Do you ever sit down with the urge and motivation write and then… nothing happens?
I’m not talking about writer’s block—at least I don’t think I am. I feel like writer’s block is the inability to put words down on the page, when you can’t drive the story forward and don’t know how to continue. Yet sometimes, you know all of that stuff, you have all the inspiration and oomph you need—and you want to do it too—but you just… can’t.
What I’m talking about is more of a creative burnout. A feeling of wanting to be creative, but at the same time not having the energy to make it happen. It’s like wanting to go for a hike, but being too physically exhausted. It’s not that I don’t want to hike, it’s that I can’t.
So what do you do?
One solution is to do something completely different. To carry on with my train of thought: maybe a hike is what you really need when you can’t get in that creative mindset. Or maybe a show or a video games is what your brain really needs to make you relax.
At the same time, I often feel like I’m left with creative energy that I need to spend, I just have to spend it on something else. It’s like I’ve used up my writing budget, but I still have creative money to spend.
So what I do, is that I turn to music.
Music was my first passion. One of my oldest joys, and where I really started exploring my creative side, long before I wrote stories. I learned to play my favorite tunes and sang along with them as I practiced.
I still do. I play guitar—electric and acoustic—heavy metal, rock, fingerstyle and pop. In that order, mostly, and I love all of it. I love learning solos from my favorite metal bands, jamming away loud and carefree. And I love sitting down with my acoustic guitar and write cheeky ballads. I’ve written more than a few, and I’ve sung them for people a handful of times too. I’m hoping to do that more.
You see, music I never get tired of. I hardly ever find myself burning out in the same way as with my other pursuits. If I get tired of practicing, I’ll play something I already know, and when I get tired of that, I’ll put on a show and work on my muscle memory.
Music is my oldest passion, my creative anchor, and my outlet for all that energy I sometimes can’t spend anywhere else. And today, I felt a need to delve into that again, so I bought a new guitar.
I have a few already, more than a few actually, but not that many acoustics. Also, most of them are far away from me at the moment. So I picked up this beauty, second hand. It’s a Washburn, model D14 NM, from 1992. Rosewood sides and back, with a mahogany neck and a rosewood fretboard. It’s nothing too fancy, I got it for a couple hundred bucks, but it has a massive sound and it plays really well. It’s nicely weighted and balanced, and it feels great in my hands. It’s in great condition to be thirty years as well.
Now, I’m not very worried about not having the oomph to write. If anything, I’ll probably have to tear myself away from this new beauty of an instrument. Ah well.
How does your creative mind work? Do you have several arts and crafts you pursue? Different times and places you spend your creative energy? Do you play an instrument, write, make sculptures or paint? Let me know in the comments!
Oh – and my upcoming psychological thriller At The Gate is now available to pre-order. If you’re into reading, I’d love it if you checked it out.
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