|Mmm yass my yummy bookshelf.|
I'm squashing these two, days 12 and 13 into one big post so that this week I can ideally get my life back in order. We'll see how it goes.
But before I dive in--thanks all for reading all these, thanks for keeping up with my blog (even though I know I can be dull and boring and can also go weeks without posting...oops...), and thanks a million for the lovely comments. I adore comments and so I always get excited to get one. And a big, big thank you to Bella DeLallo for hosting, creating, and being generally awesome.
Okay. Diving in.
First of all, we have CONQUERING WRITER'S BLOCK.
Oh that villain.
Writer's Block, for those of you who don't know (*everyone laughs*), is when you open up your Word Doc. or your notebook and you...
Sit there staring at the cursor blinking at you and suddenly don't remember words.
Also sometimes has the side effect of actually writing but all of it is rubbish and you delete it all before five minutes is up.
It is a naturally occurring disease in all writers and it can be fatal. It has brought whole stories to ruin, many tears, and many, many cups of tea.
So, how to deal?
Ultimately, I'm not going to lie, I don't really know. There are just some days that writing is....not happening. I get that. It's a thing. There's no easy cure for Writer's Block. There's no slice of pizza you can eat that will suddenly give you words abundant.
But I think what I've discovered is that writing is a lot like faith. There are some days where it is easy to believe. You feel God in the smell of changing seasons, taste Him on the curves of the sun as it dips into the western horizon, and His Word is rich food to a hungry soul. In the case of writing, there are some days where it is easy to write. Words are tumbling around in perfectly poetic sentences, not too slow and not too fast, and they are not getting lost between your brain and your fingers. Ideas are delicious morsels, characters are growing and developing quite wonderfully, and your story is actually meaning something--to you and in general. And.... then there are the other days. The days where you're ridden with doubt, you're hollow and empty of trust because you feel betrayed (for whatever reason), you can't seem to make heads or tails of the Bible, and you don't remember how to pray. And in writing, those are the days where you sit and stare at the screen of your laptop and consider deleting everything you've ever written because it all seems terrible.
Two choices: you either doubt God or you doubt your doubts.
You either quit out on writing or you plug through and write anyway, even and especially when you don't feel it.
Faith is not a feeling that you ride on because it's nice to believe in God. Faith is gripping onto that hope, that joy, that peace, that love, that God that is so vividly there, yet seems so faded by the cares of the world. It's doing it when you don't feel it. It's saying, "I believe, Lord help my unbelief!" It's acting upon the things that you know in your head even when they haven't yet dropped into your heart yet. It is saying, "God, I know you're there even though it doesn't feel like it. I know you exist and therefore I am going to act in that reality instead of the false reality that seems realer today." This is why faith takes guts, takes vulnerability. Because it's staking all you've got on this one thing--even at the risk of losing everything.
And writing takes guts and vulnerability too. It takes digging down into the depths of your fear and pulling it out and spreading it before your eyes and before everyone else's eyes. It's looking Writer's Block in the eye and saying, "You don't own me. I will write and I will write and I will write even when I forget all the right words and can't seem to make a story that makes sense."
So that's I think the ultimate "cure" to writer's block. To write. To write through it. Make a goal. I don't care if it's 1000 words or 100. Do it. Every day. I don't care if you end up deleting that part. Do it. Every day.
Inspiration and writer's block both come in waves, but what shouldn't come in waves is how much you write. (Preaching to myself here. I need to write so badly.)
Which brings us to inspiration.
Oh the age-old question I wish everyone would ask me so that I could dump everything on them with a grin. I'd probably talk way too fast and you wouldn't understand me, but I would be excited and I would hope to make you excited too.
God inspires me. I betcha didn't see that coming, eh? ;-) God's Word inspires me, because it's the Greatest Story Ever Told (with the Greatest Plot Twist Ever Imagined). Because it is the ultimate story of beautiful things lost and gripped by darkness, fear, coldness, monsters and villains...and that thudding heartbeat of hope--look forward, this is not the end.... And redemption and loyalty and love that bursts apart chains and grace and forgiveness and a striving for something greater. Heroes battling all the forces of evil. Character development. Something far beyond the pointlessness of life. Yep. That's inspiring, yo.
And then the way God infiltrates everything else. The way the sun filters through pine needles, the way that some trees smell like butterscotch and some smell like vanilla and some just smell bad. The way that the mountains are towering over us in such a way that just cries out for them to be climbed. The way that the grass goes gold before it dies. People. People in general--images of the living God, and every aspect about them--their hurt, their healing, their brokenness, their need for a Savior, their hope unwavering, their hearts so fragile...
Music. Music also inspires me. I have playlists for many of my books and I constantly am adding songs. Most of my characters have a theme song (or multiple). Sometimes I hear a song and just cry and I just know that it has hit that one place in my heart that will in turn produce words and stories and characters.
Other writers inspire me. Because dude, there are people that are battling the darkness with words out there. Sometimes they're hard to find, but they're there and I sometimes just have to jump around with the excitement of knowing that we create in the image of a Creator God. We speak words that we pray are not going to return void, but are going to return wrought with hope that it brought someone--even if it's just one person. That's cool. Seriously cool.
Artists and art inspire me too. I'm an extreme art enthusiast. I adore illustrations, paintings, drawings, realistic, less realistic....I just love art. It makes me want to write and draw and play music and write, write, write some more. It's again that creator spirit. Art begets art. Same goes for photography, poetry, pottery, wordsmithery, glass etching, jewelry, letter-writery, whatever it is. Good art. A craft done well.
And lastly but not leastly, doing things inspires me. First time I shot a gun: immediate book inspiration. Rode a mule: book inspiration. Flew on an airplane, gulp, alone: book inspiration. Got lost while driving: oh, book inspiration. Accidentally went to a creepy venue for a concert: book inspiration. Caught out in a hailstorm: book inspiration. Been sick for a long time: book inspiration. Fainted while getting blood drawn: total book inspiration, dude.
Alrighty, thanks for reading! I'll respond to comments today and tomorrow, and then I'm off for a while. I'm ready to sort things out. :-)