I love the process of writing children’s picture books. Taking a simple idea and nurturing it into a manuscript – it gets me giddy just thinking about it. And if you’re reading this, maybe you get that same tingle – that same writer’s high – that I get when an idea sparks and the words start flowing.
But, if you’re new to writing, you may not be familiar with the other side to writing – the struggle. The days of fruitless revision. The days of anti-loquaciousness. The days when the writer’s block is so thick, it becomes a wall.
That being said, I have a secret. I actually don’t have too many days like that anymore. And I have a theory to explain it. You see, I have a job. Not any ole’ job – a mechanical, analytical, sequential job filled with spreadsheets, databases, and numbers.
How, you may ask, do spreadsheets encourage writing? My theory is this: work is a completely left-brained activity. Creativity is not required and even discouraged. So, for 8-9 hours a day, my right brain hibernates. Replenishes. Rejuvenates (sounds like a good spa!).
What are the consequences of this? Blow-drying my hair, I rhyme words. Sitting at red lights, I write on receipts. Standing in the grocery line, I plunk down thoughts on my iPhone. Lounging on the sofa, I type. Writing becomes compulsion – a need – a creative outlet for the doldrums of the day.
So, am I suggesting you run out to become a CPA or data analyst? Goodness, NO! But, when ideas are slow to come or your writer’s block is beginning to take the shape of Mt. Rushmore, take a break and work your left brain for a while. Do a sudoku. Practice some multiplication tables with your kids. Listen to music with a strong bass rhythm. Follow a recipe. Roll your loose change.