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On Writer’s Block, Slumps, and Bohemia

kawaiidaigakusei at 12:00AM, May 17, 2021

The cyclical pattern of creative forces of energy comes and goes like the ocean waves during the high tide. Writing happens so naturally on some days, as easily as cutting a pad of butter with a warm knife, whereas there are other days that require five hours of positive self-talk in order to get enough motivation to get out of bed.

Handling the bouts of high energy as well as low energy is a task far too familiar for a creative person. And it is okay.

One of the driving forces of creation is that life is finite and that life has an expiration date. William Shakespeare’s eighteenth sonnet, “Shall I Compare Thee to a Summer’s Day?” entertains the idea that immortality of a youth can be reached through writing a poem. Productive creativity was at an all time high last year because there was a greater sense of urgency, a desire to create a piece of work that would outlive the span of a human life.

Faced with Writer’s Block, read the Classics starting with Ancient Texts.
Faced with a Slump, go outside, walk along a sandy shore and touch the water and sand with bare feet or watch a wondrous sunset.
Faced with a Lack of Motivation, take a well-deserved break (again, it is okay).

Listening to this advice, I started on John Milton’s Paradise Lost followed by the Biography of Marcel Duchamp. The first book placed me in the front row while listening to speeches given by the Stygian Council; the latter taught the improbability of separating the art from the artist because the artist is needed for the art to have a bit of madness. Reading through and studying one person’s entire body of work can really put into perspective that the work accomplished in a lifetime really can make a difference.

It will be nice to discover the destination where the next Bohemia, a place for writers or artists living an unconventional life, will take place.

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hushicho at 5:49PM, May 18, 2021

A wonderful, magical article, and very good advice! A small bit of trivia: the sonnet of Shakespeare's was written to a young man, which many do not know.

Banes at 1:04PM, May 17, 2021

Great article. I've slowed down to almost nothing as far as uploading. The next planned stories for both my comics have become tough. Not sure if the ideas are worth doing, or if they're what I want to do. On the upside, I've been learning some new software and same as you, dpat, playing around with different things and testing some stuff out (including new stories and series, but mostly just testing various approaches/character types out).

dpat57 at 11:01AM, May 17, 2021

I've been hit with writer's block (or is it writer's apathy?) for quite a while now, the prose WIPs just aren't moving forward, maybe it was the gloom of the pandemic, maybe it's changes in me as I continue to fossilize and chase kids off my lawn. When I can't get words moving, I turn to comics instead, at least that makes me feel I'm accomplishing something. When you see updates, that means I've stared at a prose WIP for most of the day but got nowhere, so I opened Paint.NET and started fiddling around with arty things instead. Always have a backup hobby, it helps keep you sane. **twitches**

cdmalcolm1 at 4:35AM, May 17, 2021

Normally, when this happens to me, I stop focusing on what I’m trying to write and think of other parts of the character’s life and start creating a new linear time line. Sometimes by just doing that, it creates a possible answer to my current story or possible new questions I need to answer. With SolarCell the super hero, I have all her stories planned out BUT I also had some questions about her that needed to make sense... I got stuck. One of the first things I did, was create a side story about a crush on another person, (Superhero), she likes. I still didn’t finish that story, but it answered a few questions that made me continue back on course with the main story. If this doesn’t work for you, maybe write a completely different tale about someone else. You just might find an answer to your creative block. Sidetrack yourself for a bit.

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