Mondays are getting away from me lately. Correction, envision me hog tied and helpless on the ground as two children destroy the house. Yeah, that’s about the long and short of it.
Going dry. Specifically, going creatively dry. It happens to every writer at some point or another. Stress, life, whathaveyou sneaks up on you and wham, you can’t write a thing. Lately, I’ve been dry. That is to say, ideas swirl about in my head and yet when I sit down to write… nothing. Now, that could have something to do with the scenario mentioned above. It isn’t easy to write anything when you’ve got the kids home for summer vacation.
But it is more than that.
Because I DO get time for myself.
No doubt about it, I’m in a dry spell. Which is okay. I’ve had them. I’ve come back from them. But what to do when one is IN them?
Friends. Whine in their ear. g
Rachel was kind enough to point out that stress plays a major part with being creatively blocked. Oh, how right she is. I’ve been running on empty for a while. Creativity needs fuel. Not just the mental kind. We need to get out in the world, get exercise.
Getting out in the world always helps because truth is always stranger than fiction. There is endless fodder out there. It is up to you to soak it in. You can’t do that if you stuck in your house.
Exercise is important as well. A sluggish body leads to a sluggish mind. When I was pregnant with my fist child I didn’t write a thing. Between total fatigue and daily vomiting, I just wasn’t up for it. And at first, it really bothered me. I beat myself up for those endless months of not writing a thing. Until I let it go. We can’t be all things. My priority at that time had changed. I had a baby on the way. There was nothing wrong with changing my focus for a time.
Claire and I had a discussion about feedback this weekend. It occurred to me that feedback is essential. A writer works in isolation. We put countless hours in to creating worlds and then what? If we don’t get any feedback, we never know how our work affects people. This is slightly different than crits. Critiquing is essential. But simply having someone read your work, hearing what works and what doesn’t is a good way to keep you motivated. To fuel that creative well.
For me, this dry spell is annoying, but I’m not worried. Dry spells can be a good thing. Because once back in the saddle, you usually do amazing work. Heck, the last time I ended a dry spell a wrote 180 thousand words in five months. And loved every minute of it. I came back revitalized.
If you find yourself in a dry spell, don’t sweat it. Nothing makes that spell go on longer than stressing over it. Get out there, get some exercise, make contact with your writing partners. It’ll be okay.