Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Poking the Creative Ashes

When you build a fire, it burns hot and fast, and then the embers create a long, slow roast that can go on for hours. You add wood, and you stay warm for as long as you need to. When you don't add wood, slowly the fire dies down, but the embers stay good and hot. It takes quite a while for them to die by themselves, and often, campers pour water on their fires to make sure nothing is left that could start a forest fire. The great thing about those embers, though, is that if you don't want to put out your fire, you can stir them up with a stick and throw a little kindling on there, and before you know it, you've got a raging flame again.

That's what I've been doing tonight - poking a stick into my creative ashes and bringing them back to life.

I've been really busy the last few months and I haven't had the time to write. In fact, I've even been too tired to write and haven't had the desire, and that's pretty rare for me. But tonight, I sat down and pulled up the file, and after a few minutes of inane conversation between my characters, we were off and running again, the story bursting to life just like I never left. I cranked out 1200 words before deciding it was bedtime. It felt good.

Creativity never dies out. Sometimes you've got to let it simmer, sometimes you've got to walk away from the firepit for a while, but come back and poke it. Then stand back or it will take your eyebrows off.

10 comments:

Josi said...

I'm 'burning' with jealousy. I feel like I'm trying to start a fire in the rain, with only plastic bags to burn, but it gives me hope when another writer I love and respect can get their fire going. Way to go, Tristi, keep it up.

Cheri Chesley said...

You can at times be frightfully insightful

Jen said...

Good work! 1200 words in one day is great!

L.T. Elliot said...

okay, as someone who has literally had their eyebrows burned off, I'm wary of that comment. ;)

I guess I just need to find a way to stoke my creativity. Any suggestions?

Teri said...

Lovely insight! I wish my fire would start roaring...perhaps it's a bit damp and smoldering right now.

Shari said...

I've recently been there myself, except I didn't get singed, I just got my fingers and toes warm.

Laura, have your friends pray for you. That appeared to work for me.

Nichole Giles said...

Yahoo! I'm so glad you're back at it again. I can't wait to see what happens next.

Nichole

Terresa said...

I like this analogy. Like N. Goldberg says that sometimes we need to allow our thoughts time to compost. And later we can pull from them some amazing stories.

As usual, your insight is spot on.

Karlene said...

I'm in the same place as Josi. Not feeling the warmth lately due to life stuff. But I have faith that the fire is not out, just damped for awhile.

Pendragon said...

beautifully written tristi. i really enjoyed reading that... thrice even. we've just been camping, so i even smelled the burning wood through the imagery. definite food for thought. thank you

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