Does anyone else experience the thing where words literally appear in your head? Of their own free will? Almost like a movie. You aren’t actually creating them, you are just the vessel for the muses unreliable spirit. She is the real being in control of those words, when she speaks you must write, if you don’t the words swirl round and round and drive you crazy. And how when she’s on vacation in the Bahamas (the bitch) you sit at your desk, chin in palm, gazing out into a void of blank pages in utter despair? That’s how I feel it is for me. Perhaps I’m nuts. BUT! I know that if I’ve got something to say, or a character has something to say, I hear it – or see it – in my head first. It flows into my head in surround sound and I get it down one way or another.
Sometimes, however, there is no movie playing.
I often find that switching up the medium of creativity, can help coax my muse from her sun-bed and come play with me for a while. I’m not particularly good at much else (never ask me to draw), but if I’m stuck for creativity, which really bums me out, some things can stimulate the creative pulse.
A few of my favourite pastimes are reading, cooking and listening to music. Although reading is more of a guilty pleasure. It might stimulate my review-post mind but not so much when it comes to my work in progress.
Cooking may not seem to some to be creative, but it definitely is. For one, it invokes your senses. Art, the product of creativity, is a physical manifestation of the senses. Hence why people react to it in such emotive ways. Cooking involves using your senses as well as the using the mind. Getting your hands involved in the textures of the ingredients (baking cookies I find is especially good for hands), teasing your sense of smell, using it and your mind to pair the right herbs and spices, your sense of taste to check for balance – sweet, tart, sour, spice. The happy vibe always shoots down my spine when the finished product is gobbled up.
After about a month with basically no computer as my previous one had died, I had a few days free this past week with my brand new computer. You would think it a perfect time for me to get a few words down. But alas, the movie wasn’t playing.
So in the 3 spare days, I did something I’ve wanted to do for a while now. I made a movie of my own. Well, video actually. It is a compilation of some footage and images taken over the last 5 months of my travels. It is posted to the YouTube channel linked to the travel blog my partner and I created called Eat. Seek. Travel., please pop over if travel interests you and take a look. I’m so excited by the video I have posted it below.
While I was making it, and closer to it’s completion, I felt that rush I get when I really like a scene I’ve just written, or when a plot point falls into place. The happiness and sense of accomplishment that you have created something out of nothing. It got me using my senses, it got me to focus and concentrate while letting my sense of “what feels right” flow.
I also think that sometimes we pressure ourselves so much to write, or to paint, or to do whatever it is we usually enjoy, because we feel we should or we have to, we inadvertently take the enjoyment out of it and it takes on a chore-like essence. Creativity takes place in many forms. The next time you are feeling stumped, try your hand at another art form and enjoy the simple pleasure you get from setting your imagination free. You never know what you might create. Whether it’s art or whether it’s dinner, it’s sure to be fun.