This page was white just before I started typing ‘this page was white’ which as you know is a trick writers and bloggers use to just get past starting to write when the creative crumbs of creating cease to commence. I was recently reading Geronimo Stilton The Enchanted Charms: The Seventh Adventure in the Kingdom of Fantasy as a bedtime read to my eldest son when I felt a connection from writer to writer with Geronimo. Geronimo always introduces himself at the start of his books as the person who runs The Rodent’s Gazette, the most popular newspaper on Mouse Island but he is also the writer of the Kingdom of Fantasy Series which my son loves.
Start writing right now! Immediately! Get to work! Punch out your next bestseller right this minute! Poor Geronimo! (See Pic below)
Yikes! Talk about a pressure cooker. My creative juices would been sucked dry by that pesky creative sucking mosquito.
Geronimo then tries to explain his writing process to his grandfather.
“Well, you see – the thing is, I can’t write it now, because I can write books about the Kingdom of Fantasy only when I have a special dream, and…” (page 15 of The Enchanted Charms: The Seventh Adventure in the Kingdom of Fantasy)
You can imagine how this went over with his grandfather.
TIP #1 : Drink a hot steaming cup of chamomile tea then lay on your sofa and attempt to drift off. When you don’t fall asleep right away try various other positions on the sofa as demonstrated by Geronimo.
My favourite is the idea of reading the phone book. When the sleep still eludes you and/or the words just don’t start flowing…
TIP#2: Leave your Office
Geronimo returns to his house and puts on his favourite pj’s and gets cozy in his bed and is just about to drift off when his phone rings.
TIP#3: Turn phone off or don’t answer it.
Unfortunately, Geronimo answered his and is met by his shrieking grandfather who applies the pressure. And Geronimo responds:
“I cannot sleep on command, dream on command, or write on command!” (page 22)
“After all, I was an author—I’d just use my imagination.” (page 22)
He grabs his computer, opens up a new document and starts on the first page where he stares at the blank screen.
TIP#4: When stuck on the first page, type the title in.
When you stare at your blank screen and the white void of nothingness stares back forget tip#3. Turn your phone back on so that way your friends and family can text, or call you.
TIP#5: When friends call to invite you out —Go do it!
Geronimo’s nephew Benjamin calls and ask him to join him and his friends at the beach. He sits on his beach chair in the shade with the sweltering heat making him very tired. And it doesn’t take him long to drift off into his dream where his magical kingdom comes to life.
When he awakens he has his adventure to write. Man that sounds easy doesn’t it. At the end of the book he tells us that he went back home to work in his home office and his grandfather locked him inside and threw away the key and then preceded to tell him not to come out until he was done writing. Geronimo wasn’t worried, he had had his dream and he stayed there writing for days, and days and days.
I tried to see how I fit into this tips.
What do I do?
Tip 1: I usually drink coffee or this tea (It’s a herbal tea for Imagination and Insight.) But then I need my quiet space which doesn’t always happen with three kids around. I definitely could not lock myself inside my office for days, and days, and days nibbling on cheese as much as I would like to do that on some days. If I could, I would probably nibble on chocolate.
Tip 2: I do change my scenery of where I write. This usually means I head outside, coffee shop, or a book store.
Tip 3: Turn your phone off. This is a hard one isn’t? But we need to shut it off, ignore it, or leave it alone. Sometimes I will just let the battery run out or I will not take it out of my purse. It can get way too distracting.
Tip 4: See my first sentence again on this post. I don’t think just typing the title would work for me either. Anything to mark up the blank white screen though including: Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!
Tip 5: Definitely need to do this more often. Actually, I find in the summer it is not a problem but for me in the winter months I get out a lot less. Guess I will have to work on this one this winter.
Here is a list of other things I do when I’m not in a writing groove and need a break.
- Read a book from a different genre
- Try something new or go somewhere new
- Work on my memory keeping
- And of course, hang out with friends and family and have fun!