Honestly I am very bad about recognising when creative burnout is looming upon me – or even when I’ve full on driven myself into it. When I have trouble creating, often my first impulse is to focus harder, to try and figure it out, start a new project or bounce to another one in progress. . .
Anything but ‘recognise there might be a reason for this and take a break’, really.
That tends to mean I don’t recognise I’m getting burnt out until I’m fully ensnared in frustrating, exhausting, tear-worthy inability to dredge out words. I mean, layering yet more pressure on top of already failing motivation doesn’t help? Whaaa?
W is for WENDIG.
(You know? That’s a really weird phrase. “Eat your heart out”? I can’t seem to stop staring at it.)
Anyway, today I’m going to talk about Chuck Wendig and his fabulous, glorious blog. I’ve followed him for a little over a year now, and I’ve learned a lot from him. Not just about writing, either. So, in true Wendigian (Wendigese?) fashion, I will be doing:
The Top 5 Reasons You Should Read Chuck Wendig’s Blog.
I is for Inspiration
There is so much to say on the nebulous topic of inspiration . . . and also so very little.
Inspiration is an intensely personal thing, so while what works for me might also work for you, it might also simply leave you looking askance at me, and wondering how on earth that helps me to get an idea.
So, rather than try to explain the inexplicable (perhaps another time, that does sound like a fun challenge now I put it that way. . .) I have decided to talk on the idea of inspiration via, well, inspiration.
In other words, rather than discuss ways to make ideas happen, or try to invite them, I am going to focus on the more ‘natural’ form of inspiration that is ideas one did not expect, and how they came about.
Chasing a flash of inspiration.
I am going to make a note of new original story thoughts that come to me, and what inspired each one, and present that list here as an overview of how the writerly brain – or at least this writer’s brain! – leaps and works in that tricky area of ‘idea’.
G is for Gaiman, Neil
We all chase it. The internet claims to be full of it. It can be as simple as an image or a song that begins a story in your mind.
However true inspiration, the deep down motivational sort of inspiration can be quite difficult to find. It takes more than just a success story or a you-can-do-it pep talk. It must be something that drives you on both the good days and the bad.
I am rarely a fan of speeches, but there is one in particular that I return to again and again: Neil Gaiman’s Keynote Address to the Class of 2012 from the University of the Arts. This 20-minute address is full of advice, humor, and a desire to impart the knowledge that our creations are in our own hands. No one else can make the art I create. No one else can make the art you create. And in a world of fighting for contracts and publishing deals and sales and success… that is all too easy to forget. We must create what we love and love to create before success can ever be an option. Continue reading