It’s been a couple of months since I’ve written anything fictitious, and now when I try, my brain freezes up – it doesn’t flow like it used to. Ideas don’t just pop into my head, and a story doesn’t simply appear by staring at a blank screen.
Upon reflection, I believe the creative writing muscle in our minds is not unlike a bicep. If you work it out every day, you’ll tone and define it. Maybe at first you won’t be able to lift a car one-handed, but as you keep building the muscle in different ways, it will become stronger. You can lift up the couch easily while you vacuum underneath it, it’s not a car, but it’s a start.
Until you stop.
Then the muscle returns to normal, maybe weaker than before, and you find yourself handing off a jar of pickles for someone else to open.
That is until one day, you wake up and remember, you wanted to be able to lift a car one-handed. You walk over to the couch, and try with all your might to lift it, and it doesn’t budge. You’re left with an ache in your shoulder and a small congregation of dust bunnies under your sofa. The good news? Muscle memory. If you’ve done it once, you can do it again. Your muscles remember what to do, even if you don’t, and with a little exercise, practice and discipline, they can jump right back on track. Your bicep muscles don’t forget, and neither does your creative writing muscles.
So here’s to starting back at square one. Am I willing to start all over again, to exercise that creative writing muscle in my mind until it is toned and defined? Damn straight I am. Are you?