I started a new book. It’s a romantic suspense loosely based on a true event that happened in 2008. A dead body was found on the riverbank below a friend’s home. Story ideas have been tossed around and around all these years until at last I have a story.
Lately, the words have not flowed. I’ve been too distracted by interruptions.
Time vampires suck my creative juices. Vampires like my phone, email, and social media. I forget to turn them off when I’m writing and my creative juices dry up. If I’m not listening to my characters, they stop talking in my head.
In The Power of Myth, Joseph Campbell describes how to keep creative juices flowing:
“You must have a room, or a certain hour or so a day, where you don’t know what was in the newspapers that morning, you don’t know who your friends are, you don’t know what you owe anybody, you don’t know what anybody owes to you. This is a place where you can simply experience and bring forth what you are and what you might be. This is the place of creative incubation. At first, you may find that nothing happens there. But if you have a sacred place and use it, something eventually will happen.”
Austin Kleon, another creative whose blogs I enjoy, calls Campbell’s place a bliss station. His wife suggested, “Our bliss station can be not just a where, but a when. Not just a sacred space, but also a sacred time.”
A corner of the dining room is my Joseph Campbell bliss station. It’s where I tuck away with my characters and keep my focus on their story. They stare at me from their poster.
I may have followed the bliss station advice, but I haven’t disconnected from the world’s interruptions. I need to calm my brain, to find quietude and solitude for creative juices to flow.
I’m going to start again. This time with no phone, no email, and no social network interruptions. I suspect my characters will start talking again and those creative juices will again flow.