Friday, June 17, 2011

Creative Energy

In my day job, Perseverate is a word I seem to use a lot. A percentage of the kids I work with are on the Autism spectrum and frequently have difficulty getting stuck on a particular train of thought or behavior and are having a hard time shifting onto something else.

I love this word--perseverate.

As I surf through blogs and twitter and websites related to writing, it seems that the topic of writers block has been coming up a lot just lately. I, thankfully, have never had to deal with this. But I imagine for those who have publishing deadlines looming or are counting on their writing to pay the mortgage, writers block can feel like the angry troll blocking the bridge--you just have to get to the other side! You're standing on that bridge, standing, standing, waiting for that damn troll to go away. You can see the other side for God's sake.

You're perseverating on getting rid of that troll and to the other side. To your outcome. The outcome that is a deadline met and a check cashed. All of life begins on the other side of that damn bridge.

Ha, I just thought of something. That damn troll may also be the agent you're waiting for or your offer from the publisher (ahem.) It could be anything really that you are obsessing about and that obsession is blocking you in some regards.

That obsession is the troll.

I was reading yesterday about letting go of outcomes. That when we spin and spin and spin over the outcomes of our actions, we often times remove ourselves from the creative energy of our project itself. We put more time, thought and energy into the wanting of the outcome instead of into the project itself.

Basically, our project is less because of our obsessive desire for the outcome (finding an agent, editor, glowing review, whatever really.)

I don't know for sure what the answer is to this (I'm completely guilty myself.) But I do think it must have something to with shifting. We have to shift those spinning thoughts away from that particular bridge. Maybe we need to take a stroll along the bank we are currently on. Enjoy the thoughts about the bridges we've already crossed (starting to write, finishing a chapter, finishing a book, finding an agent, you get the idea.) Being thankful for where we are and putting out energy into the aspects of our work that we can control...the quality.

If we stroll along that bank far enough, enjoying that moment, we may find another, troll free bridge, just over the next hill.  

So what do you think, any trolls blocking your bridges lately?


  1. I think about this a lot. It takes so much energy to research agents, perfect query letters, and maintain a blog, that I wonder sometimes if it's worth it when it takes away from my creative time. Somehow, though, it all has to get worked on. Letting go of the things we can't control is probably the first step, and I can't control agent tastes or the market.

  2. There's always that troll in one form or another that I try my hardest not to focus on! Great post.

  3. Yes, those ruminative cognitions are often a problem! Lately though, I've been dying to bury my head in revisions in order to avoid thinking about that stuff! Fortunately, my agent complied and sent me her notes on my newest project just at the right time :)

  4. Great post, Becky.

    We put more time, thought and energy into the wanting of the outcome instead of into the project itself. = work.

  5. I am not sure... but you got me thinking, and thats a start!

  6. Ooh, great thoughts on this. Those trolls are definitely boogers.

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