A quote attributed to many different writers goes something like this, "writing is easy, you
just sit in front of the blank page until drops of blood form on your forehead". Which
gives testimony to the terror of creation.
So don't make yourself sit in front of the blank page alone! Make use of the limbic system
of your brain. You may write with the more advanced parts of your brain (the cerebrum), but
you need your limbic system to face the blank page, canvas, screen, or storyboard.
Your higher brain is filled with thoughts and beliefs telling you how difficult creating is,
that you have nothing to say, or how you don't deserve the attention of others; all
conspiring together; bringing beads of blood falling from your brow. So bypass them and
go straight to the limbic system for help:
- Sights - Create a visually appealing environment. From the color of your walls, type of lighting, or choice of plants or flowers on your desk. Take an interest in how you shape the environment in which you create. Trigger visual associations to past memories of success with your environment.
- Sounds - Music and nature sounds create a sense of pleasure, focus and confidence and support your creative energies.
- Smells - Candles, incense, scented wax, or oils provide similar pathways around the thinking brain.
- Touch - what you sit in, write with, or wear impacts your sense of creativity.
When I was younger and performing in plays and comedy sketches, a friend of mind was cast in a short film. He wasn't able to give the emotion the director wanted -- he slapped him. The expected reaction pleased the director, "yes! that's what I want, now do the scene that way!" Not recommending you slap yourself to get in the right mood, but using what you have at your disposal to move you into that space to create should be part of your toolkit.
Just a third way through the writing for the day. I'm already tired staring at the back of my wrinkled hands. Spring weekend afternoon, near freezing temperatures finally giving way to heat rising from the balcony chase lounge. In need of sunlight, I'm up with my straw hat and favorite silk short sleeve. Toes curled with knees cradling against my laptop. Squinting at the screen feeling the warmth on my shins. Comfortable, I'm feeling creative; hoping you get the idea.
How do you face the blank page?
For more on tips on wringing creativity out of your brain, check out, Thinking Write: The
Secret to Freeing Your Creative Mind.