Writing has been slow for the past week and a half or so. The slowdown started when I hit a bit of a roadblock because I needed more information. I’ve found myself writing EHPpretty much chronologically, start to finish, so without that information my art was blocked – not by lack of inspiration but by lack of knowledge. So I took a break, and got myself educated.
THIS IS AN EXAMPLE OF A PRACTICE CALLED FILLING THE WELL.
One of my characters in EHP is dying of an aggressive cancer – and other than watchingHouse I don’t know that much about cancer. So I needed to fill up my brain with it, so to speak. (I actually needed to fill up the character’s brain with it.) I could have done some research on cancer.org to learn about aggressive cancers, but what that wouldn’t have told me a lot of what I need to know to write a person going through it. It wouldn’t tell me how they end up in the hospital in the first place if they didn’t know they had cancer, what it’s like to be told you have an aggressive cancer, what the series of tests entail, and how it feels to go through all that, especially at such a young age.
I’m fortunate enough to know a fantastic guy who actually did go through a cancer diagnosis at a young age, so I met up with him last weekend to fill my information well, to find out all of those things about what it’s like as a person to go through a devastating diagnosis and what happens next. It’s information that my story will be stronger because of, and I’m grateful that he was willing to share it. With that well filled, I was able to move further in my story.
I’m still moving a little slower than before, and one of the things I’ll do this weekend is draw out a timeline for the next section of the book so I know where I’m going step by step and how long (in story time) it’s going to take. But I’m glad I took the break and did some learning, because the story will be stronger for it.
SO IF YOU’RE IN NEED OF A BREAK – WHETHER YOU NEED INFORMATION OR YOU’RE JUST CREATIVELY BURNT OUT – DON’T WORRY. IT HAPPENS. TAKE THE TIME TO NURTURE YOUR CREATIVE SELF, TO PROVIDE WHAT IT NEEDS TO FILL BACK UP SO IT CAN, IN TURN, POUR BACK OUT INTO WHATEVER YOU’RE WORKING ON.
I’ll be talking more about filling the well on my YouTube channel this Tuesday, so if you’re interested in learning more, stop by!