I’m in a bit of a creative writing funk right now. Not a block where I want to come up with ideas but can’t, but rather just a general tiredness of creating. I think these things are natural. I’ve been working hard on my novel since last June, and recently have been trying to write more short stories. I have been creating non-stop for two-thirds of a year and I need a little hiatus.
I’m not really worried about it. Writing has always been a little cyclical for me and I know in another week or two I’ll snap out of it. In the meantime my Monday nights have freed up a bit. Mondays are long days for me and writing usually is a good way to give that day a sense of purpose, but right now my brain needs a break. So much so in fact, that my wife actually ordered me to play video games last night (I know!). Besides the awesomeness that is a wife that actually tells you to play games, I think this actually makes a deeper kind of sense.
Gaming, or other distractions, engages my brain in different ways than the focused one I’ve been doing. It allows me to make new connections, to give other parts of my creative soul a turn (i.e. Fractals), and lets me frag headless screaming bombers (Serious Sam). A few more nights of this and my head should be back on straight, even if their’s aren’t.
Another way I pull myself out of writing funks is thinking about my book trailer. I’ve said before that sometimes I visualize parts of my book as scenes from a movie, and often these scenes have a soundtrack. If I have a good sense of the whole book, I can pick and choose moments and string them together in my head like a modern movie trailer (usually no voice over, just music).
Probably the first time I did this was with the trailer music for LOTR: The Two Towers, specifically the Requiem For A Dream remix version. I was working on a series of books at the time (which I’m starting to redraft now), and the trailer fit a lot of scenes from the second. For the novel I just finished, a sci-fi thriller, the third track off the Inception soundtrack seems appropriate (“Dream is Collapsing“). Sometimes, instead of a trailer I do the opening credits, like for the noir-technological mystery I’m getting ready to send to publishers. In that case Massive Attack’s “Special Cases” is what pops in my head.
Again this engages the brain in a different way and helps me to think about my book in a completely new way. I’ve expanded this practice to create a full soundtrack for my latest book, one which I listened to while writing the first draft. It can be an interesting way to understand the rise and fall of your book.
What ways do you pull yourself out of a funk?