Thursday, September 10, 2009

New Rhythms, New Routines

By Mark David Gerson

Because so much of my writing history at the time I created The MoonQuest was linked to desks, deadlines and other people’s projects, the only way I could banish old associations that felt anything but free-flowing was to break all the patterns of my previous writing life.

First I abandoned the computer, composing The MoonQuest’s early drafts with pen and paper. Next, I abandoned my desk, bound as it was to the soul-numbing words that had so recently comprised my livelihood.

Mornings, with a pad balanced on my knee, just before or after breakfast, I allowed The MoonQuest’s scenes to pour from my pen onto the blank page.

Evenings, I input the day’s jottings into the computer.

Some days I needed a more dramatic break from the old to connect with my nascent story.

On those days, I often drove over North Mountain to Baxters Harbour on the Bay of Fundy. There, as the Atlantic surf crashed on the rocky Nova Scotia shore, I sat in the car or on a boulder and let the ocean tell me what to write next.

A one-day change of habit and venue was all it took to put me back on track.

When you feel blocked in your writing, one way to get unblocked is to break the pattern of your normal creative routine.

• If you tend to write on the computer, switch to pen and paper.
• Write in the morning instead of the afternoon or evening, or vice versa.
• If you generally write at your desk, move away from the perceived pressures of your “work” environment.
• Go for a walk to clear your mind.
• Take pad and pen and curl up in a comfortable chair.
• Sit out in nature.
• Move to a favorite cafĂ©.
• Drive to some place quiet...different...inspirational.

And feel the creative power of your new rhythm.

When you feel blocked in your life, the same principles apply. Break your routine. Get of your rut. Take a risk. Step out of the cocoon of your comfort zone. And discover the new light and life of your infinite potential.

What can you do today to break the patterns that are keeping you rutted in routine? Whatever it is, do it. Now.

MARK DAVID GERSON has taught and coached writing as a creative and spiritual pursuit for more than 15 years and is the author of two award-winning books, The Voice of the Muse: Answering the Call to Write and The MoonQuest: A True Fantasy. Mark David is an editor, project consultant and script analyst and a popular speaker on topics related to creativity and spirituality. This article first appeared in his blog of tools, tips and inspiration for writers, The Voice of Your Muse.

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