Well of Creativity

I’ve sat at my computer for nearly two hours racking my brain to come up with a brilliant post.  No go.  Wouldn’t you think after six months of blogging that I should be due for a spectacular blog post that amazes and inspires all who read it?  Yeah, I know.  Too lofty of a goal.

Since I’m not known for brilliance or inspiration, I aimed for the lower standard of simply finding something amusing to blog about, or better yet, relate the everyday event to writing in some way (since this is my writing blog).  I failed there, too.

The sad thing is, I had a glimmer of an idea during my 45-minute bumper-to-bumper commute to work this morning.  My post-it note pad and pen were within reach, but I didn’t want to risk jotting the idea down because, with my luck, I’d end up rear-ending the car in front of me.  Then, I’m afraid, I would have to break my positivity rule and blog about my nasty commute.  No, no; can’t have that.  No angry rants allowed here.

I live in a desert, so I am conscientious about water conservation.   (It hasn’t rained since I-don’t-know-when and it was 105 degrees today…we didn’t get the memo that it’s supposed to be Autumn now.)  I am aware that if wasted, our water supply could be depleted and everything here would die.  It’s already brown and dry, but without water, it would get even worse.

I know you’re probably thinking I’m delirious right now (I could be; I’m awfully tired.)  I mean, what does this have to do with writing?  Here it is:  right now, I feel like I’m low on creativity (like the water in the city’s well) and I’m a little worried that I’ll run out. 

Over the last couple weeks, I’ve been working on short stories.  I finally have an ending written to Kharma’s Way, which I post on Saturday mornings on Serial Central.  I’ve written another short story for my writing class and a third short story that I’m thinking of entering in a contest.  Unfortunately, I can’t share details of any of these with you just yet.  I can’t even mention the ideas because I’m still paranoid that someone will steal the ideas and write stories better than mine.  Old fears never die, I suppose.

So, my creative juices are merely trickling right now.  I will do my best to conserve blog ideas (and not think about it when I’m driving) so you will not have to endure another post such as this one.

I sure hope creativity is a renewable resource…

I’m curious – how do your blog posts come to you?  Do you plan them well in advance, or fly by the seat of your pants?  (Sorry…unintentional, very bad rhyme there.)  Please share.  (Oops, did the rhyme thing again.)


17 thoughts on “Well of Creativity

  1. darksculptures October 1, 2010 / 6:07 AM

    The best ideas always seem to materialize when you can’t write them down. My time seems to be when I’m in the shower.

    That said, I struggle with ideas for blog post because I’m a novelist and not so much a journalist. I was raised old school when an essay was exploration of thought and not an argument. These days that makes me opinionated and most times not appreciated.

    I read blog post that others write and think, my gosh, they are brilliant. Where do they get their ideas? My problem I think stems from wanting to write about writing, but it has all pretty much been said by others and done so well that my little blog is thin on content in comparison. I should take a survey and see who would mind if I quit talking about writing and just wrote whatever was on my mind. 🙂

    • jannatwrites October 2, 2010 / 11:54 AM

      My blog is also supposed to be about writing too, but often, life creeps in there. As for your blog, I think you should take some of the pressure off yourself and write about what’s on your mind. Your writing-related content is so good, though – don’t abandon it completely. Maybe just write about life one day a week?

      Anyway, that’s my 2 cents worth 🙂

  2. Cities of the Mind October 1, 2010 / 12:52 PM

    Well, it works for me the same way drawing does. If I have an idea, I decide where the lines are gonna go, and then I put them there. If I don’t have an idea, I draw the first line that comes to mind, then the next. The brain’s a funny thing; give it two or three lines, and all of a sudden it knows what they’re trying to be. It works the same way for words.

    For example, my guest post at Ollin’s was one where I didn’t have an idea, so I wrote the first thing that came to mind: “If anything, it was hotter in there than the desert air outside. The old man looked up from his Lious L’Amour novel and said, “Son, you’ve got the look of someone who’s been walkin’ a long time.””

    I added a few lines above it, and a few below it, and it the rest just filled itself in. I’ve gotten about half a dozen short stories out of those two lines.

