Thursday, February 3, 2011

Getting the Train Back on Track

Most of us have hectic days when our busy lives and all of its distractions seem to get in the way of our writing.  It's too easy to make excuses and let these things prevent us from sitting down to write.  We may tell ourselves we need to relax or that the events of the day have us so stressed out that trying to write would be futile.

We tend to think that we have to have no distractions, no noises, no worries to interrupt us in order to work on our writing.  Maybe we think that PERFECT MOMENT will give us an inside track to our writing masterpiece.  Unfortunately, what happens instead is that our Creativity Express gets sidetracked -- if not completely derailed -- by such expectations, and our stories fall apart or get forgotten in some remote segment of our minds.

Life and all its myriad joys, sorrows, and moments of lunacy should not be considered as obstacles.  Instead, change your perception a little bit and view them as building blocks. 

Everything is fodder for a writer's creativity. so use  these events to fuel the fire.  Maybe you can put the event or the emotions it caused into current writing project.  Capturing how you're feeling can build layers of realism into your story and make believable characters and intriguing situations.

Sure, your reader doesn't want to see every step of your character taking her laundry to the dry cleaners, but this is where you use your writing abilities to Recreate Your World.  Remember the frustrations you felt when Mr. Chang lost your favorite cocktail dress just before your company holiday party?  Maybe you can work it into your romance by changing up the details, adding or subtracting as you go.  The kids' less-than-stellar progress reports?  That might be background for a scene between your single mother heroine and the hunky school principal.  Dealing with aging parents, a grouchy boss, or a promotion that went to someone else?  The possibilities for those are nearly unlimited.

What if what's happening to you isn't something you can work into your current work-in-progress?

Then I urge you start a journal.  Not a diary a journal where you can capture snippets and scenarios and rewrite the event the way you wanted it to be. Be expansive, write over the top, indulge in a banquet of emotions.  Not only is everything fodder for the writer's creativity, but channeling negative emotions this way can be cathartic.  Once you unleash your creativity on them through the pen-to-paper activity of writing about them, you might see possibilities that you would have otherwise overlooked. 

Even if you can't use the ideas, don't ignore the opportunity.  Tuck the writing away in your journal as you never know when it might trigger an idea for a future writing project.  Meanwhile, the mere act of writing will keep your Creativity Express fueled and speeding toward the next adventure.

All Aboard! 

1 comment:

Bronwyn Green said...

Great post, Stephanie! My Creativity Express has definitely been derailed. Time to get it straightened out!