Your creativity needs food.
There’s this video game I used to play as a child. It’s called Gauntlet. In Gauntlet, you wind your way through an endless maze in a castle to get rewards and to move onto different levels. When monsters attack, and you’re injured, you can eat food to regain vitality. The line that plays in my head is “Red Warrior needs food badly.” That means I ignored the prior warnings to get food and pushed myself to the point where there is now an 80/20 chance of my losing a life.
But I so want that next treasure box. I just need to get past these ghosts.
Are we feeding our creativity? Or are we stretching it out, hoping it will sustain us enough to finish that novel or picture book, only to leave it half-finished, or worse…poorly written?
Do we say: “I can’t go to bed until I write one thousand words on this novel”, instead of “I’m going to schedule time this week for uninterrupted writing so I can make my goal.”
But Des, what does that have to do with feeding my creativity?
When we take the time to feed our creativity, our writing flows better. We are taking time to be four spheres oriented.
“Red Warrior needs food badly.” Your creativity needs food if you plan to reach the treasure. Otherwise, you’ll be stuck with a half-finished product or one you won’t want to share with anyone.
Now in the aforementioned video game, you have to have a strategy. You must know where the food is (treasure boxes), and you must know where the enemy is and how to get around them, or defeat them to get to the exit.
You need a strategy for not only your writing but for your creativity.
Feeding your creativity is just like feeding your body. Your mind clears. You have focus. You have energy to tackle anything. Except a dragon. No one can tackle a dragon.
If you’re having a hard time getting any writing done ask yourself if you are feeding your creativity.
What are some ways to feed your creativity?
Just like zombies, everyone is different, but here are some suggestions. Keep trying them until one sticks, or your mind comes up with a different scenario that works.
- Go for a walk. No, your backyard doesn’t count. Walk someplace that takes you at least fifteen minutes to get there. That gives your mind time to clear and your creativity a chance to “see” what’s around you to spark joy…interest.
- Speaking of sparking joy…does your writing space allow your mind to wander into your WIP, or does it scream “declutter me”?
- Watch a movie or read a book in a different genre than you are writing in. Our brains are amazing machines and they can synapse together connections we never would have thought possible if we just let them.
- Exercise. That serotonin thing is legit! Exercise is a great substitute for Absinthe to get you mind to a higher plane.
- Read/write poetry. Scarcity of words can often make our brains wake up to make connections to the world around us.
Whatever you do…make sure Red Warrior does not run out of food.
Desiree Middleton is a published author and produced screenwriter. She holds an MFA in writing for Children and Young Adults from Hamline University. She resides in Los Angeles.