    • jannatwrites October 2, 2010 / 11:58 AM

      Great ideas for formulating short stories…I’ll definitely try it because it works out well for you 🙂 I’ve got nothing to lose because if I make a disaster out of it, I just feed it to the paper shredder (or the recycle bin on my PC) and no one will know about it. Maybe I need to do more single-post stories when I don’t have a blog post topic in mind…

  3. Ollin October 1, 2010 / 9:59 PM

    Janna, this happens to me all the time!

    There’s a couple of things I do:

    First, let the inspiration come to you, don’t chase after it. Let the idea rise up from below sea level and then pop up in the surface. You’d be surprised that it usually does come on its own if you don’t push so hard.

    Second, if it doesn’t come, then I usually just don’t write a post. I usually bring out my guest bloggers to fill in while I think of something, I take a nice long break from blogging, or I do exactly what you just did. Write about it.

    Seems like you already got the right idea. 🙂

    • Ollin October 1, 2010 / 10:00 PM

      oh, and if you’re really in trouble a nice half hour meditation or a long run or walk usually does the trick. 🙂

      • jannatwrites October 2, 2010 / 12:05 PM

        I’ve got an exercise trampoline and a balance ball gathering dust, maybe I can put them to work 🙂

    • jannatwrites October 2, 2010 / 12:04 PM

      Thanks, Ollin. It is a relief that others get stuck too – I think I just let it freak me out too much. (I do have this fear that I’ll only have a certain number of good ideas and I may have used them up already.) Weird, I know.

      You’ve given some good advice – I’ll see what I can do with it!

      • Ollin October 2, 2010 / 8:03 PM

        there are millions of stories to write, and millions of topics to discuss, just think of all the things you think about in one day! 🙂 I’m glad it helped.

  4. Smander October 3, 2010 / 10:01 PM

    Interesting. I was actually thinking about blogging about blogging just the other day…I dont know that I could sustain interest in a blog about blogs though.

    I have to admit that I don’t take blogging too seriously. I just wait until something pops into my head. Or if I’m having trouble with something I put it out there for feedback (like now, I’m having trouble writing emotions and facial expressions so Ive done a bit of a call out for help. Feel free to share any wisdom you might have on the topic).

    • jannatwrites October 3, 2010 / 10:47 PM

      Hi Susie – glad you stopped by 🙂

      I do my best to find at least mildly entertaining blog topics, or if something is on my mind, I write about that. There are so many others that are inspirational or can provide helpful writing tips, I just don’t think I can compare! Then, there are days like I had with this post, where I can’t even come up with one coherent thought.

      I post 3 days a week right now, but if my mind won’t cooperate, I may have to knock it down to twice a week. We’ll see.

      P.S. I commented on your facial expressions post, although it may not be of any use!

  5. Smander October 3, 2010 / 10:15 PM

    Ps I forgot to mention that when I was a little girl my aunt gave me a book about cats that paint. The first picture in that book is the one you have posted on your blog. Amazing. Just amazing.

    • jannatwrites October 3, 2010 / 10:49 PM

      That’s too strange. I just stumbled across it on photobucket.com and decided it was perfect. I didn’t know that painting cats were common enough to have a book about them…interesting 🙂

  6. Barb October 4, 2010 / 6:28 AM

    I usually prepare them during the weekend and schedule them. But last weekend, for example, I did only 2 posts, tomorrow and Story Wednesday, because I’m still mulling about the post for Thursday and Friday I’m waiting for the author to answer to my interview… so sometimes I improvise with the links or other blogger’s posts that trigger my imagination!

    • jannatwrites October 4, 2010 / 6:21 PM

      You’ve got a good plan. I think I should make an effort to work ahead more. I wait for inspiration to come and sometimes it never does.

  7. nrhatch October 7, 2010 / 9:40 PM

    Sometimes ideas bubble up faster than other times.

    If I think of something when I don’t have the time to write the entire post, I start a draft with a couple of notes.

    Then, on days when the idea well is dry, I look through my reservoir of draft ideas until one says, “PICK ME!”

    • jannatwrites October 8, 2010 / 7:59 PM

      That’s a really good idea! I’ve been slow coming up with topics, but I’ll keep my pen and post-its with me so I can be prepared when inspiration strikes. Thanks for stopping by 🙂

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