As a writer I often find myself searching for new ideas to write about and create something special. Sometimes those ideas come pouring in, and other times the well runs dry. I used to refer to it as writer's block. Now my lack of creativity is called "the fog." The fog creeps in when other things in my life are distracting me from my passion to write. This all began to change when writing became my therapy. Writing is my therapy for whatever challenges I face. If I had a bad day at work, I come home and write about it. I don't necessarily write about the exact issues, but I write on the emotions that were felt during my bad day.
Saving my anger for writing helped me write three books. That tension, frustration, and anxiety get released on paper. The person that cut me off in traffic becomes a criminal on the run from the police, in one of my many short stories. The woman who broke my heart becomes a serial killer in my latest thriller. There are so many ways of clearing the fog from your head as a writer, but you have to use them and let the fog go. Sometimes I find myself holding on to things that should be released from my hands and heart. If I can't get them out of my head, they are put on paper to force them out.
What darkness comes in to destroy, light comes in and brightens the situation. Even a restless night can become a brainstorming session. Let me give you an example. I began my fourth novel last night, while I was distracted by my thoughts. Every writer must keep a pen and a pad by their bed, to be prepared for a creative breakthrough. Thanks to a lot of sleepless nights, I have at least 20 books I will write in the next two years. The books are written. The initial titles have been created. I just have to find the time to put them on paper.
Until I'm able to put them on paper, I simply keep a list of those titles. Some of those titles were turned into short stories and ended up in my latest publication. One day I found myself saying, "Writing is all I have right now, and that is fine by me." Writing is my world. The heroes, villains, and victims are created by me. If I felt like a situation didn't go my way, it will when I finish writing about it. To my fellow writers,creators, or anyone trying to clear the fog, it's time to let it go and let creative therapy flow. It doesn't matter what your creative escape is, just make sure you have one. I know song writers and music producers who say the same thing happens to them. Many of them practice the same technique I do, letting the emotions and issues go through creativity.
You will be surprised what you can do, when you just let it go. Not only do I write, but I also produce documentaries and short films as well. A few nights ago I created a book trailer for the first time. The feeling was amazing! I must have watched that video 20 times, before the exhaustion kicked in. When I finally went to bed that night, I slept like a baby. So many things I was thinking about disappeared, when I was coming up with my next line to say.
The characters came to life as I thought back to how and why I created them. The greatest thought came to me when I was finished with the trailer. "I'm going to make it!" There's no way that I won't. I love what I do too much, and not even the fog in my mind can stop it. The fog led to me writing a bestseller. The book, The Last Society, was #3 on Amazon.com's bestsellers list for short stories.
When you create a masterpiece while you are going through a storm in your life, you feel as sense of pride, strength, and accomplishment that can't be fully explained. The one thought that will come to you is, "I can't believe I made it through that challenge." To me there is only one true way to clear the fog. Walk by faith and not by sight. Even though you can't see a way out of the fog, you know it's there. Find your way.
Edgar Alan Cole