Thursday, May 22, 2008

Writer's Block

A case of dreaded "writer's block" is not what prevented me from posting earlier today. I've been gone the whole day, with only a few minutes to start a post (to then be finished after 10 pm). However, I've wondered what I'll do when writer's block does strike. What's the best advice to follow when ideas and words are few and far between? In West from Home, Laura's daughter, Rose, a journalist for the San Francisco Bulletin, writes to her mother to persuade her to make the trip west to San Francisco. She suggests that the trip will be good specifically for Laura's writing:

"I think that by getting away from it all for awhile, and playing around with a bunch of people who are writing and drawing and otherwise being near-artists, you will get an entirely new viewpoint on things there, and be able to see a lot of new things to write when you go back."
~West From Home, Rose and Laura Ingalls Wilder

So you have Laura's daughter, also a writer, encouraging her mother to take the trip west to San Francisco in order to aid her writing career. Two points are important here, the change in scenery and experiences, and being with other creative people. This is nothing radical, but it's well expressed, and the trip did seem to ignite Laura's creativity, almost instantly, as she wrote many letters, full of detail, which are still brimming with vitality today. And, of course, Laura Ingalls Wilder wrote the Little House series of books in the years that followed her trip!

How do you nurture your creative muse? (Why aren't you commenting--got writer's block?)


  1. Your question is perfectly posed following the comments about writer's block. "Nurturing the creative muse within" as you so eloquently and succinctly put it, comes in the form of sensory stimuli for me -- a trip to a quiet garden, a walk taking in different plants and flowers and the changes since I last saw them; seeing gardens and flowers in different light and weather conditions; soaking in the unconditional love and acceptance of animals; and, more amusingly, raising my arms above my head so my armpits are open and breathing is easier (thank celebrity exercise trainer Denise Austin for that amusing ditty); looking at photos of flowers and landscape; driving to areas with a distant view of terrain and soaking in the different scents. I guess I seek sensory refreshment visually and aromatically; and emotional refreshment from animals. Recapturing a peaceful state of mind is often very hard in a very noisy and busy world.

  2. Sandie, I will refer to your comments whenever I find myself at a loss for words! Of course, we do not have to take a long trip in order to obtain inspiration--a simple, subtle change in scenery via a walk (even close to home) is often enough to entice creativity from its former hiding place.
    Thank you for sharing your ideas!!


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