Thursday, February 23, 2012

Real Creative Juices- Part One of Four

It's not what you're thinking.

It's not sinful to taste the real secret of activating your creative juices.  You are a writer, aren't you?  You need your creative juices to flow.

Creative juices are real.  When you're in the writing zone, your biochemical balance isn't the same as someone who's tying their shoelaces.  When you're in creative mode you are physically different.  Your system is flooded with a real mix of creative juices.

It's a mental game, say the writing courses and the workshops.  It's all about theme, economy, character arc, etc.  Can't go wrong with them.  Kind of like as a writer you're a factory working assembling parts into an automobile.  Sounded great when you were surrounded by all those other students, and there was the teacher looking at you, waiting for you to nod.

But wait.

It's just you when you go home and sit down to write.

There are no machines helping you to build your story.  The other people in the class aren't there either.

You're all alone.

You sit in front of the computer.  You want to write, but your mind is kind of empty. More like completely blank.  Something doesn't feel right.  You're not in the mood.  Workshops lie- it's not just a mental game, there's a physical aspect that's as important as any trope or theme.  It's your creative juices.  If you don't attend to your personal physical chemistry and state, great writing just won't happen.

At the workshop and in all the books you've  been reading, you're supposed to come up with a theme first.  They gave you a list.  Or maybe it was a trope.  They gave you a list of those, too.

And you even received a character trait assembly kit.  Writing a really powerful story should be easy.

If only your brain would cooperate.

What if I told you that it helps to take care of your brain?  What if I told you- and I was serious- that I know six recipes to jump start your brain and help put you  into the writing zone?

Writers aren't factory workers mindlessly assembling stories.

We're creators, and we need our mind/ body chemistry to be in high creative gear.

Booze and drugs will burn out your brain.  We don't need them.  But we do need total stimulation.  We need our systems to crank up their production of creative juices.  Certain recipes will do that.  Writers aren't supposed to know.  If we did, we'd buy less books about writing and write some really good fiction.

Stick around for this series and learn with me.  It's about time your creative juices started to flow.

If we're lucky, M. Farivar, M.D or Charles Gramlich, PhD might stop by and comment on this. MySpace Tracker


Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

I'm ready!

Anna Smith said...

ooh interesting. Can't wait to

Universal Gibberish

Mark Noce said...

Wow, edge, great stuff! Never though about the juices literally before:) Groovy blog:)

Rick said...

All right, then, Alex!

Rick said...

Anna I really learn a lot from everyone's comments, so I'm looking forward to hearing more from you!

Rick said...

Thanks, Mark. I absolutely love the colors in your last blog picture. Will be back to read more tonight. And yes, the creative juices are quite literal.

oceangirl said...

As a blogger writer:), I can't write what does not come, and I can't stop when it flows.

Rick said...

I'll take that as a challenge, Ocean Girl!

Charles Gramlich said...

This is off to an intriguing start. I'm looking forward to more about the juices. I have a few things I try to do for my brain. It'll be interesting to see if there are any match ups! :)

Jai Joshi said...

Always good to get the creative juices flowing. Bring it on.


sage said...

Sounds like an interesting series and thanks for shooting down another reason for drinking!

BernardL said...

I know this will be sacrilege but the moment a fiction writer defers to 'How To' books in order to write a story, they're doomed. The time written guides and 'How To' books should be considered is in English class structure lessons, and when editing their finished novel. Consulting 'How To' books professing to teach a writer how to create a story would be like me replacing a water pump on a 2010 Ford Ranger with the 'Riverside Shakespeare' as a guide. It don't work that way. Let me be blunt - it's not a sin to be lacking an imagination, but it's impossible to create one. :) Real creative juices stem from an unlimited imagination.

Rick said...

You're on, Charles!

Rick said...

Hello, Jai. I think you'll find this interesting.

Rick said...

Drinking and writing really, really sucks, Sage.

Rick said...

Actually, I'm more radical than you on this topic, Bernard- and on more than one front.

Here's the problem- an undisciplined imagination is for amateurs. Writers, like any other athlete, have to train. Relying on imagination only is easy coasting and produces mediocre output for the vast majority of writers.

We're all the same. If we want to be professionals, we have to train. Professionals always, over the long haul, beat amateurs.

Just like with any other mental athlete, imagination isn't enough. We have to watch our sleep, watch our diet, watch our health, exercise and constantly refine and push the limits of our ability.

We have to train hard. None of us are above training as mental athletes. And if you don't think what we eat affects our cognitive abilities, then do some research.

Think about it. Research it on the web. See, for example, what excess sugar does to your brain's abilities. See what too little or too much sodium (as in salt) does to your state of mind.

If we don't think of ourselves as mental athletes, then all we have will be our withering imaginations, which we thought were endlessly expansive and immortal just like we all think we'll always be young.

Look at a picture of yourself in your teen years. Now look in your mirror.

Imagination is as unreliable as youth.

BernardL said...

Unfettered imagination is what creates stories people will want to read. Disciplined editing is what makes them readable. My cynical outlook is that everything else is a matter of luck. :)

Rick said...

I agree with you on that, Bernard. Imagination plus discipline creates what we need.

As regards the luck, I'm reminded that what people call luck is in large part based on hard training and hard work and seizing the timing when it presents itself.

Your own writing is a good example. You have the imagination, you do the work and when that moment comes, I believe you'll be ready to seize that moment.

G said...

No real comment for this post other than the pic that accompanies it is incredibly fascinating on all kinds of levels.

Just want to say that I've thoroughly enjoyed and appreciated the last post series that you've done and I'm more than looking forward to the new series.

Rick said...

Why thank you, G!

Travis Cody said...

I actually took a writing class once that focused on stimulating along with all the other standard "how to" aspects of writing. I quite enjoyed it because it made sense.

When ideas and words are flowing, one does feel different. And if one can repeatedly find that state, one can be extraordinarily productive.