Saturday, August 08, 2009

Blog Post #1,600

I find it incredibly fitting that my thoughts for blog post #1,600 are about how I feel like I'm losing my creativity and passion for writing. It begs the question what on earth was I writing about the previous 1,599 times?

I've been thinking a lot lately about creativity, how to garner it, how to channel it, and when to flat out ignore it. Where does creativity come from? Why is it that I'm not creative when I want to be? And yet other times, my brain is overflowing with ideas?

I can't help but think back to the time when Juli and I were writing Beyond Perfection (I'm pretty sure you all know we wrote a book by now). For the first half of the writing process I was either working as a 911 operator, or working solo in a chocolate shop. Both jobs gave me a lot of time to sit and daydream. And neither job used even half of my available brain power to accomplish. By the end of a work day, I'd be going crazy, and desperate for an outlet to my ideas and daydreams. Eating loads of chocolate didn't hurt either. Neither did my need to escape to a happy place after working 911 calls all night.

The second half of the writing process (after we had turned our book over to a publisher, and then had to add another 75 pages, and re-write the majority of the book in the "revision" process), I had a full time job that actually challenged me. It took just as long to write 75 pages, as it did for us to write the original 150+ pages.

And there used to be a time where Juli and I had a funny little column we wrote for Meridian Magazine called A Single Thought. I'm not saying it was easy to come up with new content each week. In fact, there were times it felt impossible. But it was fun, and we managed to pull it off somehow. It helped quite a bit that we drew from my personal life, and that I had a fun social life going back then.

So here I am now. My creative energies are all focused on my job and career. I have a lot of freedom at work to forge my own path. And I can honestly say I am truly enjoying that. But it does require a lot of creativity and out of the box thinking. There is no job description or manual to tell me what to do. But believe me, when you mess up, there's plenty of people around to tell you what you didn't do!

I have a half-finished novel that I love just sitting around, waiting to be written. I love the concept of the story, and the journey it takes. But yet, I just can't seem to find the time and the creativity to sit down and write it all out. Everytime I do, I get bogged down perfecting the first 20 pages over and over again. I have a good 80 pages written so far. And about another 200-300 written in my head.

Which brings me back to creative energies and finding time to write. I want to write. I want to make the time to write. But somehow creativity and free time never coincide. I've heard professional authors with 20-30 titles to their names, say that you have to just sit down and do it each day, every day, just like a regular job. But when you have a 'regular job' as it were, how do you do it?

In the past my best writing has come out of  me at times when I was so busy and life was so fun, that I couldn't wait to get home and get everything out on paper. But now my life is pretty dull. I work from home, I walk the dog, I clean the kitchen, rinse, repeat. Social life? Practically non-existant. It won't be a source of inspiration for a long time. Creative energies? Getting sapped by marketing campaigns at work. Free time to write? LOADS of it.

So what do you do? Where do you find your inspiration? Your motivation?


  1. Start online dating. You'll have loads of hilarious tales to tell. One guy contacted me and admitted he was the person on some medical special that paid tons of money to be tall and he was genetically 5'4". He was convinced that tall women wanted average height children with the benefit of having a tall husband. Yeah...

  2. Wow, Melinda. That dude was a total idiot. Most of us tall girls just want a guy tall enough that we can wear heels next to him. We're not dying to spend the evening gazing lovingly into some guy's forehead.

  3. Jules, he was 5'10". Only he was letting me know because he was genetically 5'4" because he thought for some reason I wanted average height kids. I'm 5'11". He spent $100,000 on surgeries to make himself taller! Imagine!

  4. Hi Erinannie

    I haven't commented on your blog before but wanted to let you know about a book I read recently (I am writing a thesis for uni) called 'How to write a lot'

    It basically suggests alloting a set time every day/week to write and making it a priority.

    The book also suggests that you try not to edit as you write but to treat those as separate processes- get all the words out and then worry about phrasing and style.

    hope that helps


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