Cycles and Routines

Hello again everybody, so today I wanted to talk again about how you write and share a little about my own cyclic behavior when it comes to my own creativity. I don’t know if you’ll identify with this but maybe it’ll help and reassure you in regards to some of your own experiences of writing and creativity.

Many people I’ve talked to about writing or creating have said ‘I just can’t seem to see it through’ meaning that they lose interest in the work they’ve done, file it away and never go back. To me, I’ve found that, rather than a hurdle or a wall this is part of a repeated cycle that I go through from time to time. Writing is a passion for me, but like many passions it’s hard to be passionate all the time. I’ve discussed in these blogs about renewing yourself from time to time and, simply put, if your interest in your work starts to flag then it’s time for you to renew your creativity.

For myself this falls into a predictable pattern and it’s one that I’ve found I can pursue while writing. I read, I watch movies and I play video games. The cycle often falls in that order too. I often joke that my ‘to read pile’ has simply transformed into a ‘to write pile’ but I do still read and I have a few titles to work through yet. Currently I’m reading Tom Holt, ‘An Orc on the Wild Side’ alongside ‘The Walking Dead Psychology’ by Langley. I have Hugh Laurie’s ‘The Gun Seller’ lined up as my next read, whether I get that far before the cycle turns is the question though.

There’s a couple of shows I’m working my way through at the moment, ‘Titans’ and ‘The Witcher’ to name two. They tend to play in the background as I write but, if my attention for the WiP flags I’ll sit and pay them my full attention.

Gaming is something I dip into from time to time. With my recent work it’s as much research as anything else but games now have easily as much narrative contained within them as any movie or other work of fiction so it pays to pay attention. If I’m just looking to recharge my batteries then I opt for simpler games, ‘World of Tanks’, ‘Friday the 13th’ or ‘Dead by Daylight’. Simply round based games where I can have a crack at it and pull out as soon as I want.

I also picked up my guitar for the first time in years. I’ve got to work on rebuilding my calluses but it’s great to be playing again. Writing is very much like learning an instrument, it takes time and routine. Practice, getting your butt in the chair and doing it. Inspiration comes and goes but building routine keeps the flow alive.

Many of you have day jobs and don’t have the time to do all this but keep in mind. If your impetus to write tails away don’t be tempted to ‘replace it’, or don’t think of it like that. Instead accessorize it, find a companion activity that renews your creativity. Exercise is also a good outlet, there are a million things you can do besides your primary creative outlet. I resisted exposing myself to other creative works for a long time, I worried that they would dilute my contribution to my own work by drawing the influence of others. Sometimes it does but I’m aware of the influences so can avoid anything being too similar. Most times I even cite my inspirations to people I’m discussing my projects with.

So, stick with it, renew yourself and find other activities that feed your own creativity. Hurdles and walls might spring up but acknowledge then and realize that they don’t need to stop you permanently. If you’re distracting yourself acknowledge that too, it’s not bad, don’t beat yourself up for ‘procrastinating’ but realize that it’s a necessary part of the creative process.

Keep going and good luck.

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