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Posts Tagged ‘creativity’

Not surprising that I’m going through yet another one of these spells of what I like to call “writer’s slump.” Not exactly like writer’s block, just the fact that the motivation is getting hard to find. Hence the name.

Perhaps it’s because the past week has been a bit on the crazy side. First, there was the sudden death of a beloved family pet.

Then came traveling a total of 6 hours to Cleveland and back to Dayton between Friday evening and Sunday afternoon (not something I complain about–it’s nice to see my family).

Of course there was the great celebrating of a first anniversary yesterday.

And I can’t forget the myriad of new and often confusing responsibilities I’ve been given at work.

I must admit through all of this, the creative juices have stagnated 😛

It’s hard to keep it flowing when I’m just so busy all the time! I know–it’s not a valid excuse. A true writer would keep going regardless. Perhaps I’m not a true writer in that sense. I find it very hard to keep writing when so much is going on…I try but often with less than stellar results.

Still, what’s the use of complaining about it? It really gets me no where 😛 I just need to try harder.

I need to make every month like NaNo…it’s just hard for me to get into that mindset.

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Throughout the past week, I’ve been revamping and changing my outline for CHRYSANTHEMUM PROMISE.  I’ve added more chapters to the beginning to better identify the close relationship between my MC Kaiyo and her mother; I’ve taken out a few characters and one sidestory that I thought would draw attention away from the main one; and I’ve added another character.

I’m figuring I probably should actually work on outlining what I’m actually writing for NaNo instead of the changes, but that pesky inner editor of mine wasn’t letting me 😛 So, the goal this weekend and the coming week is to get through most of the outline–at least to Part III.

I know I won’t follow this exactly–I always change something along the way as I’m actually writing–but at least it’s there to give me an idea of what will happen next. While I’m generally not an organized person, when I’m writing I have to be, at least somewhat. I cannot understand how writers can go without outlines–I’d be going all over the place. Perhaps they feel that an outline stifles the creativity. But each has their own style that works for them. Mine is the basic ever-changing outline.

If you’re writing for NaNo–or just writing a book at all–are you outlining it? Or do you work better without one?

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I find that I’m deeply affected by music when I’m writing. I don’t know about you, but I always see my story play through my brain like a movie–complete with a full orchestral soundtrack. 

Anyway, I have a “soundtrack” of sorts that I listen to when I’m writing. They help me visualize the scenes better. Most of the time, it’s instrumental in nature, though I do have a few songs with lyrics to them.

For example, one of my favorite “songs” for my book is The Chairman’s Waltz from Memoirs of a Geisha. Something about the way the violin plays so beautfully in that song just makes me envision my MC up in the Snow Country of Japan,learning to adapt to a different life. It also displays the budding romance that’s occuring in her life.

Then there’s Nara by E.S. Posthumous. It’s a song that’s normally been used in movie previews. It helps me to envision my book as a whole, as I can see the story progressing much as a preview would. I always listen to this before I start writing.

There are many others; some classical pieces like Schubert’s Ave Maria as well as the Bach/Gounod version of the same song; Pachebel’s Canon in D is another one too. Then there’s about a dozen or so various songs (like Waiting for the World to Fall by Jars of Clay and Stand in the Rain by Superchick) that I feel describe my characters. The list is ever growing!

I know I’m not the only one who does this; my younger sister is in the middle of writing a fantasy and she has certain “theme” songs for her book too. I think music helps to open the mind and stimulate those creative juices.

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So, I’m posing a question to all writers/artists/musicians/bloggers–anyone really–and wondering: What gets your creative juices flowing?

It’s a variety of things for me, but I find that I come up with my best stuff while I’m in the shower. I don’t know why–perhaps the hot water opens up the pores or something–but that’s when it normally comes. I’ve worked my way through many countless writer block occurences and come up with many of my short story ideas (in fact, the only one I had published came while I was in the shower at college).

Of course it’s not the ideal place…especially since you can’t really take a pen and paper in there or leave it on the side, for water will still get all over it. That and there are times I may get so caught up in a storyline that I’m seeing in my head that I don’t realize how long I’ve been in there…so that can’t be too good for my water bill 😛 I’ve debated taking those bath crayons in there but I can’t very well write all over the walls every time–that would be a lot of cleaning to do afterwords and I’d still have to transfer it to something more permanent.

I find that listening to certain music, especially music soundtracks, will also put me in the mood to write. The ideas may not flow as well as they do in the shower, but I’ve done a great deal of writing while listening to my favorite soundtracks.

Anyway, I’m curious–I’d like to know what makes the ideas/words/pictures flow in your head. 🙂 (And Yes, I came up with the idea for this post when I was–you guessed it–in the shower).

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