We already went into a great amount of detail about the lifestyle choices you can make about what you put in, or do to your body, and how this can fuel your writing in Part 1.
But they aren’t the only ways to fuel yourself.
What’s that I hear you cry? ‘What about how I choose to live my life? What can I do to help fuel my mind?’
The brain is a muscle, and like any other muscle it gets better the more you use it, and it needs to be properly fed and watered to grow.
Practice makes perfect. The early bird catches the worm. And every little helps.
This will of course have an affect on how the writing comes out the other side. So, what can we do to help here?
Let’s have a looksie, shall we?
Don’t worry, this won’t end up being a concise list of the seven deadly sins, brought to you by writers helping writers. Au contraire, this may be the most passionate of all human emotions (feel free to argue, this is by no means a claim to be fact). As the saying goes, get that rage on the page! Muster your gusto! Channel your mammal! Write your fight!
Ahem. It’s about using that fury to propel you into creativity. You know, from destruction comes creation. Death breeds life. The cycle of emotive response, from ugly comes beauty and so on.
Go ahead, think about it. What gets you mad? Now time yourself. Take ten minutes to write non-stop and see what happens. It doesn’t matter if it’s bad, illegible or nonsense. It’s fuel. It got the words flowing.
Pain: Therapy for the Soul
Of course with anger, there could be pain. The crushing vertigo of the soul, ripped and damaged by the experiences of life. So sad.
Yet meet your new therapist! The pen (or quill, or keyboard. Whatever).
Scream out what’s getting to you from the rooftops of your novel. Create a city and fill it with people feeling your pain. Use the page as a sounding board to express yourself, and try to connect the dots on what is often the unfair nature of life to cast pain upon us from time to time.
It’s like talking through it with someone, but not having to worry about being judged or categorised. It’s only you listening (unless you want to share it). Some of us express ourselves better in written form too. Embrace that.
Or just write stories about smashy smashy stuff avenging hurty hurty moments. Grr.
Go for it.
The ‘Four Energies’ – Blissed, Blessed, Dissed, and Pissed
I read about this on Writers Digest in their article The Four Energies of Writing; What’s Your Fuel?
As they say in the article: “It’s a bad idea to write a book just to write it.” And I completely agree.
Your motivation for writing needs to come from somewhere. A lot of us feel we have a novel inside of us, waiting to be birthed. So what’s yours? We’re not talking about emotive fuels here, but fuels of character and motivation for writing in the first place.
They are split into two positive and two negative energies:
Blissed: The first of the two ‘positive’ emotions, this covers things like “excited, passionate love or fascination for some activity or subject.” You write because you love what you’re writing about.
Blessed: This is literally “the energy released when someone encourages you in your writing life or believes in your promise.” Call it luck, call it right place right time, but it’s opportunity knocking for your writing at just the right moment.
Dissed: This negative fuel covers things such as “the experiences of being wounded emotionally, cursed or put down by others, or disrespected or rejected.”
Pissed: Finally, this other negative energy is similar to dissed, but “it manifests more as anger and righteous indignation than hurt.”
Which corner are you coming from? Do you agree with the writer’s assessment?
Awe and Wonder
The world can be truly fascinating, can’t it? But it’s a lot to make sense of in one lifetime. Many try, and some specialise. But it’s an uphill struggle. From the day you’re born to the day you die, there’s so much to learn. So much to explore.
Write about it.
Write the things that captivate you, and the things that repel and disgust you. Come to terms with them. Analyse them. Play with them and manipulate them. Re-imagine them.
Mess around with perception. With time and space. With social labels, and human constructs.
Ponder it all.
It might not be a best seller, but it will be quite a unique read. And it’ll give you the chance to see what matters to you, and where your thoughts and beliefs come from.
Spiders? Heights? Barbara Streisand? We all have fears. Some of us have more than one. I’ve got plenty. But facing them enriches your life, trust me.
Not ready to take the leap just yet? That’s cool. Start with writing about it.
Scared of dogs? No problemo. Write a story about a dog pound, and how the guy working there used to be scared of dogs but now he works there killing them when they can’t be homed. He loves it. He does this for years, until one day there is one puppy who changes his life, and makes him realise these creatures aren’t dangerous. They are just like me and you! Cue lights, and Disney music and the happy ending as he rides the puppy off into the sunset. And, scene!
Go ahead. Think of your biggest fear now, then think up a story about someone dealing with that fear, or a scenario that having that fear would be very unhelpful. Now imagine how your hero will get through it. Easy, right!
Now you try…
If all else fails, write garbage. Seriously. Scribble down the first words that come into your head. Better yet, just put pen to paper and write for five minutes non-stop, just writing whatever comes into your head. Don’t think about it, just let the words flow.
Now, chances are what you’ll write will be nonsense. Don’t kid yourself, you’re no James Joyce. But, it got you writing, and the surrealist aspect of this form of writing could then spawn into a novella, or a great little abstract short story.
There’s fuel, and there’s fuel. I’d love to hear what gets you fired up and writing. Maybe it’s injustice, or religion? I know some people who write purely protest works, attacking anything they feel deserves to be in their cross hairs.
I know others who only write about hobbies and interests; woodwork, sailing, rare African drums, magic. There are many.
So what’s yours?
Don’t forget to check out Part I of this post Juice on the Loose! What’s Your Writing Fuel?
Special thanks to AKARAKINGDOMS, criminalatt, imagerymajestic, patrisyu, Prawny, stockimages and Toa55 @ FreeDigitalPhotos.net for use of their photos in this blog.
© Itchy Quill and ItchyQuill.WordPress.com, 2016