It is difficult to appreciate loss of creativity unless you have experienced it. Creativity is such a weird animal. Creativity is not like, say math. We don't lose the ability to add 2 + 2 if we had learned it in the first place. Sure, you might get lazy and not feel like adding 2 + 2, but the way to doing the addition isn't lost to you.
Losing your creativity for a time is somewhat like Alzheimer's, which I don't take lightly. But it can make you feel like you've lost your way. I experienced this in a very tangible way in the past week. I never ever forget where I park my car. I'm obsessive about marking location and always know exactly where it is. Twice in the past week I couldn't find my car. I know that wasn't Alzheimer's but the impact of severe stress. Nevertheless, it makes you feel panicked and your first thought is "Oh my gosh! I am losing my mind!" It is NOT a pleasant feeling.
Lost creativity feels exactly like that. Deep inside yourself is this empty dark hole. You are clawing, trying to find a way out, but you can't get a hand or foothold and its dark and scary. You wonder if you'll ever be the same again.
Thank God, He brings us through these times. A couple of posts ago I likened it to a severely traumatized dog who quits using his predominent sensory organ (his nose) to sense the world around him. I mentioned that for me, I'm just beginning to inch my nose out there again.
I am very happy to say I can feel a stronger return of creativity. I have been finding hand and footholds to inch toward the top of that dark hole. I'm not at the top of it yet, but just a few more steps up and I'll be able to swing my legs up and over its edge and stand there taking in all the world around me and see the possibilities.
It's so exciting to begin thinking, pondering, asking "what if", thinking about my characters, my themes, my plots. It's so exciting to begin to create again. That old researcher's nose of mine is twitching--pretty soon it's going to look like a very curious bunny. After all, half the fun of writing historical is the research. Let it twitch away!
The kids in my youth group tell me that sometimes I use too many analogies. Perhaps I'm guilty of that in this post.
But I don't care. It means I'm curious. My nose is twitching.
Creativity is alive!!!!