Success only flourishes in perseverance -- ceaseless, restless perseverance.
--Baron Manfred Von Richtofen

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Creativity Killers

Here are some of mine:

Lack of Sleep: This one is a catch-22, because often if I want to get any writing done, I have to stay up late to do it. I have to find a balance, though, because I can't be creative when I am dead tired.

Strong Emotion: I'm talking about the kind that takes me by the throat and doesn't let go. The kind that overwhelms all rational thought, and leaves me hung over the next day. Emotional drunkenness. Anger, indignation, anxiety, despair. Believe me, no writing happens when I'm in the grip of one of these. 

Fear, doubt, and envy: These don't come with overwhelming passion. These are much more subtle and insidious. It's the nasty voice inside saying, "That's the dumbest idea ever." "No one will want to read that." "You're just a fraud." "You're not good enough." "You'll never make it." Can't create if that voice is too loud.

Disorder: I can hear my husband laughing at this one. Just for the record, I am not an organized person. I don't spend a great deal of time on housework. I feel I have better things to do than scrub the walls. But I try to maintain a certain level of cleanliness. If the house is so strewn with toys, books, school papers, dirty clothes, etc, that I can barely walk from room to room, it's really hard to get in a creative frame of mind.

Yikes! I hate the creativity killers. I have to counter them with some creativity nourishers: 

Beautiful music
The view from the writing chair
Good books
Family and friends
Prayer and worship
Kind words

I could go on. Luckily, that is a much longer list than the other. So, tell me. What are your creativity killers? What are your creativity nourishers?


Nisa said...

I think those are universal creativity killers! Though I've written some pretty powerful lyrics when I've been passionately upset in the past, I still think I write the best stuff, even sad songs, when I'm happy. Go figure. Great post!

Angie said...

I think we can tap into those strong emotions for more powerful writing. I just can't do it when the emotions are controlling me!

Suzette Saxton said...

I love this article! For me, the biggest killer is fatigue. (I hear you on the sleep one!) And the best nourishers are good writing friends. :) And I'm lucky to have several of those!

L.T. Elliot said...

A lot of your creativity killers are my killers too. You had a great list for countering those "curses" though, and I think I'd like to try a few. Especially the meditation one. =]

Aubrie said...

One of my worst creativity killers is rejection! When I get a really bad rejection for something that I've gotten my hopes up for, I can't write for the next few days.

My creativity nourishers are: wtaching reat movies, looking at artwork, or reading good books!

Great list and great subject Angie!

Rosslyn Elliott said...

I agree about the music. That helps me enormously when I know I need to moderate my emotions. I have a harp CD I really like.

Diana Paz said...

Nice topic. I'm with Suzette, my creativity killer is definitely fatigue!

Michelle McLean said...

One of my biggest killers is disorder also (and I can also hear my husband laughing his head off). If I have to kick a path through any room, I have a hard time concentrating on anything else. Right now I have a kitchen in need of serious attention and it is blocking out all other thoughts. to the kitchen I go :)

Novice Writer Anonymous said...

Killers: self-doubt, blogging, and shiny objects

Nourishers: lightning bolts

Natalie Murphy said...

My killers are homework and exhaustion. By the time I get through all of my university work, I'm so tired I can barely sit up straight, never mind write creatively.

I combat it by trying to get most of my work done during the week so I can take the weekend to sleep and write. If I didn't do that, I'd get nothing done!