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Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Wistful Wednesday

Hitting the Wall (of Creativity)

If you are a writer, or any other type of artist, do you ever have one of those days when you just hit the wall creatively? Where, no matter what you do or how hard you try, you just can't seem to come up with anything meaningful? Well, that is what lead me to choosing today's blog topic. After sitting around all morning, my mind a total blank as to what to write about today, I thought, Why not write about the fact that I can't find anything to write about? That's the beauty of this blog thing: You can't take virtually anything and create a post around it. And hopefully, in the process, you can work through the issues that plague you.

Ask any writer if they've ever experienced hitting the wall and you will probably hear a groan in response, followed by a lamentable tale of one such experience - maybe more. It is one of the things we secretly fear, for when we hit the wall creatively, we end up staring at the same blank page for days on end and there is nothing worse for a writer than the blank page. At least not in my experience. Rejection? That's okay, I'll send my work off to someone else. A bad review? Well, I guess my book just wasn't to their taste. A blank page? Kill me now. Just kidding! But sometimes, it does feel like a little death when the Muse goes on vacation and doesn't leave a forwarding address.

So how does one deal with the hitting the wall syndrome? For me, it's a matter of doing something else to take my mind off the problem for awhile. Long walks are good, cleaning house is okay, but for me, the best way to release my mind and invite in creativity is to do something...creative. When I'm not writing, I can usually be found making something. As I often say to my mother, I love taking a pile of nothing and making something out of it, whether it's a blank page and a pen that becomes a novel, or a pile of scraps that become a blanket, or skeins of yarn that become scarves, hats, sweaters or the like. My favorite creative thing to do (other than writing) is knitting. I absolutely love knitting, especially when I have someone specific in mind for what I am making. Not only do you end up with something beautiful, you also free your mind from the general chaos of life through the repetitive pattern of knitting. In fact, while working on an afghan for my daughter this morning, I was able to free my mind enough to come up with this blog post! Many times before, I have managed to work out so many tricky plot points by diverting myself with knitting. So for me, it serves a dual purpose: I make something nice and work out issues in my writing!

What about you? Have you ever hit that wall creatively? What do you do when you hit the wall? I'd love to know!

4 Moonbeams (comments):

Molly Daniels said...

LOL:) I watch Law and Order or cross-stitch:) Give up the computer and hear my kids gasp, then ask me if I'm feeling okay lol! I also read a lot. Sometimes getting out of the house and doing some people-watching will spark an idea. Hubby would rather I do what a friend does, and clean house more often! Nah, I'm not THAT desperate yet:)

Unknown said...

I learned to knit a few months ago but I have real trouble with remembering when to knit and when to purl so my knitting is a bit of a mess LOL IF I can't write I do some cross stitch or tapestry work, and my favourite thing to do is bake, especially bread. I love making bread! There's something very therapeutic about bashing the dough on the counter - it really helps me focus.

Margay Leah Justice said...

Molly, too funny! I'm with you. Getting out of the house is good.

Margay Leah Justice said...

Kate, don't give up on the knitting. Once you get used to the technique, it is very rewarding. I haven't made bread in a long while. I might have to rectify that.