|Finding time to drift with the tide of imagination|
If finding a space for writing and time for writing is often difficult, getting into the right frame of mind for creative writing can be even harder. On the odd occasion I manage to eke out a spare hour or so between tasks at home which I can actually dedicate to progressing my latest project, I often find myself dawdling about, distracted with this and that (Facebook or Twitter, more often than not) and just generally finding thoughts of all sorts popping into my head except, sadly enough, the thoughts I need about plot, or character, or mood, or setting, or rhythm, or imagery that I need. All too suddenly, that spare hour is over and it's back to the housework, or kids, or getting ready for work. And there's never the space in an overworked schedule to relax.
|Relaxing by a waterfall is a perfect place for creative thinking|
In fact in the last six or so months, I have found it almost impossible to concentrate on anything for long enough to create anything, except a tangled mess of words. My attempt to co-ordinate meetings for Gibraltar Writers fell apart because I could not find time to make it to the meetings I had arranged. My attempts to blog were disorganised and lacked any direction. And the characters in my work in progress suddenly became elusive creatures that could not be pinned down in my mind let alone on the page.
Then a spate of illness forced me to do the one thing that the creative mind, I believe, most needs to be able to function. Rest. After months of working long hours, I suddenly found myself forced to be at home resting. It took a full fortnight or so to start to be able to think thoughts from beginning to end without getting into a muddle.
|Or a lakeside break - perfect for peace and quiet and time to think|
Rest and relaxation. Maybe that's why some of the best ideas come to us in the shower, or bath, or while working out at the gym, or walking. In fact, walking has often been a favourite pursuit of many a writer - think Wordsworth or Woolf. Rest and relaxation releases the mind and allows it to wander, it allows thoughts to penetrate which are not necessarily logical or pertinent to the moment. These are unfocused thoughts, derived perhaps from the subconscious. They are the thoughts that day dreams are made of. And those are the dreams that one day can blossom into that special novel, or poem or play.
|Or a city break - just to get away from the routine. This was the entrance to 2014's Love Festival at London's South Bank|
So if I have a tip for the month, just as summer draws to an end and we enter the bustle of autumn, a new term, the return of co-workers from holidays, and head towards the rush and clamour of Christmas, it is to make sure to take enough rest, to find those times to relax and allow ourselves to dream.....and write.