Freeing the writer within



Paula’s Post #74 – This week, we 5writers are again riffing on a common theme: how to get back to being ‘writers’. How to get out of our ‘everyday’ brains and back into ‘writer brain’. Specifically, fiction writer’s brain.

Joe lamented how he is worried about making the switch back from his easy-peasy blogger persona of the last few weeks to the serious business of crafting fiction.

Fellow 5writer Silk, shared her own ‘true confessions’, admits to being happier and more at ease in ‘editor’ mode than in ‘fiction writer’ mode.


Well, truth be told, I’m still more in ‘unpacking mode’ than in ‘writing mode’. More worried about getting the contents of boxes in cupboards and drawers than the concept of getting words on pages.

Our collective angst this week is the product of the rush toward yet another deadline: the date for sharing our first pages of our new novels. Submissions that were due this past weekend in advance of the 5writer meeting set for my not-quite-unpacked new home on the coast, day after tomorrow.

But like my 5writer colleagues, I dutifully pushed the ‘send’ button this past weekend and, as we speak, my 5writer colleagues are feasting on my pages, eviscerating my words, sharpening their knives, readying to shred my submission like a dog destroys squeaky toys.

But that raises the question of how, in all the chaos of my life of the last few months, I managed to ‘free’ my inner writer long enough to get those words down on blank pages?

Let me recap. For those of you who missed it – my last 20 days have consisted almost entirely of ‘moving’. First, a 5 night, 2500 kilometre road trip from Southern California to Canada. Next up, literally dozens of 40 minute ferry rides across Howe Sound as we’ve moved our worldly possessions from our postage stamp apartment and from our storage facility into our newly renovated, but not-quite-finished home on the Sunshine Coast of British Columbia.

Sounds hectic, right?

But perversely, in my case, my ‘inner writer’ seems to have been liberated by all this travel, happy to be coaxed from her cave. Most cooperative when something exciting is afoot, when I’m literally ‘on the move’.

For me, there’s something liberating about a ‘change of scene’ that sparks my inner muse. I’m not saying I can’t write in my own home. I can and do. But if I really want to crank up the productivity, there’s nothing quite like a crowded airport departure lounge or a busy train station for activating my ‘writer brain’.

Maybe, it’s just my brain ‘lighting up’, the normal physiological changes that occur with a change of scene. Maybe it is just the free wifi. Maybe it is the enforced ‘stillness’ of waiting: with no distractions, with nothing to do but wait for the plane, or train or, at least in my new world, the next ferry.

Maybe it is the opportunity to observe my fellow travelers, those interesting ‘characters’ from all walks of life that one can analyze like organisms under a microscope as they struggle to cope under the stress of travel.

I’d be interested to know if it is just me or if any of my 5writer colleagues or our followers also find travel ‘liberating’ when it comes to freeing the ‘writer within’.

Stuck in place?

No worries. You can still embark on a ‘journey’ by shaking up your daily routine. Try leaving your ordinary world behind by checking out a new activity: painting or kayaking or a new hiking trail. Or maybe check out the travel channel. Perhaps you could even try reading a new author, perhaps a work of fiction set in an exotic foreign land. Anything to take you out of your ‘familiar world’ and into an unfamiliar world.

Something to shake things up a bit. Something to free the writer within.









5 thoughts on “Freeing the writer within

  1. Ironically I have to be not on the move to write. I have to know I have uninterrupted time of at least a few hours. I’m sitting in Heathrow airport right now and the buzz around me is so intense, and I know I’ll have to move to the departure lounge soon. I can only write art home, even if home is a hotel room.
    Oh and I do agree that blogging is east peasy compared to crafting fiction.

    • Thanks Paula. It is indeed a happy landing – a month housesitting in friends of friends spacious and attractive English Bay apt with uninterrupted views over the water. We’ve died and gone to heaven 🙂

  2. Pingback: Changes | The Claire Violet Thorpe Express

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