(Yep, I’ve had my coffee and I’m raring to go…gorgeous, gregarious CAPS are comin’!)
The amazing Leanne Banks visited my writing chapter over the weekend. She talked about brainstorming and shared techniques she’s discovered for giving HER creativity a kick in the keister.
I’ll be blogging about Leanne’s visit and the favorite lessons I took from this later in the week. Suffice it to say, she ROCKED!
Then, on Saturday night, I made dinner for a good friend of mine who is a very successful musician. On my drive home it occurred to me…I know a great man, who is very successful at his CREATIVE career, and not once have I asked him about his creative process.
Still, after a day of Creative A$$ Kicking, enquiring minds wanted to know.
Me: You’ve made an album a year for TWENTY years now. What is the creative process that allows you to do that?
Walter smiled at me, a really benevolent cozy smile that made me feel better about bringing work to his Saturday night of fun. And then he said, “I don’t really know.”
Me: WHAT? That’s it? Come on! I thought this music business was different than being a writer. That’s exactly what all my writer pals would say.
He looked at his wife, who is a major force in his success, and said, “Well SHE books the studio each year and tells me about three weeks beforehand that I need to write fifteen songs.”
She and I exchanged an eye-roll and I said, “There’s got to be more to it than that.”
Walter: Jen, every year when it’s time to record a new album, I feel like I’ve done it already and those are all the songs I have to write.
He paused a moment and added, “Then I’ll hear my mother’s voice in my head, like she’s right there talking to me: ‘Walter, you said you wanted to be a musician; it was what you trained for and practiced at. It was the only thing you EVER wanted. So, get off your a$$ and write some music, and quit crying about it.'”
And he does, every single year.
Don’t you want to put the writer’s version of that Memo from Mom above YOUR computer screen for those really crappy days?
You want to be a writer. It’s all you’ve EVER wanted to be.
It’s what you spend all this time on, training and practicing your craft.
Get off your a$$ and write your page and QUIT CRYING ABOUT IT.
I’m printing it and pasting it up tomorrow.
Note: Do you think Bob Mayer is maybe channeling all these mothers, since he has essentially the same message:
At least Bob is nice enough to give us the tools to get off our cans and stumble our way through (his Write It Forward workshops are awesome) but, as you can see above, the message is deceptively simple.
This week’s mash-up (yes, I’m FINALLY getting to it) is about the places that have bolstered my creativity this past week:
There’s always something good for me at:
- Nathan Bransford’s Blog, particularly his writing advice
- Writers In The Storm – my fellow bloggers write AMAZING Craft blogs!
- Writer Unboxed and The Script Lab
Other winners this week:
- The Pants of Shame got my knitter’s brain twisting (along with my poor eyes)!
- Rachelle Gardner’s blog on Good Quotes for Writers
- Fiction Groupie’s YA Author Guest, Julie Cross, discussing How I Write
- Author, Jody Hedlund on Learning to Find a Balance in Showing Versus Telling
If blogs fail me, I go to my Writer’s Bookshelf, which I’ll also be discussing over the coming weeks.
Some days it’s just plain harder than others to puff up those titanium writing panties with the bravery required to face the page. (But you knew that already.) I hope some of these authors/links will work for you like they work for me and ease you over those tight places in your writing.
What helps you bolster your creativity? Get up your gumption to finish a page that’s going badly? Do YOU ever feel like you just can’t write another word? What has helped you bust through this fear and get to the other side?