Joy Held's Writer Wellness

"Be well, write well."

Tuesday Tickle: Creativity Cannot Be Timed

on May 10, 2011

 

There are five primary areas of practice to the Writer Wellness plan. Every other week I will post an idea for relaxation (Monday Meditation,) creative play (Tuesday Tickle,) fitness and exercise (Wednesday Workout,) ournaling and misc. (Thursday Thought,) and nutrition (Friday Feast.)

It was a fascinating lesson in journalism class one day when our professor gave us the definition of “deadline.” Being public school zombies, we understood the message of turning things in on time, but Ms. Phipps continued with our lesson and enlightened us to the derivation and still prominent use of said “deadline”.

Courtesy of Webster: deadline-1.A time limit, as for payment of a debt or completion of an assignment. (This is the definition we were well acquainted with.) 2. A boundary line in a prison that prisoner’s can cross only at the risk of being shot. (In the back we assumed.)

There is conclusive written evidence of the word “deadline” being used as early as 1864 concerning the boundaries at Union and Confederate prisons such as Andersonville and Camp Oglethorpe in Georgia. The image of being gunned down still haunts me when I set or receive a deadline for an assignment. There are penalties to pay for missing deadlines. This is another example of time gone wrong in the wrong hands. 

Creativity rebels when given a deadline. It’s another contradictory situation to be sitting between a deadline and a blank page. So we have to devise methods to trick our creativity into staying juicy and accessible so whenever we need some we just turn on the tap and out comes the good stuff. “Impossible,” we hear from disgruntled artisans who have been waiting perhaps years for the good sentence or the great painting. Creativity doesn’t respond well to commands either, but it can be cajoled and caressed out of the vessel and onto the page with a few regular habits. 

Here are some tried and true tricks for keeping creativity hot and ready at a moment’s notice.

1.Journal-writing down thoughts, ideas, crap, and general observations is an exercise that creativity responds to happily. Keep it simple and journal habitually. Just a few words a day keeps the writing muscle in shape.

2.Blog-you don’t have to maintain a blog to write in them. Find blogs online with interests similar to yours, read and respond regularly.

3.Read-sounds simple, but keep a pile of a variety of reading materials accessible and where it will remind you to spend fifteen minutes every day reading whatever you want. Variety is the key. 

What do you do to keep your creativity ready at the drop of a hat? 

Meanwhile, remember to look for a digital or print copy of Writer Wellness, A Writer’s Path to Health and Creativity at Who Dares Wins Publishing, http://whodareswinspublishing.com

And check out these great blogs for ideas to keep your writing and publishing healthy and prosperous.

http://writeitforward.wordpress.com/ Bob Mayer 

http://jenniholbrooktalty.wordpress.com/ Jenni Holbrook 

http://warriorwriters.wordpress.com/ Kristen Lamb 

http://inspiration4writers.blogspot.com/ Inspiration for Writers, Inc. 

http://pentopublish.blogspot.com/ Natalie Markey

Have you subscribed to this Writer Wellness blog yet? Get email updates when a new post is added. Click “subscribe” and leave your email. That’s it and thanks in advance! 

Be well, write well.

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2 responses to “Tuesday Tickle: Creativity Cannot Be Timed

  1. Marcia says:

    Whenever I hear the word “deadline”, I will be remembering the original use: being shot if crossing the “line”. It will probably mean more to me now!

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