Creativity,  Inspiration

What To Do With That Empty, Don’t-Feel-Like-Writing Feeling

 Most artists, presumably, have a lot to say.  They have emotions and connections, stories and accounts, world views and interpretations, images and sentences. An artist pours out their art for the benefit of the hearer, the viewer, and the reader.

But in order for them to pour themselves out, they must have something in their hearts, minds, and souls first. They need to be filled up before they can empty themselves out into their art.

Where do they get their inspiration?

Our stories come, whether we want to admit it or not, from the things that we know. Our subconscious is at work with each word we put together, collecting the images and memories and values into our artwork. Sometimes when we’re in the zone we can see how beautifully all our inspiration works with us.

And when we’re not in the zone, then we may be facing writer’s block. We may be empty.

What to do to fill up?

  • Practice good self-care. I’ve noticed that if I’m especially cross or grumpy, I may just need a sandwich and a nap. But if the anger goes deeper than that, then I need to get to the bottom of it.
  • Fill up by reading. Try something new. I go to my local library’s digital catalog and download a bunch of books I’d never think of picking up and go through them on my phone. It’s hardly inconvenient and if I hate the book, it’s easy to replace it.
  • Expand into other art forms. Try a new recipe. Find a cool craft on Pinterest. Make something — anything. I believe that this will stimulate your creative process enough. You never know. you may find something just as rewarding to do like writing.
  • Watch a live performance. Go to your local theater, or check out what your local community college is presenting. The interpretation of the play will seep into your subconscious and help inspire you later, perhaps in an unexpected way. If you can’t see a live performance, go to the site and check out one of their performances. You’ll be glad you did.
  • Listen to live music. Music feeds the soul. I believe that art is art. And that the creative expressions of one kind of artist will feed the creative needs of another.
  • Show up. Make an appointment with yourself to write a specific amount of time or words daily. And the muse will find you.
  • Enjoy life. Look for positive things around you. It may be that you need to be more deliberate in your practices of mindfulness. Maybe you need to meditate or do a little yoga. Even 10 minutes a day could make a big difference.

You do have a lot to say. You’ll say more when you fill-up the empty spaces.

So go out into the world and discover its marvels and mysteries. Then come back and tell us all about it.

Katharine Grubb is an author, poet, homeschooling mother, camping enthusiast, bread-baker, and believer in working in small increments of time. She leads 10 Minute Novelists, an international Facebook group of time-crunched writers. She lives with her family in Massachusetts.