May 16, 2012

The Dual Nature of Performance, Part Two

Posted in self-consciousness, Writer's Block tagged , , at 4:42 am by Rebecca Hein

When you know your story, essay, or poem is going to be read by someone other than yourself, this changes the writing process. You become self-conscious and start wondering if your writing is any good, or if you’re making mistakes you aren’t going to catch.

Yet there’s another side to this: the fun of sharing your ideas, or the sense of mischief you get from telling a funny story, or just the satisfaction of articulating what you have to say.

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May 9, 2012

The Dual Nature of Performance, Part One

Posted in performance, self-consciousness, Writer's Block tagged , at 4:37 am by Rebecca Hein

Excitement or stage fright: which is it going to be? In musical performance, often I don’t know until I’m in front of the audience.

Even if I’ve been nervous beforehand, sometimes I’m rock-solid onstage, and my playing has that sparkle of energy that hardly ever occurs in practicing because nobody’s listening.

February 14, 2012

When Your Writing Won’t Behave, Part One: Raw Creative Energy

Posted in Creativity, Uncategorized, Writer's Block tagged , , at 3:32 pm by Rebecca Hein

We’ve all had episodes in our writing when our words won’t cooperate no matter what we do. This problem actually defeated me years ago when I tried to write my second book, the sequel to A Case of Brilliance. (link)

My problem was twofold: first, I wasn’t ready to write the book because some of the discoveries that needed to be included in that story lay in my future. Second, I didn’t understand raw creative energy and thus couldn’t manage it.

September 7, 2011

Writer’s Block, Part Five: The Time is Not Yet Right

Posted in Writer's Block tagged at 7:48 am by Rebecca Hein

Years ago I struggled to write a book that refused to behave. No matter how many chapters I wrote, sooner or later I got stuck and couldn’t see how to get going again.

The problem was not in my initial inspiration for the book. Neither was the flow of words an obstacle. Rather, it was the direction of those words. Eventually I always had to stop because I didn’t see which way to take my narrative next.

Finally giving up, I abandoned the project and years later saw the problem: my vision for the book was only half-formed. I couldn’t have written the book without the knowledge and experience I gained in the years after I gave up on it. Looking back, I realized that in the absence of those experiences, the story was incomplete and therefore couldn’t yet be told.

August 31, 2011

Writer’s Block, Part Four: Wrong Project

Posted in Writer's Block tagged at 11:39 am by Rebecca Hein

The Muse, in her caprices, may have something different planned for us than we had in mind for ourselves. More than once I’ve sat down to write an article or book chapter only to discover after a long tussle that I didn’t have writer’s block at all. Rather, that day’s flow and creativity was aimed in a different direction and I didn’t realize it.

Once I’ve steered right, words and ideas pour out of me, and I see that my creativity is free and open as long as I don’t try to bend it in the wrong direction.

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