Tuesday, February 12, 2013

New Rhythms, New Routines

How I shattered old rhythms and forged new routines to get past some of my creative blocks: An excerpt from The Voice of the Muse: Answering the Call to Write

Because so much of my writing history at the time I created my novel The MoonQuest was linked to desks, deadlines and other people’s projects, the only way I could banish old associations that felt anything but free-flowing was to break all the patterns of my previous writing life.

First I abandoned the computer, composing The MoonQuest’s early drafts with pen and paper. Next, I abandoned my desk, bound as it was to the soul-numbing words that had so recently comprised my freelance-writing livelihood.

Mornings, with a pad balanced on my knee, just before or after breakfast, I allowed The MoonQuest’s scenes to pour from my pen onto the blank page. Evenings, I input the day’s jottings into the computer.

Some days I needed a more dramatic break from the old to connect with my nascent story. On those days I often drove over North Mountain to Baxter Harbour on the Bay of Fundy. There, as the Atlantic surf crashed on the rocky Nova Scotia shore, I sat in the car or on a boulder and let the ocean tell me what to write next. A one-day change of habit and venue was all it took to put me back on track.

Here’s a suggestion:
When you feel blocked, break the pattern of your normal routine. If you normally write on the computer, switch to pen and paper. Write in the morning instead of the afternoon or evening, or vice versa. If you tend to write at your desk, move away from the perceived pressures of your "work" environment. Go for a walk to clear your mind. Take pad and pen and curl up in a comfortable chair. Sit out in nature. Move to a favorite café. Drive to some place quiet...different...inspirational. And feel the creative power of your new rhythm.

Adapted from The Voice of the Muse: Answering the Call to Write (c) Mark David Gerson
• For more Voice of the Muse excerpts, visit the book's website or Facebook page
• Get your copy of The Voice of the Muse and The MoonQuest today: in paperback at Amazon.com or as an ebook for Kindle, Nook, iBook or Kobo apps and readers

Photo: Baxter Harbour, Nova Scotia. Photographer Unknown

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