A lot has been going on in this chaotic jumble of a mess that could theoretically be referred to as my brain. Of late, I’ve been going through a period of what could only be called “Explosive Creativity”. Random thoughts meet partially formed ideas and get doused with a spattering of inspiration: Boom… on come the lights and the words start to flow. It’s a great place to be.
However, struggling through a block in the flow can be a real stressor for any creative type. It can also cause explosions of a different kind. Our spouses, mates, children, other significant others in our lives…they catch the blowback from those explosions, unintentional as it may be. It’ not easy being the loved one in close proximity to a creative mind. Only when we are unleashed are we at our best, when reigned in and unable to create unimpeded, we are more likely to be unhinged. It’s far better to take a page from explosive experts and set properly placed directional charges—keep our explosions going in the direction of our choice.
But how do we get those explosions to occur? My latest explosion happened after spending time with an author friend (Armand Rosamilia) on the phone, talking about everything under the sun, and even a few things buried in the back yard. That caused a few minor explosions that led into a bigger one, and away we go!10k words and a magazine layout later, and I’m not even winded.
There are a gazillion suggestions out there (no..seriously…look them up) to set off an explosion of creativity. Like any other mentally and/or emotionally infused aspect of our being, the answer is going to be different for each and every one of us. But how we do we determine which way is best to set our explosions in the direction we want them to go? Look to yourself for your answer.
When you’re not writing…
Do you enjoy personal interaction with others? i.e. Talking on the phone, going out for a beer and a hang out session with your friends, Skyping snipes back and forth with your friends while a game of World of Warcraft hangs out in front of you? That’s me. I’m a people person. One phone call turned on the switch and set off the explosion.
Do you enjoy chatting back and forth with more than one person at a time? Social media (Twitter, Facebook, etc.) might be one route to charge yourself, but it can also get you caught up in marketing or making new friends… and the next thing you know, it’s time for bed, or work, or school, or whatever and you’ve just used up all you’re creative time. But if you do enjoy interacting with online persons, or multiple persons at a time, maybe joining a writers’ group (online or in person), forum, or a chatroom might be a good way to get back into your flow.
Are you the voyeuristic type who gains creativity by watching others around you? Take your next lunch break in a busy area… food court at the mall, a busy park or boardwalk, sitting by the fountain entrance of your corporate building.
Does reading stimulate your creative juices? Pick up a book (I prefer to stay away from whatever genre I’m writing in at the moment so as not meld the thoughts in my mind with the creative output of another), but better yet, browse through some of the blogs out there that draw your interest, give you a look at something from a different perspective, or is just for pure knowledge or enjoyment.
Whatever media you connect to the best for other daily or recreational pursuits, those are the things you should be using to stir the chemistry of your next explosion. You not only make it a pleasurable experience as opposed to seemingly never-ending agony, but you may turn your small bursts of creativity into the grand finale explosion of a Fourth of July fireworks display.