Peggy Bechko: Nurturing Your Creativity

Nurturing-Creativity1by Peggy Bechko

Nurturing your creativity can be tough, yet creativity is the very heart of a writer’s storytelling.

You’ve probably read all sorts of things to do if your creativity is failing you. Maybe articles and even whole books on the subject. There is a huge well of information on writer’s block and creativity in general. Throw in a search on Google and you’ll see what I mean instantly. Well in about .41 seconds anyway.

Here’s the thing. There’s so much information it’s overwhelming, so I thought I’d just toss out my one little hot tip for the day.

Want to nudge your creativity? Then pick up a pen or pencil and write on paper. Really. It slows you down, it gives time for thoughts to form and there’s something soothing and inspirational about the scratch of pen or pencil across paper. It’s a way to get things moving and I have to say it, it’s one more reason it’s idiotic that people are talking about stopping the teaching of cursive writing in the schools. I mean who wants to print really really fast? Dumb. It’s also graceless. Writing (meaning cursive writing) on paper gives a ‘swing’ to your writing, a flourish to your words.

Now I’m not saying you should give up computers and write all the time with penstroke on paper. That would translate into yet another goofy idea that’s put out there for writers to help them beat the block or boost their creativity. If you’re comfortable, by all means have at it, but plainly it would have to eventually be typed into a computer. Scanning handwriting (whether sloppy or good) just wouldn’t cut it with publishers, editors and script readers.

No, what I’m getting at is sketching out ideas, writing for a while with the good old fashioned pen or pencil can get the thoughts flowing. The slower pace helps ideas germinate. The physical act of moving pen across paper is somehow rewarding and taps into your inner wells of creativity. When you were young didn’t you ever take pleasure in writing something, perhaps for school, perhaps one of your early stories and seeing the page fill up with those swirling lines and loops? In a generation or two that might be lost, but for now, remember it and how it made you feel. And if you haven’t experience it, if you’re of a generation where already that feeling has been lost, then I suggest you experience it for yourself now. Turn away from the computer and just write something; an idea, notes on something you’re working on, whatever moves you, and see how different it feels from typing stories and notes on your computer keyboard. I’m a speed typist, but still, I love to pick up that pen.

Hopefully this is an idea that will work for you, give you that little bump you may need. If not then I suggest you try scotch (isn’t that what Hemingway did?) or what the heck, if in Colorado, weed if all else fails…you do know I’m kidding, right?

About the scotch and the weed. Not about putting pen to paper. Try it, you’ll like it.