I have met so many wonderful friends through books. Some are fictional, and some are flesh and bone friends...but all have made a difference in my life in one way or another. We all impact each other's lives. Sometimes it is by something you say that makes me think, and other times it is by a gesture or kindness. And yet other times it may be something that dug deeper, hurt my feelings, or made me sad. Still you made a difference. Through this blog I would like to introduce you to some people who have blessed me with their writing...and I hope you will be blessed as well!

Coffee or Tea?

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Have you ever felt Creatively Constipated?

     I have a question for all of you who write for a living...have you ever felt Creatively Constipated? Like you had all these wonderful ideas but they were stopped up inside of you and wouldn't flow the way they should? Have you found a Mental Ex-Lax that will set your ideas free and get you back on track? In my fleshly reality I am surrounded with obstacles that distract me from the the ideas that are jamming up fighting to escape.  When I sit down to write the mail will run dropping off those friendly little reminders...(note: there is nothing friendly about their notes or phone calls to remind you that you are a dead beat and you need to pay your bills, even if it means selling your grandmother's hope chest you had promised to your granddaughter!), or the fleas that have taken over residence in your home setting up maternity hospitals instead of flea markets, and mass producing little pin-sized vampires to eat you alive while you try to concentrate! So I come to you now asking...what is your secret Chocolate-flavored solution to release the little people in your head? How do you get your creative juices flowing again and feed the people that fill the pages of your manuscript?

     Or is it just me that experiences these blockages? I remember when I was little my grandmother would tell me if I ate too much cheese or too many bananas I would get "stopped up" (she was very delicate with words) and I would have to take a little chocolate flavored bite (lousy chocolate too,let me tell you!)  to "set me free".  As I got older and hated that fake little rectangle of brown lies, I discovered I could get the same results by drinking grape juice or eating prunes...and they were so much tastier! So what have you discovered that works to get your imagination back on track again?


  1. Movies "get me going." Every so often, hubby takes children camping or skiing. I was never made to do either so I stay home and watch movies. Tons of them. Back-to-back, morning to night--for days at a time or however long they are gone. Never fails, right after that, I'm a writing fool. I can't get the ideas out fast enough. And I get new ideas. Lots of them. New characters start talking to me. New circumstances start weaving together in my soul. Works every time!

    Oh, and while I write... I make slide shows of my characters with pics I find of stars for my "in head movie" on the 'net. I put that to music, make a soundtrack for my book, and I'm off to the races. Life often stops me, but those are my ways to set myself free!

  2. Apparently that really works well for Staci,who is a multi-published author! Click on her name and you will see the results of her writing binges in her many books...all too good to pass up! She will make you laugh, cry,and sigh with characters you will miss once they are gone. Thanks for the hints Staci! ~Cheri'

  3. One more hint... never edit while you are writing the first draft. Be gentle with you and let the story come the way it does. After you've got it down, THEN go back and rework things that don't work, reword, etc. But editing as you write is the surest way I know to make sure that #1 nothing sounds good & #2 to make you doubt every word your put down, which of course ends up in, "Why can't I write anything anymore?!!! I'm so blocked!!!!!!!"

  4. Very good point!!! I tried sending in my wip, chapter by chapter, to our crit loop when I was writing and ended up throwing it away after I received so much feedback. ~Cheri

  5. That would get overwhelming in a flat hurry. One problem is too many "other" ideas coming in as you're writing ("you might try making her blonde. I like blondes..." "you might try starting it later than this..." "Tighten this scene" (which if you don't know what comes after might sound like a great idea... or it might take out vital information you really need for later!)

    For me, I have to have the whole together before I start getting a lot of feedback or I get so sidetracked with their suggestions, my original idea gets completely lost in the shuffle.

  6. Well, I wish I could say I was good at avoiding creative constipation when life is beating the tar out of me, but I confess, most times, creativity just shuts down. While angst drives many writers to the page, it just flips my off switch.

    That said, I of late am learning that if I will commit to writing just one sentence, another will come. And sometimes another and another. Some days are better than others with this method but you absolutely must commit to sitting down in front of your manuscript file, no matter what nightmares are pounding on your door.

    BK Jackson

  7. Staci has some great advice. I especially like watching older movies and you can make a collage of your story with shapecollage. You can get an idea of what I've done here -> http://www.reneelynnscott.com/2010/08/dream-board.html

    The first one is a dream board, the other two are picutres of my heroes and heroines.

    One thing I highly suggest is something I picked up from The Artist Way. Free writing. It does wonders. At first you can just doodle on a notepad (yes, it should be pen and paper), and then you can just write random thoughts and ideas. Eventually you release all that creativity.

  8. Sometimes I just need to get out of my office and take a walk to clear my head. I find myself staring at the screen with no clue what comes next, and staring doesn't make the words appear. Taking a walk and praying while I walk seems to release new thoughts to flow.

    I've also jumped ahead when I'm stalled and write a scene I DO know will happen sometime later in the book. Doing that can send your thoughts off along new lines and open new ideas.

  9. Over-thinking about what I'm going to write only makes circles in my brain. It doesn't count until it gets typed. But if I'm staring at the screen with still fingers on the keyboard, a new tip works for me: type dialog. Just do the "talking heads" thing. Barest attributes and beats, no description. I get the dialog down and then I can work with it later.