Creativity Constipation

Posted: February 9, 2014 in Writing Experiences and Advice
Tags: , , ,

I’m working on a new short story. It’s just something I was kind of day dreaming about a week or so ago. But the more I thought about it, the more I wrote for it in my head. What I’m writing now, though, is horrible compared to my original thoughts.

Here’s my problem. When the idea was fresh in my mind, I was preparing to move. I couldn’t work on it because I had no time to write. I managed to get the premise of the story down — I wouldn’t even call it an outline — but somehow things are never quite as good when you’re backtracking to a story idea.

Being unable to write for almost a month gives me creativity constipation. I know that’s weird, but it’s true. I am writing all the time, whether it be for my novels, a fanfic, or just some drabble that’s never going to see the coding of an internet webpage, one of those little things I write just for my own enjoyment. (Do you think some of our favorite authors have little snippets of things no one else has ever read on their computers?) And when I’m unable to write for an undetermined amount of time, I get all back up. Stories begin overlapping in my consciousness, making a huge mess of things.

By the time I’m able to sit down at my laptop and put keys to electronic paper, the works are all gummed up.  Nothing comes out. I feel irritable and lazy. I just don’t even want to try to write because I know it’s going to be painful. Every sentence I type is going to be horrible, and very little of it will be salvageable.

I can’t just not do anything though. I have to force something out. Even if it’s just this blog post for today, I need to write. Slowly but surely it’ll become easier to do. And within a week, it’ll be all I can do to put down my laptop to eat, walk the dog, or go to work. (Ah, I dream of the day where going to work IS picking up my laptop!)

I have to be regular. I have get things out of my head to make room for new ideas. I have to try new things to grow.

I like to tell people that writing is easy for me. I love writing fiction; it’s just part of who I am. But it’s not as easy as I like to think it is. There are areas that I struggle with, like self discipline. I want to write for days unending and then sit back and do nothing for a while. And I end up with creativity constipation, unable to write at all.

It could be worse, I suppose. I could have writers’ block. What would that be the equivalent of? Creativity starvation? I’m blessed with the gift of words, of articulation. I’m blessed with a wonderful, active imagination. So I have to have some challenge, right? (Brevity is my true challenge. And I talk the way I write, so imagine trying to have a conversation with me.)

The truth is all writers need to write a little something everyday, I think. Professional athletes don’t work out just once a week. Honor students don’t study just once a week. So if I want to be a working author someday, I can’t write just once a week.


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