Getting Back on a Creative Streak

For all creative people out there, I get it. Even I get stuck with a blank sheet in front of me. It’s empty and stares back at me to the point that I need to walk away because the pressure is just too hard to deal with. It's not just the moments where I cannot tell if I should write something or draw something. It’s the moments where everything feels blank. There is a black hole in my mind, and I cannot climb out to find any light. I sort of swim around in this darkness, waiting for the moment to pass. But in these moments when I feel as though I about to give up, I know I have to keep on going.

So lately, I have been trying to get back to my creative streak. Since Creative Writing is one of my majors, I am constantly doing as much writing as possible. However, it is not always easy to find inspiration for writing, especially when I am also trying to take care of myself and my other schoolwork. Therefore, I am now starting a new streak for myself because it seems right.

It helps to look out for any source of inspiration. For my AP Language and Composition class, I had a summer reading book called Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott. She has notecards with her in order to help her keep notes of any source of inspiration. For me, I usually type it in my phone as I think about a new line. Other times, I have an extra mini notebook that I can scribble something on. Keep it down because you can never be too careful.

I remember asking my high school Creative Writing teacher about how to overcome writer’s block. He gave me the most straightforward answer: “Keep writing.”

My Creative Writing teacher was right. I have to keep writing even if it can get a bit tricky with coming up with ideas. If I get stuck, I usually challenge myself with writing prompts, or I go on walks and see what ideas pop up as I circle everywhere. Moreover, I even made a New Year resolution where I write a poem two or three times a week, which I have been keeping up.

In addition, I have learned from various individuals (directly and indirectly) that you cannot let your hesitation get the best of you. For anyone who likes TED Talks, I would really recommend Elizabeth Gilbert’s “Your Elusive Creative Genius” because it really gets the idea that you have the potential of writing more than just one great work. You have the ability to write so many amazing things, so it is not worth the time listening to the people who do not believe in you. But even Anne Lamott’s Bird by Bird reiterates the idea that there are going to be good drafts and bad drafts. It is just how life is, and there is nothing you can do but keep going.

For me, I’d like to think that my work is never completely finished. There are things I have written that I sometimes think have the potential to be turned into something new or continued off. Then, there are times when I believe that there are short proses that I wrote in the past that I can combine with another document. In short, there is always somewhere to start.

When it comes to art, you really have to go for it. This goes for anyone whether you are good at it or not so good. Even though I am not the best at drawing, I do find it fun. It is something that you can easily enjoy because we all have our own style to work with. So, if you have been meaning to do some art projects, find some time to just let it all out. I have had people come up to me, asking me how I have the time to draw. First of all, I do not have the time to draw. Even though college provides a lot of free time, you still have to balance that time carefully. Instead, I make time (even at the risk of losing sleep).

Recently, I was struck with some inspiration to draw again. I went to the dorm’s kitchen and saw how there was a pile of these desk calendars that have been there since last month. I took just a few back to my dorm to use the backs as a sort of canvas for me to draw. At first, I had no idea what to do with them, but eventually, I started looking at the front of my door, thinking there was something missing. It goes to show how inspiration can come out of nowhere.

Of course, this is for more than just writing and drawing. There is always going to be a point where you find yourself in a creative rut one way or another. Just keep doing what you like doing. At some point, it starts to come back to you, but you must make the effort to start before you get anywhere.