Quite often, my creative process will grind to a halt because writing good werds ‘n’ stories is hard, and there are a lot of fluffy animals on the internet. When that happens, I turn to anything that helps get the cogs turning again, such as writing blog posts about what helps get the cogs turning again (it’s a house of mirrors, folks, reflecting myself back at me into eternity).
Here are a few of the others –
- Very mild exercise. With the emphasis on ‘mild’, because anything more than gentle perambulation destroys all creative thought as my attention is consumed by the acid-burn of my under-exercised muscles. But if I keep it slow ‘n’ elderly, my brain really benefits from that little extra boost of delicious oxygen. That’s why I have gone for at least two whole 15 minute walks in the last year alone. I spoil myself!
- Getting drunk. WARNING: getting drunk a lot is bad. You’re all aware of the downsides of frequent inebriation. But as an adult, sometimes a bottle of Prosecco is the perfect creative lube. See, writing often makes me tense. It’s often a fun tension – exciting, anticipatory – but sometimes it’s a teeth-grinding, headache-making bullshit-tension. And sometimes getting pissed and chatting rubbish helps ease that.
- Reading. I have read a massive number of books over my lifetime (literally the whole of the Noddy series, guys), and yet whenever I’m trying to write one, I forget what they’re like. I’ll forget how to do basic tenses. I won’t understand how more than two characters can interact at any one time. And how does anyone ever describe anything, ever? What is word? How is fun? Why is why? Reading helps.
- Chatting with other writers. They know.
- Watching TV. A lot of writers will tell you that’s TERRIBLE advice, that TV is a time-suck and creative blackhole. But that’s the nature of advice, isn’t it? I say potato, you say ‘what have potatoes got to do with writing’. All I know is that I’ve just finished season seven of Mad Men, and I’ve learned a whole goddamn butt-tonne from watching Weiner’s crafting of character, his ability to surprise and subvert, and the use of ambiguity to help sustain audience engagement. And OK yes, I also watch reality show Catfish, but it exercises my empathy skills which is very important for a writer, so shuddup.
- Writing something else. I wrote a script in between the last two manuscripts, and I loved it. Great fun, and a good reminder of the importance of being concise and thinking visually.
- Pushing through. Yeah, often I just push through. Just keep writing that hard thing. It’ll get easier. Then harder. Easier again. Ad infinitum.
- Biscuits! CLICK HERE.
Good luck Story Spinners! Big kisssseeeeesssss xxxxxxx
PS. The image is of the first page of H.G. Wells’ The Time Machine manuscript! Last week, I got to perform a musical version of The Time Machine right next to this damn thing! For more exciting updates like that, check out my website RIGHT HERE!