Last week I was overwhelmed with stress and exploding with emotion. Okay most weeks are like that but this one especially so.
So this week I had a choice. I could use my set writing hours to work on my creative project, the one that feeds my soul. Or I could take care of business. On my way to my space I experienced a burst of clarity. "Escape into your writing!" the voice screamed. With that voice so strong in my ear I opened my laptop. I expected to spend the next few hours "getting back in" to my project. Reconnecting after a week or so off. Instead, I suddenly saw a vision of the project as a whole. The macro of the story, which had been so elusive to me, revealed itself, in five easy pieces! The moral of the story? When life is smacking you down, go underground...into your imagination.
If you are having one of those, "Whom should I kill?" sort of weeks (dig the proper English, natch!), try these techniques to regain your sanity, and get some fab prose on the page:
1. Take a hawk's-eye view of your story. Instead of obsessing over the minutia of your real life, look at the big picture of your creative tale.
2. Write without stopping for three hours. Don't check email. Don't research. Just pretend you are in the literary version of the movie SPEED, and baby that bus can't go under 50 or we're all going to die!
3. Do character biographies. You know, the kind you pretend to have done but haven't really. Forget your own worries by diving into the details of another person's life.
4. Transform the person who is driving you most crazy into a character. Just give him or her a totally different hairdo.
5. Read something that transports you to another time, another place.
6. Read a screenwriting book. Those formulaic instructions can be oddly calming during times of chaos. Syd Field's Screenwriter's Problem Solver helped me this week.
For more on the craft of writing
Until next week, I leave you with this: what book, more than any other, helps you to forget your worries?