We’ve been in the midst of a drought here in the Midwest where I live. I can’t remember the last time it was this dry, for this long.
When it finally rained (briefly) about a week ago, I decided to sit out on my porch and read a book while I listened to the rain. Captivated by the rhythm of the raindrops, I inevitably put down my novel and watched the rain fall on my potted garden.
As I looked at my plants being watered, it got me thinking about how I had been in a creative drought while I got settled into my new home, my new life and grieved the sudden loss of my dad.
It wasn’t just that the creative drought came from external forces in my life, like moving and death, but I wasn’t even trying or making time for writing. Over a period of a few months, I stopped thinking about creating, I let writing slip out of the top spot on my list of priorities.
As always the case, when I stop creating, I start feeling like something is missing. I don’t feel whole. After a rough few months, I began to focus on what was important to me again. I know that being a writer is who I am and practicing the craft is a part of self-care for me.
I knew I needed to make time to write again, and I started thinking about the characters in my WIP.
I realized once I began thinking about writing, I began to read books and blogs about writing more frequently, which in turn got the ideas flowing again and gave me the desire to want to write every day again.
I like to think of this as watering my creativity.
One of the best ways for me to get creative, oddly enough, is structure. I like having a goal, I need something concrete to adhere to, I need something that will hold me accountable.
That’s why I joined the ROW80 challenge. I made a list of goals, and am working on my third book, writing in my journal and learning more about the craft of writing.
I’m currently reading Wild Mind, Living the Writer’s Life, by Natalie Goldberg, as part of my ROW80 goals. In the book, Goldberg talks about writing practice and how crucial it is to do every day.
Practice can be anything you want it to be, as long as it furthers your creative goals.
Writing in my journal everyday is practice. Putting down 800 words a day in my WIP is practice. Writing a blog post is practice. Writing freehand with a writing prompt is practice.
Making goals and talking about writing is one thing, but practice is what brings the creative rain.
Have you ever experienced a creative drought? How did you overcome it?
If you’d be willing to share your experience with me, tell me about it in the comments section below.
2 thoughts on “Overcoming a Creative Drought”
I’m working on overcoming my drought as I write this. Perhaps ten days of temps over 100 have drained my creativity and stifled my imagination. Much like you, having goals and deadlines helps me to refocus and get back on track. Self-doubt is my biggest enemy. Save that, I get frustrated when I can’t figure out how to accomplish a goal, like adding pictures to my blog. I’m sure it is just a keystroke that keeps me from succeeding, but it causes me to lose momentum and procrastinate. So today I decided to post my blog without the pictures. A body in motion stays in motion – or something like that. You are an inspiration to me and many others. Keep on writing and know you make a difference.
Aw, thanks, Diane ;-). I’m glad you’re keepin’ on, keepin’ on. That’s more than half the battle!