In my last post I talked about how life had, once again, conspired to distract me from my writing. After a few days of great productivity, I hit a brick wall as circumstances drained all my time and energy and pumped me full of stress and angst. This left me with nothing to put into my writing. It's fair to say I ground to a screeching halt.
Now that all those stresses are gradually fading into horrors of the past I'm wanting to get back into the writing. However, like a sink where the plughole has become clogged with all kinds of unmentionable gunk, my ability to funnel my ideas on to the paper - or to even access them in the first place - is being hampered by stress. At times like this, getting back into the swing of writing and getting the creative juices flowing again can be really hard.
I feel constipated! There's an uncomfortable blockage in my creativity.
The ideas are building up behind a locked door. I don't have the key. I can't access them.
The frustration builds and can become quite debilitating if it takes me too long to get the ideas flowing again. I become a bit like a caffine addict who has been without their morning hit for five days in a row! It's not pretty. In fact, it can be down right frightening, let me tell you.
So how do I go about unclogging the drain, or finding that magical key?
Editing. Yes, editing.
Editing is methodical. It is deliberate. It requires creativity from me, but not too much.
Picking up a piece of writing that needs to be edited and dealing with it helps me to slowly work me way back into a creative mind set. It picks away at the scum, allowing a trickle of ideas to quickly become a torrent. Ta-da! the blockage is gone, destroyed by the editing process.
When I edit I'm able to push back the worries and the issues of daily life aside and to re-train myself to focus of my writing. Once I'm back in that world - the "other" world of my writing - it becomes easier to slip back into putting words on the page and before I know it I'm writing again.
This is one key in my arsenal that I use to get though those hard patches. It works for me, maybe it'll work for you too.