My brain needs a workout.
When I was younger, I could sit down for an hour and produce six poems. Fair enough, they would too often take a teenager’s fascination with morbidity coupled with some truly terrible metaphors, but at least it was some words on a page. And occasionally, I produced something that I didn’t hate. I subscribe to the opinion that the more you write, the more likely you are to write something good. Sure, it might be one shining sentence out of a thousand, but it’s (a little) better than nothing.
These days, trying to get my brain to create something is like trying to draw blood from a stone. (See, with the clichés? I spent a good five minutes of my commute trying to think of a better way to express this, and I got nothing.)
I always think the first attack on creativity was university, because, although it should be the opposite, it is a massive lesson in not thinking for yourself. Plus, you are taught to be more critical, which can extend to self-criticism and kill your writing. All my writing is dated, so I can look back and see that actually I still produced lots (and most of what I still like is from the first two years of uni). However, at the end of second year I tried to write something entitled ‘Essays Killed My Poetry’…
Post-university (now five-and-a-bit years) I wrote 52 poems, only eight of which I shouldn’t just delete right now. They stop in July 2014. I haven’t created anything in over two years, and I can feel it!
Some people might consider a blog creative. I think it depends on the type of posts you write, and there are very few of mine that I would consider decent pieces of writing. Now, the writer’s block is spreading into my blog, so I find I’m missing the chance to talk about events or books or opinions when the topics are still relevant. I’m not posting so much anymore, full stop!
I think the London lifestyle has something to do with this: it feels at once like a lot is happening, and yet I’m thinking less than ever before. I love my job, but with the level I’m at it is largely admin, which isn’t particularly mentally stimulating. And I spend a lot more time on chores than I did when I was 18, which is obviously hugely boring and takes up too much time.
Anyway, enough excuses – time to motivate myself! I recently read ‘Eight Tips for Sustainable Blogging’ on The Daily Post, and I especially want to remember the first two: ‘Blog like nobody is watching’ and ‘Perfect is the enemy of Done’.
I am going to try to pull myself out of this creativity slump simply by writing more. If I can set aside even an hour a week to write freely, without judging myself too much, then perhaps I can make a habit of it. And eventually produce something that doesn’t suck!