October 10, 2005

Words Fail Me

When the ideas won't come, and the words no longer seem to be your friends, what do you do? Personally, I have a bible of creative block, and it's called Art & Fear by David Bayles and Ted Orland. It's a nice, reassuring, quick read that reminds us when we have those moments of paralyzing fear, of demotivation, that we are not alone or insane, but experiencing feelings that almost every creative person goes through at some point or another.

I say "almost every creative person," because I read an unenthused review of this book on Amazon--one of very few negative reviews--that said: "This book is for people that are very afraid and very insecure. It will give you lots of reassurance and make you feel better about yourself. However, if you are not depressed and on the verge of quitting, then I think you may find this book to be very annoying." I have to say that a) I disagree, and b) Congratulations to you, Mr. Reviewer, for having never had a single doubt in your life! ;)

Another fun book for getting out of a creative block is Free Play by Stephen Nachmanovitch, which I'm currently reading for a painting class, but, like Art and Fear pertains to all creative endeavors. It's got a bit more of a mystical approach to artmaking and creativity, but really gets you thinking about ways to loosen up when you're stuck. It reminded me that play and fun are important elements of the creative process, and that when we as writers can let go of any doubts, fears, or even our own expectations about ourselves, then our creativity really lets loose.

2 comments:

TadMack said...

Art and Fear. Hm. That's sounding far too appropriate right now.

BTW, I was wasting time in Bay Books last week (is time in a bookstore ever really wasted?) and found a copy of The Once and Future King, so now that I have a little more free time, I can't wait to read it.

I can't wait to read your new short!

a. fortis said...

Oh, good! The Once and Future King is a classic. I love it. Hope you enjoy!