Writer’s block: The inability to put words on paper or to express a thought is a condition experienced at some time by most writers. Actually it happens to those who write, paint, do crafts – pursue any creative endeavour. The only way I’ve overcome it is to start doing. Jotting down a few random words or the thoughts filling my mind, maybe describing my frustrations – anything at all. As an artist I scribble in a sketchbook until something takes form or a shape grabs me and directs my hand and my mind. With words or marks on the page new associations and ideas begin popping up. Then something amazing happens. I’m lifted out of my everyday mind and body, into a meditative state where time and space no longer exist. If I’m left undisturbed I can remain in this state and focus on my creative project for hours at a time.
I call this state “Creative Euphoria”; it’s like a runner’s high and you’d think it would be addictive, appealing and I would strive to get there as often as possible. But to this point in my life I’ve actually done the opposite. Many times I find ways to avoid it. Something I refer to as “Creative Distraction” is responsible for this. Activities like watering plants, tidying up the house, looking for a new dinner recipe or checking email become more important than writing or painting. These types of distractive behaviours are also considered signs of writer’s block but for me they seem more connected to the guilt I feel about unfinished or ignored chores. I need to constantly remind myself that the plants will survive an hour or two without watering, dust won’t care if I leave it another day, friends will patiently wait for my email replies and family will dig in and help prepare meals.
Life moves on no matter what I do or don’t do; I can’t stop the clock or the calendar. I’m getting older and every day I avoid writing and painting is one more day lost to me forever. My dreams of being published and selling my artwork are still alive. However, they need to be nurtured so they can manifest. Books and paintings won’t magically appear; they require time, commitment and hard work.
Before posting this blog, I searched “Creative Euphoria” on the internet and discovered others are using this phrase. In particular I found a short article by Barb Kobe, partly taken from Euphoria! Personal Learning Course – Learning Strategies Corporation ©2000. The article talks about using a 4-step ritual to enter into your personal creative flow. You can find the article at http://www.barbkobe.com/igniting_your__creative_euphoria.htm. For complete program information visit http://www.learningstrategies.com/Euphoria/Home.asp
I plan to use the technique to tackle those creative distractions and writer’s block. Then I’ll blog about the results. I think this process would work with anything you want to accomplish, not just creative pursuits. If you have dreams you wish to bring to life, consider reading the article so you can find your personal Creative Euphoria.
© Wendie Donabie 2012