The Writing Mood

I haven’t been much in the writing mood recently. Following the wave of productivity that came after reading Patrick Ness’ writing tips that I linked here a few posts ago, I’ve crashed down to writing absolutely nothing. I had done two new chapters on the fantasy novel, resurrecting it from the neglect that it had received whilst I was working on Tornmile and a couple of plays. I was moving the story forward for the main character and really getting to grips with him in a way that I just hadn’t before. Things were good. Then, as ever, life came along.

Via City Life ChurchIn words, as well, for extra mocking.

It’s not anything specific – just a few things that have crept up and need my attention or are occupying brain space at the moment. House hunting, job hunting, missing my partner whilst she’s away over summer. It all adds up. I’ve been a bit lax on snacking and food as well, which means I’ve not been keeping to my healthier diet and I’ve not had time for running. Some of that’s been extra hours at work in the mornings, which eat up time, or other necessary appointments. It also means I’ve been staying up later thinking rather than getting to bed earlier. My wake up has switched between normal time, but with less sleep meaning tiredness, or waking up late, meaning still not enough sleep and sleep at a silly time of the day, which just isn’t as good.

Via XKCD“This is the night, what it does to you.” – Jack Kerouac.

It made me think, though, how dependent we are on our bodies for our brain work. It makes sense, of course, but it’s not something we necessarily think about every day. Most of our working day – depending on what you do, I suppose – you can sleepwalk through, relying on everything be second nature to drag you through. But being creative isn’t something you can’t sleepwalk through. It is second nature – the desire to create, to put words on the page – but it needs you to be alert, it needs you to be in the right frame of mind. When you’re busy thinking about all the other things that need doing and worrying about making ends meet, or making an important meeting on time, or when you’re going to see someone again, there’s less space for fictional characters and what they want.

The important thing is to try as hard as you can to forget about those worries or to put them aside for when you can be more productive in solving them. Get your sleep, your exercise, your healthy food. Make the effort to break the cycle. And write. Even if it’s awful, even if it’s not helpful to your novel or your film or whatever it is. Write. Close the doors, lock yourself away, turn off your phone. You can’t force yourself to be creative, but you can create a space in the midst of everything else that allows you to be creative. Allow yourself that space and you’ll get your Eureka moment where everything rights itself.

Via GIF Soup“It’s alive”.


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