What do (the wenches) do to refill the well of creativity? And how often do they do these things? How do they balance the mundane in their lives with the creative side?
Thank you, Keira, and a copy of The Wicked Wyckerly is winging your way.
The first response coming to my mind is—my well needs filling? <G> I think my subconscious is connected to a natural spring that never stops flowing, threatening to drown me at times. Shutting off the spring so I can actually turn all those ideas into a book is the difficult part. That takes hard work and the wrong side of my brain. I’d much rather fill my computer with fairy tales that would probably never see the light of day if I didn’t edit them.
But on those occasions when I’ve fried my synapses on revising and editing, I take time off to read and garden or take walks through the zoo or botanical garden or maybe historic St Charles. If I drive any farther, I’m likely to unplug the spring just watching cornfields passing by! (That's St Charles in the photo)
Mary Jo responds:
I have the advantage of a short attention span, so even when I'm in my Most Serious Book Mode, I'm not all – that- focused. When the book goes in–well, I Live Life. Read more books, cook more, travel more. (But none of those things entirely vanish from my life even when I'm crunching into a deadline.)
I think a key to maintaining the well is the curious mind that just about all writers have. It's seeing an item in the newspaper and googling for more information and ending up on unexpected websites. (Pat notes—her IT husband calls this running down rabbit holes) It's looking at a catalog and seeing something like a reproduction gimmal ring
and thinking, "I can use that in my next book."
Really, the problem isn't keeping the well filled. It's keeping it from overflowing. <G>
(Pat–Ha, and I wrote my paragraph before I even saw Mary Jo’s! So, maybe we’re both nuts.)
I'm going to be corny and say that when I'm feeling about as
creative as a medium-sized rock and I do not want to think about the writing
deadline that's looming up over the hill like a grinning Tyrannosaurus rex, I
take the dog for a walk in the woods.
No people. Nothing but trees and the stream doing its stream thing to one
side and wild flowers and maybe a couple turkey buzzards circling in the sky,
wondering whether I'm going to keel over and provide them with a meal, hope
So it is all very Eighteenth Century European Romantic Movement, except that I
don't have Byron and Shelley with me or even Johnny Depp. I walk along
thinking, 'There is a pleasure in the pathless woods,' and poetry of that sort,
though if I were really in a pathless woods I'd actually be wondering how I was
going to get out of it, but the principle is there, if you see what I mean.
I have several tried and tested methods to help nurture creativity. One is to visit a historic house and simply absorb the atmosphere. I usually find that this gives me that tickle down the neck that I associate with coming alive to new ideas and plans. Similarly going to a museum or gallery can stimulate lots of story ideas and I soon find my notebook filling up again. The other thing I do is to take long walks in the country. I always think better outdoors – it's as though there are no limits on my imagination when I am outside. So my poor dog will just have settled down for a snooze and I'll be there in my walking boots, lead in hand, and he'll haul himself upright and we'll be off. As soon as I step outdoors I start to feel more inspired. I'll go for a walk most days but balancing the mundane and the creative can be tricky. If I am absorbed in a book I'll tend to neglect the mundane which is why there will always be an enormous pile of ironing waiting for me at the end of a book!
Since I have several more lovely posts from wenches and I'm inundated with revisions and those ugly details that don't involve letting my mind roam wild, I'm going to continue this blog on Monday–Pat