After spending over four years inundating myself with academic writing and reading material, it has been of some difficulty to transition back into effectively writing creatively. There were countless days in this near half-decade of my life where I sat emptily in front of my computer staring blankly at the screen, hoping that something — anything — would once again spark my creative writing abilities. The truth is, it can be extremely difficult to flip-flop between an academic mindset and a creative one; in post-secondary school, particularly one heavily based in science, we are expected to think of everything critically and quite often, from a singular point of view. It’s unsurprising that the result is an inhibition of creative flow… But there is a way to begin counteracting this, especially once you’ve moved on from that academic mentality and are ready to fully get back into creative writing.
Many times, I convinced myself that I was being creative just by planning out my stories. Though there was something rather imaginative about this (I was still coming up with a fictional story line — from the era of the plot, to the characters, their relationships with one another, and their background stories), I still felt like it just wasn’t enough. This was all done scribbled on pieces of paper in point form and, in a way, I was transitioning myself from a very critical and “abbreviated” research-oriented mentality to a more innovative one. To help with this, I have happily gotten back into the swing of reading as many novels as possible, vying for inspiration with each turn of a page.
As a cry out into the void of time and space in my desperate need to write fictional stories again, I asked for (and received) a We R Memory Keepers Typecast Typewriter from Michaels. Using a typewriter for my creative endeavors has really helped, as it removes me from distractions like social media, emails, and the internet in general. These are all things that I apparently have zero self control over when writing on my laptop. When you feel devoid of that passion for writing, regardless of how momentary it may be in the grand scheme of things, it becomes easy to get distracted by the other things at your disposal — mainly, the aforementioned features a laptop offers, that a typewriter does not.
Needless to say, getting back into novel writing has been a bit difficult. I have pages and pages of ideas for my next story, but am missing the drive to execute it and bring it to life. In between the chapters I write of that story however, I now find myself easily writing poem after poem. This is something that I had done quite easily in high school, but found increasingly difficult (as I moved more into novel writing) toward my senior year and into university. I’ve become quite attached to poetry writing, as it’s something that I can focus on and complete in a brief amount of time, yet still a piece that I can convey a great deal of passion and emotion through.
Of course, the ability to write longer works and once again form intricate lives and complex feelings for fictional characters will return to me once again. In the mean time, I’m content in writing what short pieces I can fully focus on, and brainstorming ideas for the day that I can again immerse myself fully in the written word.
How do you keep on track with your creative writing? What do you do to get yourself out of a writing rut? Let me know in the comments!