I’m writing this post pretty last minute. I can already hear you saying, “But Cornelia! You had a whole two weeks to come up with something good!” Yeah, well, it’s hard coming up with topics sometimes. Also this thing happens to me where I think about a few topics all week then when I go to actually write about them I completely blank. I haven’t yet gotten into the habit of writing down those ideas as I get them, mostly because I mull things over when I’m driving or when I’m at work, so I can’t always get to a pen or my phone.
That’s basically how being a writer works sometimes though and I think maybe I’m too lenient with myself on it. Ideas cultivate more ideas. I haven’t been writing down ideas for a while and I’m finding that my creativity suffers because of this. Writers often get asked where their stories come from. I can’t answer that. I just get ideas or I don’t. It could be a title or a news story or a picture or I could just see something while driving that suddenly gives me a novel idea. Recently though, I haven’t been coming up with as many ideas. I haven’t been feeling as creative. I haven’t been writing anything outside this blog. I’ve essentially let my writing muscles go and my brain is a couch potato now.
It’s a lazy thing. I know I can’t possibly write every idea I’ve ever had or will have so why bother writing them all down anyway? It’s not like I can take every thought to the end. Not every idea is worth it. A lot of ideas fall apart with only a little prodding. Like I said, ideas cultivate more ideas. When I treat ideas like hidden gems that could become full novels then I tend to get MORE hidden gems. Eventually one will be good enough to really take off but I may never get to that if I discard every one before it. Letting myself think about each possible story or turning a moment into a poem in my head gets my brain off the couch. It’s not exactly like work. It’s more fun than anything else. But it’s necessary.
It’s so so easy to give up on cultivating seemingly useless story/creative ideas. Work, home life, and everything in between can get in the way. This isn’t the first time I’ve done this to myself either. It’s a back and forth process. As my life gets busy I feel like I have to let something go so it’s often story ideas because they can clutter my mind. When I need to focus on my life I can’t be constantly thinking about character’s lives.
Sometimes it feels like I’m giving up on writing altogether when I realize what I’ve done to my creativity. But I have to remind myself that even though this happens, I always come back. I eventually see what I’ve done and figure out the solution. That’s where I am right now. Realizing it and making a plan to fix it. Actually part of the solution is already in motion since Charlotte and I have been sending writing prompts back and forth. It helps us both and I have to admit I didn’t spend much time on the last one (sorry, Charlotte!) but I will be better in the future!
I’m finding more and more that taking care of yourself mentally is incredibly important. I’ve mentioned before that when I’m reading my Bible consistently I am happiest. Writing and cultivating ideas helps too. So does making sure that I have a little alone time each day. These things are small and not time consuming but they’re so important to me. When I’m skipping reading my Bible, not thinking up writing ideas, and I’ve had almost no time to myself it really shows in my attitude and mood. I can see a very real difference in myself.
I guess I’m realizing how easy it is to let these little things go even though I know I’m far worse off because of it. Well, it’s something I realize over and over in my life and I’m sure that everyone’s done the same at some point. Do the little things because you love them. Even when you don’t think you have time. You have time. You have a minute. You have 30 seconds. It matters even if your negativity is saying it doesn’t.