Please help me welcome J L Murphey today.

I met Jo Murphey years ago at Southeastern Writers Workshop held each summer on St Simons Island at Epworth by the Sea. An entire week hanging around writers and attending workshops was a last!

Jo and I immediately became partners in crime and laughed at almost everything while we shared our love for writing and life in general. She agreed to share her feelings and suggestions about a topic familiar to most writers.

Welcome, Jo! I am so glad you are here with us!

Creativity Flow and the Block

I've heard many a writer complain about writer's block. This is common especially with the weather here warming up and the sun shining. Anyone with sense would rather be outdoors, because of this writers have a tendency to feel a lapse in creative juices flowing. One writer friend of mine thought she'd killed her brain cells dealing with her creativity. This was my response to her, but it works for just about any writer.

Ya didn't kilt yo' noggin'. It's jist takin' itself a wee little nap is all.

Translation needed, I've spent far to many hours in my southern fiction- You didn't kill your brain. It's just napping.

At times you brain needs a little break from creative overload-itis. Eventually, the well will run dry. You need to fall back and recharge your creative juices. Since the weather is nice, and it has been glorious here too, go outside and enjoy nature. Plant a garden, tend some flower beds, clip the hedges back.

Life is about balance. While at times, I can pound away at this keyboard for hours on end, barely eating and sleeping, and do nothing but write. But then there are the other times, when my stories stay minimized on my screen or stares at me just waiting...and waiting...and waiting. I've written five words in the past 24 hours. (Five-count 'em, thumb, index finger, birdie finger, ring finger, and pinky). It is hard to create a creative flash of genius. In fact, it's impossible. Sometimes, your brain hits a lull and as a writer you have to allow yourself this lull. Think about a river, it ebbs and flows. It is not constant. There are floods with snow melts, the every day flow, and then there is a drought where the water flow is a trickle. Creativity is the same way.

For me, I grab a handful of workshop or other author's chapters, a red pen, and head for the bathroom for a full fledged bubble bath. Something about a hot soak in the bath tub. It recharges my energies or makes me fall asleep which ever is needed most. Other times, I'll turn on the DVD player and watch favorite movies, which I know will spark something creative in me. Yet still other times, the juices will not flow (they can be stubborn in a logjam). I call this my writer's block moments. I will play scrabble, boggle, and few other word-mind games. Grab a friend and reenact a murder with water pistols in hotel hallways to see which way a body will fall. I know it sounds silly, but the idea is to lighten up. Eventually, normally within two days, the dam will break and an inkling of creativity will peek through and then... the "Ah-ha" moment, or the "What if I did this...," or the "I know how to fix this!"

The more you stress over the lack of creativity, the more you shoot yourself in the foot. Creativity can not survive in a vacuum. Which whether you realize it or not...sitting behind your desk staring at the computer screen creates a vacuum. Creativity can not flow against stress. If you are experiencing writer's block, you are stressing about it. Creativity needs to be nurtured and pampered like a newborn baby. It is not something you can force yourself to be. Be kind to yourself and your creative flow...take a break. It will come. E-book POD My Blog

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  1. Mary Marvella // March 5, 2011 at 1:44 AM  

    Good Saturday morning, Jo! I can't believe I have you here blogging for us. Grab your pink fuzzy slippers and enjoy your visit.

    Inquiring minds might want to know about your book.

  2. Mary Marvella // March 5, 2011 at 1:44 AM  
    This comment has been removed by the author.
  3. Beth Trissel // March 5, 2011 at 11:50 AM  

    Hello Jo and welcome to the Fuzzies. What an excellent post and topic for discussion. One I well understand. I agree with you that writers need those down times to recharge our creative batteries. I never know what will get me going again. Sometimes just rest and maybe a dream...other times doing research strikes a chord, or watching a good movie or series might stir up the low burning flame. But something always does seem to prompt an idea and the flow takes off again. Eventually.

  4. Barbara Monajem // March 5, 2011 at 1:51 PM  

    Hi, Jo! Definitely tell us more about your book.

    Usually, I deal with writer's block by writing two stories at once. If I'm stalled in one, I go to the other. If I'm stalled in both, I take a walk or have a nap, or spend a night having insomnia and thinking my story through. :)

  5. J.L. Murphey // March 5, 2011 at 2:03 PM  

    Good Saturday afternoon to you all. Thanks for the welcome. Posting here was my honor!

    "Escape from Second Eden" is an espionage, suspense genre novel. The short take is this...Eiko Mueller’s life spirals out of control with her husband’s embassy assignment in Ceylon. In 1969 on this tropical island, the duty starts out just like any other until the Ceylon switches from democracy to socialism. She is a pawn in a nation-against-nation chess match for power and control. But unlike in real chess, this pawn has assets and survival skills beyond measure.

    Although this is not a budding romance, but a sustained one against the odds. Who says you can't have romance after a decade or more? Not I.

  6. J.L. Murphey // March 5, 2011 at 2:14 PM  

    I usually write three novels and a nonfiction at a time so I can relate.

    'or spend a night having insomnia and thinking my story through. :)'

    How can a tired mind be creative? I was in the middle of an action scene last night in "The Sacrificial Lamb" actually more like editing/ rewriting it. It was three AM after a busy day at class (I both take and teach classes), rotation of doctor appointment, etc. I had to stop and get some sleep...this old bod needed down time.

  7. Autumn Jordon // March 5, 2011 at 8:20 PM  

    Welcome to the PFS, Jo. I can't agree with you more, by stressing you're duct taping the muse to the wall. Usually, if I can't come up with the next scene, I'll take a walk and have a talk with by characters.

  8. Scarlet Pumpernickel // March 5, 2011 at 10:46 PM  

    Have the most lovely comment written and blogger deleted it. So I'll just say welcome Jo, we're pleased to have you at the Fuzzies.

  9. Nightingale // March 5, 2011 at 11:02 PM  

    Creativity--what a Pandora's box that is! I can totally empathize with the weather getting nice and my muse taking a cruise. Enjoyed your post, Jo. Some words of wisdom there.

  10. Joanne // March 6, 2011 at 9:30 AM  

    Welcome JL, to the Pink Fuzzies, and thanks to Mary M. for hosting you.
    Thanks for your insight into Writer's block. Sometimes I sit in front of the computer and force myself to write, but I would probably accomplish more if I took a break and did something fun, relaxing, or creative.

  11. Judy // March 6, 2011 at 11:42 AM  

    Great post, Jo! I find that when I'm not sure how to handle a certain plot point or character, a drive in the car or standing in the shower are two great ways to get a creative jolt! Your book sound fabulous! Thanks for stopping by!

  12. J.L. Murphey // March 6, 2011 at 1:52 PM  

    Thanks all! More tidbits on my You are welcome to pop on by.

  13. Mary Marvella // March 6, 2011 at 2:24 PM  

    Good job, Joanne! Happy Sunday!

  14. Pamela Varnado // March 7, 2011 at 4:02 PM  

    Welcome Jo. I came a little late, but I wanted to let you know I enjoyed your blog. Finding balance in my life is a constanct goal of mine. I'm always on the look-out for ways to recharge myself.