On Creativity

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Breathing out Birds by Roni Amin

 

I’ve been fighting with my muse lately.

 

It’s not that he/she/it hasn’t been talking to me, which is usually my problem.  I think I’ve mentioned before that I actually want to write lately, which has been a feeling that’s been hard to come by lately.  No, lately my problem has been to find the energy.

 

And the self-confidence.

 

The first is a lot easier to control: it means getting enough sleep and eating right and exercising, and making sure that I’m being nice to myself.  I’m still recovering from a very difficult time in my life and, if anything, have a bad habit of over-extending myself, especially on days when I feel well (like yesterday, where I helped my fiance clean his old room at his parents’ house – he was still storing stuff there – and then went shopping for house stuff, food, and new fish for the aquarium, and then went to a NaNoWriMo monthly meet).  That leads to days like Friday and Saturday, where I basically lay on the couch watching TV all day.  Neither of these days are particularly conducive to being productive in a writing sense, but there you have it…

 

No, that part is easy.  The self-confidence thing is a heck of a lot harder.  For example, this week, my wonderful, amazing fiance posted to social media that he had nine (NINE!) novel ideas lying in wait for when he only had the time. A lot of my writing friends claim to have the same problem – more ideas than time.  I have the opposite.  It’s rare for me to have a novel idea pop into my head.  I find that I really have to work at it to make them show up, which makes me worry that they might actually be not all that good.  Because it seems to be so easy for everyone else…

 

So I had a crisis of confidence this week, because I’m clearly doing this writing thing wrong if I don’t have nine or ten more ideas than I could ever write (which is funny, in retrospect, since all I’ve been able to think about has been the sequels to the book I’m currently writing, and how awesome the series is).  And it sucked, because I had finally, after nearly two years of forcing myself, felt like I was starting to re-discover the passion I had for writing.  And spending hours trapped in the conviction that I was absolutely no good at it was frustrating and maybe a little damaging.  Fortunately, I have a partner who’s well used to my confidence issues and knew all the right things to say to make me feel better.  Sometimes it’s hard to feel good about yourself when you’re trapped in negativity. I’m glad I have him around to be positive on occasion.

 

So I’m being nice to myself this week.  I’m not pushing the writing (there will be time enough for that in July).  Instead, I’m catching up on sleep and trying to feel better physically (because the last few months have been bad for that).  I’m also trying to focus on positive thoughts and reminding myself that I’m not doing anything wrong, I just need to learn how to look at everyday situations in a different light.  Of course, I think that requires me to be a little less exhausted…

 

How do you react when you realize you’re doing something “wrong”?

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2 Responses to On Creativity

  1. Carrie says:

    You’re not alone! I’m like you; I only have novel ideas every now and then. I might get one good one novel idea per year if I’m lucky. And once I get an idea I need to sit with it for ages before I feel ready to write anything. To make myself feel better I consider this part of my process. Hang in there and know that you are a good writer and the ideas will come 🙂

    • Candice says:

      Carrie,

      It’s awesome to know that I’m not alone. Most of the people that I talk to/read about are the scary creative type that I mentioned. Maybe those of us who don’t create like that need to be more vocal? I don’t have all the answers. I wish I did.

      I like that you consider it part of the process. I’m trying to do that too. For what it’s worth, the novel/series I’m currently working on has been percolating for over a decade, and I think it’s getting pretty darn good!