Have you ever stared at a blank computer screen or a sheet of paper? Did the screen or paper stare back at you? Challenge you? Intimidate you? Have you ever wondered what you could or should write? Have you ever stopped writing?
It may be that you're suffering from BPP. It's that problem writers call "blank page phobia." It's often thought of as chronic by some creative people who look at the computer screen or the end of a pencil and feel unable to start or continue to write. Some writers joke that it feels deadly, at least to their careers.
Have you ever had a touch of it? Most writers have. So if you've just said yes, you're in good company. There are ways to get over it. You can do it too, and you can become a creative, resourceful, happy, and clever novelist, nonfiction writer, short-story writer, storyteller, poet, screenwriter, or playwright.
Pretend there's a large box with a sturdy lid sitting next to your computer. Take the lid off, and imagine you're jamming all your favorite excuses for not writing inside. Put in the ones about being a "bad" writer, too.
Now quickly close that lid. Put a heavy book on top if that makes the box more secure. Don't you feel more creative already?
Now that you're open to a more creative life, let's talk about the nature of creativity. Forget what someone once wrote or said about good writers having to "open a vein." Sorry, I'm not willing to bleed for my work and would never expect you to either.
Forget what you might have heard that writers are supposed to "suffer for their art." That's a myth. You can be a regular guy or gal and love writing and write well. Your diploma might be from the School of Experience. You can enjoy writing and get your work published.
I must admit that once you catch the exhilaration, the pure bliss of creativity and writing, you'll become addicted. Fear not. This addiction is good for you.
Creativity is as invigorating as a walk through the countryside on a perfect spring day. It's as delicious as a fresh cup of coffee with a plate of warm, homemade baked cookies. (Make mine chocolate chip.)
Creativity is like going to the circus, winning an unexpected prize, getting into those jeans you wore in high school, being told that your house or car is worth twice as much as when you bought it, or seeing a toddler take a first step. Creativity is the feeling of all this and more.
You may already be writing or have a desire to write fiction and tell stories for novels or shorter pieces. You may be composing poetry and concocting images that are thoughtful and dazzling. You may be writing articles or nonfiction books and need to enliven the text to make it irresistible.
Being a creative writer means you need to honor your creative feelings. You'll need to pull ideas from deep inside or straight from this morning's newspaper.
Creativity means you need to filter or sift through the ideas that come from your head and the everyday world. Creative writers examine their ideas with their hearts as well as their heads. Yes, this take practice, yet please be assured that you can do it.
Some people believe that there's no magic elixir that will turn you into a creative person. I believe there is: It's the potion of trying new writing styles and taking risks. It's driving down creative highways and looking for adventure. Through this process, you'll begin to get a feel of what makes you creatively happy and the direction you must go.