Am I a writer?
Am I a writer? Ways to get your creativity syrup flowing.
I never, ever dreamed of being a writer, nor did I like to write. I was a numbers person whose mind tried to calculate and figure everything out. Someone who seriously likes everything to add up and come to a definitive conclusion. I’m convinced my brain was intentionally wired to use the left hemisphere primarily. Somehow, I missed the line where one is granted use of the brain’s right side responsible for expression and creativity. I felt short-changed in that department for years. Until one day in my early forties, life events overwhelmed me, and I decided to write them down to get them out of my head. It seemed logical.
To get my creativity syrup flowing, I kept a daily journal for eight years. Then one day I realized that I had a story worth telling and sharing. My journal entries were nothing more than quick writing dashes to collect random thoughts and happenings. Entries using primarily sentence fragments and lots of exclamation points, question marks, and acronyms like OMG, LOL, & WTH! At the time, I thought if I wrote them down, I could shut my mind up, knowing they were written down for safekeeping if I ever decided to labor over the thought or event at a later date.
I am a writer:
And I did. Eventually, I took years of journal entries and wrote two volumes of my memoir: The Kingdom Has Arrived Volume 1: Foundations and Volume 2: Passion’s Fire. After I self-published Volume 1, I told a mentor that I was not a writer but wanted to make sure my story was memorialized for all eternity. She looked down at my book, looked back up at me, and said, “Amy, you most certainly are a writer. Your first book may not be the best writing you ever do, but you poured your heart and soul out on these pages and published this book on your own. You are a writer.”
Something about holding the book in my hands, knowing that I put the words and sentences together, found an illustrator and designer, an editor, labored over the combination of prose and poetry, and contemplated the location of each letter and image on the page, made me feel accomplished.
I don’t believe either of these volumes is the best writing I will ever do. Still, they ignited my passion for words, expressing myself, allowing myself to be vulnerable and laugh at myself…and galvanized my desire to write. My creativity syrup was beginning to flow. It turned out to be a journey of self-discovery, an opening of my mind to new pathways that flooded my spirit with creativity I didn’t realize possible. The line I missed getting in at the beginning of this lifetime. Now I find writing inspiration everywhere.
People are inspired in various ways… I have tried to sit in a circle with other writers using writing prompts. My mind goes completely blank as I watch others around me busy at work writing down big words rapidly that roll off their tongues minutes later like eloquent melodies. It’s not my thing. It’s as if my creativity syrup flow is drained.
However, I have enjoyed sharing many of my rough drafts with a memoir group that asked me questions and gave me ideas about ways to clarify my thoughts. They even pointed out the information they felt was missing. I find that very helpful because sometimes information stays in our heads, and we assume others know what we think when they don’t.
What works for me may not work for you. My approach to finding out how to get my creative syrup flowing was experimental. I tried as many avenues as I could and eliminated the ones that didn’t work. Here are some ideas that might inspire you to write, expand your mind opening new creative pathways in your brain:
Ways to get your Creativity Syrup Flowing:
- Embrace boredom—Being bored causes my mind to wonder. Society has become, so regimen that much of humanity looks like hamsters on a spinning wheel. Scheduled, scheduled, scheduled. Set an hour or a day aside every once in a while to do nothing. See what pops into your mind and let it flow.
- Keep a daily journal—It doesn’t have to be lengthy or complicated. It can be a couple of boring sentences if that’s all life gave you that day. Over time, everybody has a tale to tell.
- Jot down your dreams—Dreams can be powerful and often are creative. Keep paper and pen on your side table and write your visions, thoughts, and dreams down in the middle of the night or first thing in the morning. You may find your dreams and journal fit together to tell a story, or they may be the start of a best-selling comedy, scary movie, or epic poem.
Last night in my dreams, I was driving an old Mercury convertible, and two grizzly bears were jumping in and out of my car, arguing with one another and complaining that they needed toilet paper. Bizzare! I think this should be a Covid-19 comic strip of some sort.
- Take note of your thoughts while you exercise—much of my inspiration comes from behind the music while running. I stop to email the ideas or words to myself. (and get a little break to catch my breath and motivate myself to finish my workout!) Here’s one of my motherly rewrites:
Shakespeare – “When in the world I stood, I commanded her.”
Me – “Bad boy.”
My Motherly rewrite:
What Shakespeare’s mother would prefer he had said – “If I had been still and learned what I could as I stood in the world speaking borrowed words on borrowed time, being gentle and kind, I would have learned. And with time, I’d find words all mine.”
Me – “Good boy.”
1 Corinthians 3:10-15 – “By the grace God has given me, I laid a foundation as a wise builder, and someone else is building on it. But each one should build with care. For no one can lay any foundation other than the one already laid, which is Jesus Christ. If anyone builds on this foundation using gold, silver, costly stones, wood, hay or straw, their work will be shown for what it is, because the Day will bring it to light. It will be revealed with fire, and the fire will test the quality of each person’s work. If what has been built survives, the builder will receive a reward. If it is burned up, the builder will suffer loss but yet will be saved—even though only as one escaping through the flames.”
Keep your creativity syrup flowing:
- Follow the rules and then break them—Not rules that will get you in big trouble or land you in jail, but things like poetry rules; write a sonnet, a haiku, or a limerick, and then write a free form poem. No rules! Or make your own rules—I do this frequently.
- Experience something new and write about it—Recently, I went sky diving for the first time and am working on a poem about the experience: from complete terror during the free-fall to a symbiotic interlude with nature.
- Get webster’s word a day sent to you—it might inspire you. One day sediment was the word. I went on Wikipedia to research sediment and contemplated the formulas because I like equations. I ended up writing this poem using many of the keywords:
A Dire Situation
No weight to the impact of events on the horizon
of settling traps
The particular matter keeps us moored in a black hole
we funnel about
the devil’s decay to sustain his evil and jealous ways
now saltating we roll
Washing away obscurity from all—
About constant truths?
The curtain shears
New vision appears
Sit Quietly In Nature
Sit quietly in nature—see where your imagination takes you. Last week I was in Sunset Key, Florida, having lunch on my own. There were a few tables of lunch guests talking and a few vacationers on the beach. The wind was blowing, and the palm leaves rustled toward the sandy beach as the white-capped waves crashed on the sand. I started to contemplate what the palm trees might be saying to the waves and started emailing myself combinations of words for a poem or maybe a children’s book:.
The wind, the palm leaves waving in the breeze. The rustling noises indicating things they have openly seen hanging above the seats and the beaches peeping on people completely oblivious. The waves beyond, white caps crashing in, noising a voice as if hollering back chattering with palms about people’s odd sounds: Video games, a cheater, kid’s teachers, catalogs, phone calls, meat-eaters, recipes, music beats, weekend retreats, holiday plans & brother’s sleight of hand. A diet, street riots, mixing drinks, grandma’s clogged sink, silly rules, government fools & the beach goer’s castle tools.
It was just the happenings around me and a few things I threw in because they rhymed, and I like simple rhymes. I’m not sure I will ever do anything with these words, but my advice to get your writing creativity syrup flowing ….
Ꙭ—Ask lots of whys and wonder why not because often that’s when creativity is wonderfully spun.
Get your creativity syrup flowing!