The Writing Bog Addendum

So far this week I’ve written two posts about where, as a writer or creative person, you get bogged down (ie, don’t write):  Where Do You Get Bogged Down? and The Writing Bogs.

In reading some of the comments that the posts have gotten, and in pondering the issue further, I’ve come up with some things to add to my list of methods for pulling yourself out of the bog.

Lori wrote and told me that she vacuums when she gets blocked, and that was a great reminder that any sort of repetitive action is a great block-buster.  Not sure why this is, but it is.  So you can vacuum, or pull weeds, or sew or knit or mow the lawn.  Even walking will often do it. 

When my kids were little, I remember reading about a school of thought that held that children who didn’t crawl before they walked might later have cognitive or developmental problems, because the crawling motion was so important to the way our brain grew.  I’m sure this theory has been refuted a million times over since then, but I kinda like it, just because I know from first-hand experience how this repetitive motion thing has so often broken open my creative thoughts.  (And for those of you who are pressed for time, like Jen and Roy, it has the added benefit of allowing you to get something besides writing done, while still contributing to your writing.)

As for finding time for psychic space, I failed to mention one of the best thinking spots: the shower.  Water is very conductive, and so it is no surprise that  people often get some of their best ideas while showering.  It is also very good, of course, for washing the chi and odd energy of the day off of you–and that gives your brain more room for creative thoughts.  So start to train yourself to think about your novel or screenplay while in the shower.  Take advantage of any time you can!

Finally, here is a question for you to ponder:  do you really want it?  Do you really want to write?   Answer honestly.   I’ve met many people through the years who were far more attracted to the idea of writing and the supposed glory that would accrue once they published their book, but didn’t have the passion and love for writing you need to sit down and do it every damn day (or at least regularly).  I once had a student who wanted me to guarantee him that he would be published and if I couldn’t, then he wasn’t going to bother.  Now, that, my friends, is not a person who really wants to write.  He wants to have written.

If you really want to write, you’ll find the time for it.  If not, you won’t.  It is that simple.  Sorry.   And maybe the current moment isn’t the time for you, but six months hence will be.  Or maybe your interest in writing is a stepping stone to something else.  That’s okay.  Really.   I’m sort of like that with knitting.  I love it and I generally have about five or six projects going at a time.  But do I finish them?  Rarely.  Can I go months without knitting?  Yes, easily.  Sometimes I think I like reading about knitting more than actually knitting.  Sometimes I think I like thinking about what I will knit when I have time more than actually knitting.  But do I beat myself up about this?  Nah.  I just go on knitting binges every few months or so and then put the needles down again.  And this might be you and writing.  Which is okay.  Just enjoy it when you can.

And finally, finally, on a totally unrelated subject, have you seen the video of the creepy gnome in Argentina?  I so desperately want to believe that this is a real gnome.  You have to watch the video until the very end and even then it is very grainy but it is totally worth it to see the odd little creature do his gnome walk.  Watch the video here.

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Jen
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03/17/2008 07:26

I love the vacuuming idea–I’ll have to give that a try! I took a couple of days of from writing to give myself a little time to recover mentally from last week. I feel like my psyche is actually bruised! It’s kind of like trying to run (which I love) with a sprained ankle–sometimes, when you’re hurting, all you can do is take a few days of rest.

Thanks for the great posts!

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