In the months of March and April of this year, I spent a lot of time staring at the computer, writing a (bad) sentence and deleting it, wondering where my creative spirit had gone. I was devoid of ideas and I just could not get a story to a completed draft. I hate to call this writer’s block, because I think that the writer is the one who imposes the block, not the creative process. Nonetheless, I could not snap out of it. In that time, it seemed to me that one of the solutions might have been to engage my brain in other creative outlets. Instruments, script writing, freelance journalism. They all seemed viable.
Last night, I attended a sketching group. We convened at a local bar and a model took the floor, posing for anyone who wanted to sketch her. The poses lasted for 1-, 5-, 10-, and 20-minute intervals. I cannot draw, or at least haven’t in ten years or more, but the process of trying to keep up with the real artists in the room inspired me, made my art get better over the course of the night. In turn, I feel inspired this morning, hours after I left that gig, ready to write.
Does the creative process need room to breathe, to flourish in whatever way it can, in order to thrive? For instance, when I stare at the computer without an idea about what to write, does that limitation stifle the process? I have heard personal trainers say a person ought to change up the order and intensity of their exercise routine every few weeks to avoid familiarity with the muscles and stagnant growth. I think this is true of the writer’s craft, as well.