Sabotaging Your Own Creativity

My writing is at a standstill and has been for almost two years.

Sometime around 2019, as I was finishing out the third book in my paranormal mystery series, I realized that writing had become hard. And not the way I was used to. It was no longer a struggle to find the right words or a battle with perfectionism. It had become hard to see the story and the characters. Somehow, I had gone from a prolific writer to one of those people who says "Gosh, I can't imagine how you would even begin to write a book!"

How did this happen to me?

I'm currently reading Daniel Pink's A Whole New Mind, which examines how our society has started to shift from valuing strictly left-brain thinking to more right-brain thinking--the kind of thinking computers can't do for us. As I listened to the introduction, I had a rather massive epiphany. 2019 was the year I unintentionally walled myself off into a left-brain world. 

  • I chastised myself for spending time on anything that wasn't contributing to my bank account
  • I read fewer novels and more business and self-help nonfiction
  • I stopped watching movies almost entirely
  • I listened to 3 hours of current event/political podcasts a day, 5 days a week

Of course, you're looking at that list and thinking, "Well, yeah. Obviously, that would sap your creativity." But it didn't feel obvious then. Or in 2020 as I sank into the same lockdown-based funk as everyone else. And now we're past the halfway point in 2021... and I'm just now seeing the absolute disservice I've done to my brain and my happiness.

So what am I going to do about it?

Well, I started by purging my YouTube subscribed list. No more political content AT ALL. More than that, no YouTube at all except between 11-12 on weekdays. The remaining channels I subscribe to post twice weekly at the max and their videos run between 10-20 minutes. So I will ingest short bursts of positive content, and then be done with it.

I will replace the current events commentators with fiction, both in written and television form. 

And of course...

I will write. Right now I'm working on a short story in the Black Magic series to get my "sea legs" back. And since Kindle Vella isn't available for readers yet, there's no pressure. I'm doing this just for me right now.

Add to that I have a true vacation coming up this week. No day job, no freelance. Literally nothing demanding my analytical brain. I'm hoping it's the refresh I need.

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