Sunday, March 12, 2006
How to get through a creative funk? I thought of making a list of fun and slightly wacky ideas, like blowing bubbles at a sidewalk cafe or taking classes in the art of clown makeup, but that's all just avoiding the real issue. There's only one way I know to get through a creative funk and that's to create something! To make something I can't take my eyes off, can't believe I made. Myself. Me. "I did that? Wow. I'm not so bad. Huh. I wonder what I'll make next."
So I find myself in a lull between projects. The projects I need to begin seem so big, so looming, it's like standing on a street between skyscrapers where the sun scarcely reaches down to the street, and someone is saying, "Just jump to the top of that skyscraper. Or that one. You choose." As if WHICH skyscraper was the problem, and not the matter of jumping that high! But really, if projects ARE skyscrapers, they're skyscrapers with ladders all the way to the top. You don't have to jump, just start climbing, and keep climbing.
Okay, I've almost convinced myself... That's what this is about: a self-pep-talk. Usually when I finish one project I have already begun the next several, and don't ever find myself... to continue the metaphor... all the way down at street level in the shadow of the skyscrapers. I'm partway up a half-dozen ladders, at any given moment. But not this time. Yesterday and today I find myself way down there with my head tilted back, getting vertigo. So I need to do what I need to do: make something happen. Tush in chair & pencil in hand, until I find myself marveling, "I did that." Pick a skyscraper and start climbing. It's that simple. Fancy answers are just a diversion. It's like advice for weight loss: eat less & exercise. Yep, it's that simple. In this case the advice is: Sit. Draw.
Love this from Anne Lamott's Bird by Bird: "One writer I know tells me that he sits down each morning and tells himself nicely, 'It's not like you don't have a choice because you do - you can either type or kill yourself." HA! So that's a little dire, but it's funny. In fact, the whole book is so damn funny and inspiring, I think I'll reread it right to get out of this creative funk... Just kidding! That's tempting, but I know what I really need to do: Sit. Draw. (deep breath) Wish me luck.
Posted by Laini Taylor at 1:06 PM