TAKING THE PLUNGER by VALERIE LAWS
|Man wielding his mighty plunger|
You know, we all get bunged up now and again. No, I’m not talking about constipation, I leave that to cringe-making TV ads. However I might be using plumbing metaphors, partly, ok, largely so I can write about men with enormous tools (yes I know there are female plumbers, and small tools, but those are for other blogs, other times).
|Man with enormous tool. Just because I like writing that.|
There have been many discussions of Writers’ Block online, and responses are reminiscent of those about sea- or morning-sickness, or gluten or dairy intolerance, in that those who’ve never had it (YET), often seem to assume it’s imagined or just other writers being over-precious weedy wets chiz chiz. Just apply bum to chair, fingers to keyboard, and keep going, they bark like Sergeant Majors. Those of us with livings to earn can’t afford to have WB! Well those who lay bricks can’t afford to have bad backs, and yet they do. Others, at all levels of fame and success, however measured, are haunted by the condition to varying degrees.
It could be you’ve run out of ideas. It could be you’ve exhausted your resources, and need to live a bit, get out and ‘fill the well’ with experiences before writing some more – those contracted to write more books/poems/plays than their brains want to may be in this position. I don’t tend to run out of ideas, in fact I sometimes have too many. I work in many genres, and at times, masses of creative ideas for art installations, plays, blogs, poems, crime fiction, comedy, one-woman shows, flood in, and the result is a standstill as they get wedged in the revolving door of my available time and attention. Snatches of dialogue, brilliant plot points, beautiful images, stories aching to be told, pester me like a brood of demanding toddlers, each jealously stopping me from giving my time to the others.
|Ever get this?|
|Available in paperback or on Kindle.|
A warning: the tone of Julia Cameron’s narration is New Age-y, hipster and quasi-religious. Though she makes it clear that what she calls ‘God’ is the creative principle at the heart of the universe, and you don’t have to subscribe to it as a deity to do the course. It’s not about believing anything, just doing it and seeing what comes up. If you can let that side of it pass, it can bring out not only lots of new creative ideas and useful insights into how you think about yourself and your work/play and how you allow yourself to be a writer/musician/potter: but also, it can be a way to bring out latent memories, quite surprising some of them, issues you never resolved and have almost forgotten, but which are still slowing you down and nibbling away at your self-esteem. The words of a spiteful bully, or ex-lover, or teacher. Connecting with your ‘inner child’, who is the creative person inside you with all a child’s needs, irrationality, joy and fragility, is a large part of it.
|Oops, found my inner child...|
Another source of inspiration if your well has temporarily run dry or you'd like a kick start in a new direction, Marie Lightman who runs Writers' Cafe in Newcastle upon Tyne, has taken on the challenge of blogging a new writing prompt every day for a year, so pop in here any time https://marielightmanpromptresponse.wordpress.com/about/
Find out more about my various projects and productions on valerielaws.com
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