Writers are constantly finding ways to get around a block that does not let them express the way they would like to. Either there is no writing or not enough in quantity and quality.
Feeling stuck is a commonplace thing. We get into a routine and before long into a rut. Creatively, it has happened to me in my writing. I was writing well, being productive, finding much joy and then things just tanked. The creative pursuit became more of a predictable thing, the topics became similar, the flow of ideas and the structure of the writing pieces looked duplicated.
Once stuck, it is easy to stay stuck. It is also easy to dissolve in angst, when trying to look for solutions. But the angst and the self pity is so overwhelming and sneakily satisfying that it makes it difficult for us to find answers sincerely.
So, here I was, stuck in a writing routine, not having anything new to say, rehashing the same topics and lines of thought. To shake up things, I decided to just ‘be’ for a while, finding my connection back to my creative core.
Exploring Other Creative Outlets
I started taking long walks, enjoying the natural beauty and the architecture of the hill town I was living in, at that time and this started me dabbling in photography.
Capturing the mountains, the beautiful vistas, the sunrises and the sunsets was easy; everything was so picturesque. But no matter how much I tried, I could not take acceptably good photos of the imposing church towers, the Gregorian style architecture of the theatres and the buildings. I felt as stuck in photography as in writing.
Making Connections: How I Got Unstuck
I pored over articles online about how to capture imposing structures. One article talked about singling out interesting parts of a building and focussing on them. This made good sense. If I could not take a panoramic shot of the place, I could step up close, zoom in to the quaint lamps, a portion of the arches and just one towering window instead of them in a row.
And all of a sudden, it all came together. I was capturing the essence of places by focussing on the details.
I decided to use this lesson for my writing. When I was not able to produce pieces that spoke sweepingly of the human condition, I walked in close to one person, her life, her struggles and her spirit. This helped me get the attention of the readers. I could then back up, fill in the details and relate this one story to the larger picture of life.
We can find inspiration in unexpected places, we just need to stay open.
Which creative pursuits, other than writing, are you passionate about?
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