There are times that words elude me. That an issue or topic comes up, and I feel like there is something really important that needs to be expressed, but even the emotion or thought is stuck somewhere. As though whatever it is that needs expressing is too big to come out. So I don’t express it. It sits, growing and simmering until it explodes out of me either creatively or emotionally or both. Or I chip little pieces of it off, and let it out bit by bit, and manage to avoid the explosion.

I have so much that I want to say about censorship (bad), and hypocrisy (also bad), and how our priorities as a culture are horribly skewed. I want to discuss the recent acts of violence both here in the US and abroad, and the disconnect again of thinking of other people as actual fellow humans rather than “different”. Yet I can’t. It’s all tangled up in my head and stuck in my throat. Great big knots that need to slowly be undone. Strands that need to be rolled up like yarn balls. And I don’t know how long that’s going to take.

It makes me nervous, a bit, feeling this way, because it happens rather infrequently. I hope I get unstuck soon.

Writing Rituals

Edits are chugging along on my novella.  Not as fast as I would like, but that is life with a toddler.  I was thinking today about how when I was a younger writer, I had certain rituals that I always liked to do.  First, as part of my character breakdown, I would sketch out each outfit that the main characters would wear for the entire book.  Then, I would spend hours creating the perfect playlist.  When I finally sat down to write (weeks later), I would go in a separate room from my husband, light a scented candle, start my playlist going, keep a steady supply of hot coffee by my side, and set to work.  And I realized that for all my rituals, not a whole lot of work was ever produced because if I didn’t have time to make things “just so”, I didn’t bother writing at all.

Nowadays, I still like to write to music, but I don’t make specific playlists for each work because I don’t have the luxury to do so.  Instead, I put on ambient music with no lyrics or foreign lyrics (to avoid directly influencing my writing) so that my subconscious can float above the sound.  And I still like to have something to drink in hand, whether it be coffee or tea or a tall glass of cold local cream-on-top milk.  When I’m creating art, I usually prefer a glass of wine or a beer.  And I’m more likely to put something mindless on T.V. when I’ve already planned a project out and am just working with my hands.  But beyond that, I no longer have a need to set the space or create the “perfect” creative environment.  Because if I keep waiting for “perfect”, I’ll never finish any of my projects.

Do you feel that you have rituals that help or hinder your creative process?  Do you cling to anything as a way to tell yourself you “can’t” instead of clearing out of your own head so you “can”?