Jonah Lehrer says in his book, Imagine, “Every creative journey begins with a problem. It starts with a feeling with frustration, the dull ache of not being able to find the answer. We have worked hard, but we’ve hit the wall. We have no idea what to do next.”
It’s comforting to know that a block within our writing is not only normal, but leads us to inspiration.
According to Lehrer, “The act of being stumped – – – is an essential part of the creative process. Before we can find the answer – before we probably even know the question – – – we must be immersed in disappointment, convinced that a solution is beyond our reach. We need to have wrestled with the problem and lost.”
So if you are muddling through your mushy middle or plodding through a particularly picky plot point, don’t worry, just wonder. Lehrer points out that the best creativity happens not when we are trying too hard, but when we aren’t. Daydreaming, sleeping, and NOT thinking about it actually is part of creativity too.
Now I’m going to relax, daydream and eat chocolate. After all, it’s writing, right?
1. Read Imagine, by Jonah Lehrer and come up with out-of-the-box ways to create your art.
2. Write without sitting in front of your computer and minus a writing instrument in your hand.
3. Draw an object or a person you’ve seen every day. Lehrer points out that drawing is a different kind of thinking. We observe more acutely when we must recreate it.
4. Now write about what you’ve drawn.