There were some days when I was writing De’Angelo’s Orchestra where I just couldn’t complete a sentence without censoring myself. Either the structure would be all wrong or the words didn’t sound right… Anyway, a few frustrating hours later all I would have produced was a mess – Scrunched up paper strewn all over the floor.
I needed to do something to stop my over-critical self getting in the way of the creative process. Here are two useful tricks I discovered that helped me get back on the productive track on those dreadful days.
Quick Relaxation Exercise
I would sit up straight in the chair with my feet firmly planted on the floor. Then I would focus on my breath – In and out, until I felt centred. This could take 5 – 10 minutes depending on how restless my mind was.
This is a great way to silence the inner editor and get the creative juices flowing. It’s a timed exercise – I usually do it for 15 minutes. Here are the main steps.
1 Make up a random statement or phrase, e.g.,
- The toy robot was _ _ _ _
- The pigeon flew _ _ _ _
- It was a cold _ _ _ _
- Today is _ _ _ _
2 Then simply write down what happens next using these rules:
- Write fast
- Write the first thing that comes to mind
- Do not take the pen away from the paper
- No crossing out of words even if they are spelt incorrectly
- No re-reading what has been written – Just keep on writing
- No editing of any kind is allowed even if you think you’re writting rubbish
- Do not stop writing until the 15 minutes are up
It’s amazing how many pages I’ve filled up with total gibberish whilst doing this exercise. But each time, as I persist with it, something miraculous happens – Inspiration starts to flow and really good stuff begins to pour out of the pen.