Friday, June 08, 2012

Creativity can kill

The best and worst of Valerie Strawmier

Valerie Strawmier blogs and tweets as Miss Wordy ( and @Miss_Wordy), and she has submitted to my nefarious campaign I mean, graciously agreed to participate in my “best and worst” blog tour.

What’s the best that Valerie Strawmier does, as a writer? She says they’re the same thing.

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times—sounds like a story I once read….oh wait, that’s my life!

Everyone has their skills, things they really excel at, as well as weaknesses. My strength and weakness are kind of the same characteristic—the one thing that really hurts me is also the one thing that makes me crazy happy!

Enough stalling…I admit it, my creativity kills me.

You know those times when your brain gives you this awesome story line while you’re lying in bed? This is the part where I grab a notepad and a pen and turn on the lamp (dimly, so as not to disturb the hubby) and start writing as quickly as possible to get it on paper.

Another great example is being right in the middle of a writing project when another inspiration springs out of nowhere and shines so brightly you can’t focus on what you’re doing. Out comes the pen….you get the picture.

These brilliant flashes of inspiration are wonderful and they keep me going. They give me a new twist on old ideas and help me share things in a way that’s unique to me.

Then again, the brain can only take so much. All that enthusiasm going in several different directions results in several bunny trails that never get fully explored.

When you have all those unfinished projects lying around, it can have the opposite effect and make you think you’ll never get any of them done—talk about a downer.

So my cure for this has become the very tool that helps to cause it in the first place—my pen and paper.

This doesn’t mean that I neglect to write down my ideas or creative inspirations. On the contrary, I have all of them written somewhere depending on where I was when lightning struck.

It does mean that I now have a priority system in place. Somewhere in the brain there’s a drug that’s released every time you get to check something off a list—at least there is in mine. Every completed task now gets a check—but only when it’s done in the right order!

Now, each day, I take a look at everything on this list. I put numbers by each one based on how important it is and whether it affects any current projects I’m working on.

If so, and it’s going to improve what I already need to finish, then I mark act on it immediately.

However, if it’s going to slow me down and only apply to the next project, it receives a lower rating.

This is how I have learned to organize my brain, channel my enthusiasm and take the cure for the creativity-killer.

All that lightning is surely going to fry more than a few brain cells if I don’t direct it into productive channels. That’s why the pen and paper were invented and that’s why they are now my best friends.

I am a very happily married (17 years!), mother of two beautiful kids, and I love to write! This site lets me connect with others who enjoy the same thing and may be looking for help. Thank you for reading!

Valerie Strawmier blogs at Follow her on Twitter @Miss_Wordy.

My guest post on her blog is about my greatest challenge as a writer. Now that you’ve read her post, read mine.


  1. I know what you mean. There are so many times I wish the characters talking in my head would just shut up. It makes it hard to get anything done, or get any good sleep.

  2. Nice one Valerie. Taking note of your ideas is important. I use Evernote on my phone, iPad and computer so I don't have to turn the light on. It also takes voice notes in case I'm still too asleep to type. :)

  3. Ideas often come to me while driving. Talk about inconvenient! LOL. But I keep a small notebook with me in case ideas come, and Phil, your idea for taking voice notes is great. I'm going to have to use that.