Victoria pens a guest blog on the future of creative writing for Ravencrafts’s Realm Blog. August 23, 2012
People ask me about “writers’ block” more often than you might guess. Honestly I don’t know exactly what it is or how it feels. I’m into creativity on several different fronts including art, music, and writing fiction. When I need a dollop of inspiration, it’s always there for me – KNOCK ON WOOD !!!!
My process is that I get completely quiet and completely still, close my eyes, and simply say, “Bring me a melody.” Or plot point or whatever. Fill in the blank. This method is as reliable as my belief that the sun will rise tomorrow in the east with or without me. I should add that a lifetime of “seeking” is a factor in the sense that I have been practicing meditation for twenty years and can achieve a state of concentration fairly quickly.
What do I need to make that happen? Not props or tools or other people or magick words or ritual or any other external thing. EXCEPT silence. Of course those of us who live in or near a city never experience true silence because our nervous systems are under siege by thousands of refrigerators humming and thousands of motor rpm’s grinding on the roads, whether we’re consciously aware of it or not.
Don’t get me wrong. I love the advantages of living in a technological age as much
as the next person and even more than most. Were it not for the internet I would not be sharing these thoughts with you now because my first book wouldn’t have taken off due to Amazon.com and electronic reading.
My problem is not with technology. Truthfully, I do love it and could probably write love
sonnets about movies, TV, recorded music, the convenience of internet research, not to mention electric guitars and fast cars. I would hate giving up all that cool stuff and would fight to keep it. No. That’s not the problem. The problem is that I feel like my choice is being taken away. Little by little, in a most insidious fashion, I have experienced what I’ll call “noise creep” which finally came to a head at the gas pump. See the thing is that all I need to be creative is to be left the hell alone. Give me a few minutes and I may have a great idea. Whether that idea is a book or song or painting isn’t important. What’s important is the creative exercise.
There was a time when I could get something else done if I was forced to be on hold. I trained myself to “tune out” elevator music, but there’s just no way I can “tune out” looped commercials. PLEASE, I’M BEGGING YOU, NOT AGAIN!!!
There was a time when I could wait in line at the bank and keep the company of my own thoughts. Now I get CNN on overhead TV monitor.
There was a time when I could wait for a plane in the boarding area with my book or my thoughts. No more. Overhead speakers wired into the fancy flat screens spaced at regular intervals mean I’m held prisoner by whatever is playing.
When I was in Ireland, the pubs that had been a place of gathering and conversation for literally centuries were being retrofitted with big flat screens for football (soccer) and turned into sports bars. Progress? You decide.
For me the tipping point was the new gas pumps with the viewing screen and obnoxiously loud speakers with snippets of news and commercials. I started pushing every button I could see. Eventually I found one that turned the sound off. Thank the gods.
So, with all this encroachment on our “alone” time and by that I mean the time when we get to enjoy the companionship of ourselves sharing communion with ourselves, how are we supposed to be creative? How can we function in this riotous new world that seems to CONSPIRE to keep us from thinking?
Don’t think it hasn’t crossed my mind that, the more you can distract people and keep them from thinking, the easier they are to lead. Shades of decades-old science fiction. Do I think all these portals that are vying for my attention are interlocked in a conspiracy with that old guy who runs G.E. at the helm? I’m not willing to go that far, but, I will say that merchants are always looking for a bigger, louder megaphone than the vendor in the metaphoric stall next to them.
Can we rise above this? Sure. But only if we’re aware of it.
Why should you care? Because our one true expression of the divine is creativity. All the other mammals eat, work, play, and procreate. This is the only thing that sets us apart. Whether you find that expression in writing fiction or sculpting mud pies with your kids is unimportant. What is important is finding a path to that expression even when it gets harder.
Now I really should say something about my books since I was given the opportunity to guest post.
The second book in my paranormal romance/fantasy/18+ series (heavy on the romance) will be released October 14th on Amazon.com in print and ebook. Being the second book in a series, The Witch’s Dream draws from characters and situation presented in the first book, My Familiar Stranger, available in e-format and in print within a few days. I will be releasing more excerpts between now and mid October and the book trailer will be available October 1st. Visit me on Facebook for up to date news. www.facebook.com/vdanann