Writers are solitary creatures. We're mythical beasts that live in caves and produce magic from our fingertips that influence everyone in the world, no exceptions.
A writer is the most powerful creature to exist in the universe.
But even such powerful beings need food and drink and yes, occasionally some company.
A writer's food and drink are not typical human fare. We feed on the quiet places, the mysterious shadows, the quick flicker of emotion that flits across a stranger's face. We drink in new experiences, living a thousand lives while observing a crowd or jumping out of a plane, tucking away the thrill, the fear, the solitude, and saving the magic for the perfect moment in a story.
Writers need creative infusions in the form of writing retreats, travel, meeting new people, and discovering secrets in order to, not just survive, but thrive.
4 Types of Creative Infusions Every Writer Must Have
- Writing Retreats - If you come across a writer whose head is hanging low, whose words are stuck deep inside, and who cannot see past the daily word count or plot problem, please help them to the nearest writing retreat or haven and don't let them come home until they've eaten their fill. Writers must occasionally get away from the responsibility of living. Creative work is magical and sensitive. Daily interruptions from the phone ringing to social media notifications to, yes, even cooking meals for loved ones, builds up and creates a creativity blockage. In order to be effective, a writer must take time away from daily life and refocus on story, on character, on deep-rooted emotion in order to make a fantasy world come to life.
- Travel - Remember that a writer is a magical, legendary creature, different even down to the synapses in their brain. A 2012 study published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology revealed the strong link between creativity and travel. Immersing a writer in a new culture fires the synapses in the enlarged creativity part of the brain. The more often a writing creature is sent on creativity journeys, the better their neuroplasticity...and the deeper their creative abilities.
- New people - Part of a writer's magic comes from the people they come across. Writerly beasts excel at piecing together characters from people they know or come across, like fashioning a steampunk outfit from scraps. Sarah's temper plus that stranger's fedora plus the drummer from the port of Jamaica plus the actor from the pirate ship can become the heroine in a bestselling novel. But writers must emerge from their caves and meet new people in order to create dynamic characters that lead to bestselling novels.
- Secrets - Writers feast on new discoveries and secrets buried in history and people. A long-buried family secret can spark a blockbuster thriller series. A journey through the mystical caves of the Mayans on a writing retreat to Belize can form the fiery heart of an epic fantasy. The drunk guy in the bar revealing his heartbreak twenty years ago can inspire the ending to a romantic suspense. But a writer must be in the world to discover these secrets. The writing cave is no longer the place for inspiration. Lead your writer to the dessert bar and let them discover the secrets to life, so they can accomplish their ultimate creative and magical purpose.
Christina Delay is the hostess of Cruising Writers and an award-winning author represented by Deidre Knight of The Knight Agency. When she's not cruising the Caribbean, she's dreaming up new writing retreats to take talented authors on or writing the stories of the imaginary people that live in her heart.