Creative Waiting

I had a friend years ago, Jerry F., who didn’t use the word procrastinate. He would say he was creatively waiting for inspiration. Once ideas began to come to him, he would write. How different that is from the tendency some have to beat themselves up about not writing. I really liked his idea so much that I began to redefine many negative thoughts and make them into positive ones.

When I didn’t understand something, I said I was gathering data. When I had a complex task to learn, I said I was learning it in bite sized pieces. If I failed at something, I called that attempt practice.

Almost anything can be redefined. Redefining means taking lemons… you know, and making lemonade. You take a difficult situation, a problem, and by changing how you think about it make it a positive instead of a negative.

This time of the year is when many people take vacations. Family vacations are a difficult time to set aside time for writing. You may be away from your desk, your computer and other writing tools. You may not have access to the Internet. I went on a cruise recently where Internet access for a week cost five times what I pay for a month. I wasn’t willing to pay that much, so I didn’t have internet access.

So what. During that time, I set aside moments for pondering story ideas that had been in the back of my head. I didn’t intend to write anything more than a title and a brief sketch of the ideas that came into my head. Partial results of that can be found in my June 4th post (now archived). When I returned from my vacation, I transferred my ideas from a Moleskine notebook to my computer file, then to this blog. Just for fun, I added a status tag on the ideas so that you could follow my progress in finishing the projects, if you wished.

My point in all this: The next time you are stuck, can’t think of anything to write, have writer’s block, or are inconvenienced and can’t write, redefine your situation and use your time creatively, just like Jerry F. taught me to do.