (ie poetry, novel title, revision work etc.) I use the file folder system when I’ve written anything out that I’ve decided to print and go back again to look over. This is extremely helpful since I often times have more than one writing project to work on at a time.

Whatever has been revised by a friend, or writers group, I place into the revision folder. So, when I have time to strictly revise, I just pull that bad boy out and viola! Revision magic!

2. Post it notes, pens, and paper clips. I label all pending projects with a post it note and write what it is that I need to do. This way, if something has sat for a while, and I don’t remember what I had planned for it. I can easily have my memory refreshed.

3. One student folder with pockets. I use the pockets to place my random notes into for later entry date. One side of the folder is for pieces I’ve never used at all. The other side of the folder is for the scraps that I’ve used but think that I may want to recycle and use again for another date. I know you writers understand how hard it is to just let the scraps of writing go! 🙂

Hope this helps others struggling with the organization phenomena!



Read Full Post »

I love to write. I love to read. I love to read about writing and I love to write about reading.

Yet there are times when my two loves leave me feeling exhausted in the dance exchange. My creativity cries out “Adventure! Hasten my awakening!” When I’ve lost that loving feeling, I know it’s time to recharge my batteries by doing something new.

To spark the creativity in me, I dare to go bare! I do these things bookless and penless.

 1. Attend a play about writing. Recently, I had the opportunity to see Ghostwriter, a play about a love triangle between a writer, his secretary and words. Hearing and seeing the emotions that writing brought out in a kindred spirit made me want to go home and write.

2. Face a fear. I have many fears. Body awkwardness is one of them. When I want to spark my creative juices, I try a dance class or an aerobics class that encorporates dance. I have to use my mind in a way that involves my body. The change in pace reacquaints me with my feelings. The exercise doesn’t hurt either.

3. I have a picnic with a friend, watch clouds, birds, or catch a sunset.

4. I hit a spa, beach or somewhere that promotes relaxation and solitude. All writers have that small part of themselves that needs regeneration that can only be done in isolation.

5. Get out of my element. I seek things to do, see, or taste that I’ve never done before and experience it fully. I try to use my five senses to heighten my awareness about the world.

Read Full Post »

Writing is easy: All you do is sit staring at a blank sheet of paper until drops of blood form on your forehead. ~Gene Fowler

I sit down to write and when I try to put word to print I feel stifled; mentally, emotionally, and creatively.

I have to find a place of balance but that place is often standing off the cliff of pain and joy; happiness and longing; sorrow and hope. Without these emotional conflicts brewing within me the volcanic eruption of word explosion never seems to appear.

It’s a process I must encounter every day.

I close my eyes and ask the words to come, the same phrases that played yesterday in my mind, to remind me what it is that they were trying to say.

Yet, each player remains silent. The wordsmiths mock delightfully at the futility of my mental intimidation with a silent treatment.

I run from them. I get up and make coffee. I go to the bathroom. I wash my hands, ritualistically, believing that inspiration is just a moment away. I sit back down and stare back at the blank page. Nothing happens.

I ask myself, if the room is too bright. Or is it too dark? Uncertain, I readjust myself, do a wardrobe change, and move the keyboard–Still emptiness before me.

I research the phenominon of writer’s block online. The advice is always the same.

Free-write! Creatively borrow from another writer and improvise!
Use mini-ideas from other pieces written in the past.

The problem isn’t finding a resource to write from, or a topic to write about. No, it’s the emotion, the passion, the pain of needing to say something that speaks from deep within my soul.

But when these times that my soul is silent, asleep, or off on vacation without my permission… I’m left here abandoned, starring at the blank page.

I repeat to myself, “Write what you know…” like a mini-mantra .
But I don’t want to write what I know. I want to write what I can’t conquer, what I don’t understand, what it is that has sought to destroy me, or that is still my emotional enemy. It’s the struggle that makes me run to words.

Some people cut themselves. Me, I cut words on paper. Edit, delete, revise, and cut, until I’m in that place of bleeding from inner tourmoil, uncertain, fearful, dread, and the final elation of surviving–when it’s all over.

So, I reacquaint myself with the freshness of new–Anything to trigger extremes of emotional discovery that compel me to reach out from within in words to color my world.

Read Full Post »