Creativity–Sleep and the Writer

creativity

So, this is only my 2nd blog post of a very long month because I haven’t really been creative.  I’ve been stressed, sleep-deprived, challenged, and many other things during this month that are the stuff of nightmares.  Thanksgiving Break was MUCH needed.

I have a clipping from the Times-Freepress (my local newspaper) that talks about creativity and how important sleep is to the equation.  Supposedly, the periodic table came to its inventor in a dream as to did the riff for the song “I Can’t Get (No) Satisfaction.”  In that article, it talks about how the memories consolidate in the brain and allow the brain to make connections that would otherwise be impossible without (enough) sleep.

This month my sleep patterns have changed.  I find myself going to bed extra early sometimes before 8:30 pm and waking up extra early (often as early as 3:30am -4:00 am).  I’ve found that my creativity (for creative writing) was completely lost during this month.  I tried to work on a short-story, but it has not “slotted in” for me.  I have, however, managed to work on the applications for graduate school, but I haven’t really done much of anything else.

The Star Wars Equation

So, I also haven’t really been watching any movies or anything that I would normally do.  I have a pretty sizable bluray collection and I regularly watch a movie at least once a week, but this month I didn’t really do that.  For the first time this month, I grabbed a movie off the shelf (The Empire Strikes Back) and watched it.

Sleep, plus the movie, really made the difference.  I wrote down an idea for a short-story that’s been in my head for a long while and while it may not be the next thing I write, I do know that I WILL write this story (even for no other reason than to get it out of my head and on to paper).

It is like the dam has been broken and I now the ideas feel like they are able to flow freely.  I think the next thing I will write will be a short story, but I think I need to try and spread my wings and attempt longer works.  I also need to be more conscious about my sleep choices, especially on weekends.  The extra rest that I was able to get really helped me get back my creativity.

I will make sure to watch Return of the Jedi next week and probably the original Star Wars the week after (& of course the new Star Wars movie, The Force Awakens the following week after that).  If there is anything that can spur creativity for me, it is the Star Wars movies.  After all, I am a “child of Star Wars” (my most favorite trilogy of movies of all time).

 

 

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Concepts

2016-Audi-R10-Concept-Cars

CONCEPT CARS

Check out this fabulous Audi 2016 concept car.  I happened across a Wall Street Journal video on their app on Apple TV covering the 2016 Japanese car show and they showcased quite a few concept cars.

I started thinking about the idea of concept cars and how car makers use them as a “test bed” to test out various ideas and technologies.  I wondered why I, as a writer, couldn’t try something similar.  I have multiple ideas for projects in various different genres–short stories, novels, graphic novels, and screenplays.  However, the only thing that I’ve put together consistently are short-stories.

CONCEPT WRITING

I have notebooks full of ideas (what writer doesn’t, after all?), but they are all still just ideas.  I’m not really happy with not writing even though I know that the GRE and applying for Graduate programs are important, but I feel like I just figured out how to tell a great story with “Here Be Monsters,” and I don’t want to lose what I’ve learned.

I’m going to see if I can’t take half an hour (about all the time I can really spare these days 😦 )and try to generate as many “Concepts” as I can each day–probably only 1 per day if I’m realistic.  This way I’m still writing and creating, even if I’m not formally working on a draft, and if one of them really strikes me, I can work on a rough draft while prepping for the GRE and Grad school admissions.

ANNE MCCAFFREY

Now this idea isn’t really novel or unique.  I feel that I must give a shoutout to the late Anne McCaffrey as this idea is really just an extension of her “Tunings” that she Melony explain in her Harper Hall Trilogy.  What?  Haven’t read this trilogy by Anne McCaffrey?  Run, don’t walk, to Amazon, Barnes & Noble, or the library and find this trilogy.  I put it far above the depressing stuff that passes for fantasy these days (yes, Song of Fire & Ice, I’m looking disapprovingly at you when I say this).  Anyway, my “Concepts” are a lot like Melony’s “Tunings,” just little practice pieces that will allow me to get a handle on themes, characters, settings, plots, and emotions that I want to display in the piece.  Possible epigraphs, snatches of dialogue, potential scenes, and hinted resolutions should find their way into these “Concepts,” so that when it is time to start writing again, I (hopefully) won’t have to relearn all the lessons that I learned from HBM all over again. 🙂