Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Creative Burn Out

My two passions are writing and theatre--two very creatively exhausting jobs. Most of my night are spent at the theatre, herding kids on stage, teaching acting work shops, directing, stage managing, building sets, acting, painting, house managing. I do a lot of stuff there and at the end of the day (or rather, night) I'm so exhausted that I usually just go home and conk out. NOT good for the book I have sitting on my computer, waiting to be finished. So what's a girl to do when she's got a book to write AND a show to put on?

In my case, flounder around for 2 months focusing on one passion more than the other. Which, let's face it, is irritating and unbalanced and for me, not good, because I like to write something every day. 

A person only has so much creative energy, and sometimes, no matter how much you want to write, you can just sit there in front of your computer and not one word you type will end up staying in that word document. The reasons for this can be so many different things, because while we are all writers, we also have the REST of our lives to handle as well.

Here are some things that help me when my creative energy is low and I can't seem to get into writing gear:

1) Take a bubble bath. Seriously. Light some candles. Don't bring a book with you! Play some music and while you're soaking, think about whatever project you're working on. I've solved several plot holes while in my bath tub.

2) Read. Reading always inspires me to write more. I have one book--A TOWN LIKE ALICE, by Nevile Shute--which, no matter how many times I read it, after I finish it, I always want to go back to my computer and write something beautiful. Or at least attempt to. Do any of you have a always-gonna-inspire me sort of book? 

3) Take your mind off your book. Even just for an hour or two. I usually do this by going kickboxing, because I have to pay attention otherwise I'll fall over/get hit.

4) Challenge another writer friend to a word count challenge for a month! It helps you to write every day and you have someone to whine to about how hard it is sometimes.

5) Work on something else creative. Take a painting class, play some music, write a song, try cake decorating or glass blowing. Variety is good! And you never know where you'll get your next book idea! 



Tracy Belsher said...

Super, fantastic post Tess. I sit here staring at chapter 8...and I got nothing.

Maybe I can squeeze in a bath before school.

Tami Klockau said...

GREAT post Tess! I think we're all going through a writing funk...stupid chapter 9!

Speaking of word count challenges, I saw we start one again in November! It would be fitting since Nov. is NaNoWrimo (even though we'll be working on WIP stuff). I need SOMETHING to keep me in the butt.

Tracy Belsher said...

I agree, Tami - Tess you up for a word count challenge again?

You post so inspired me - I gave up my shortlived Twitter addiction to focus more on edits.

Let's do this thing, ladies!

Tracy Belsher said...

Oops - I meant, "your" post inspired me - see, I'm so stoked I can't even freaking type!