I have often told my students (in the past; retirement is fun!), that the best (and probably the only real cure for Writer’s Block) is just WRITE! I think there’s more to it, however, when you aren’t really blocked, but you just don’t take the time to write or even feel the urge. First, you still have to write. That’s one of the reasons I’ve decided to get back to blogging here. I want to write, I just have so much fun in my life these days that it’s lower on my list of priorities! Second, it really does take some kind of inspiration to get any kind of artistic flow going no matter your medium as an artist. So, what’s the answer?
For me–and I firmly believe that any artist has to find his/her own path–the Arts themselves are key. When I’m listening to good music, attending a concert or other type of performance, going to a museum, or indulging in other artistic endeavors, I am more inspired to do my own creating.
My wife and I have discovered an on-line help. If you aren’t familiar with The Great Courses, I highly recommend them. They are college-level courses taught by excellent teachers, most of them college professors, as far as I can tell, in any number of areas of study.
I’ve always wanted to learn to draw or sketch. I have no illusions of becoming a good, let alone great, visual artist. I just want to be able to sketch some of the things I see and like…mountain flowers and trees, maybe some people, animals, or whatever strikes my fancy. I was able to score a good Great Courses Beginning Drawing class for about $30! It will be a good year of viewing the lectures, practicing the techniques, and just studying the art and making the attempt before I’ll really feel good about what I’m doing. I don’t care. It’s FUN, and I’m doing something I’ve always wanted to do.
I played some guitar in high school. When I retired, my younger son, a very talented musician and singer-songwriter, helped me pick out a good acoustic guitar. I don’t read music. I know some chords. I’m learning more. My fingers hurt. I’m having a ball! But I don’t have a teacher. Enter The Great Courses and another good course on Beginning Guitar, a series of video lessons taught by the Director of Music at the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs. Again, this will take a while, but, hey, I’m retired!
My wife has a passion for neuroscience and how people learn. We’re not only doing the drawing and guitar lessons together, but we’re viewing lectures on The Aging Brain and learning some really interesting things about ourselves as we get older. In the meantime, we’re still doing all those “artsy” things, including cooking together and learning new dishes and just experimenting. You now, being creative.
Oh, that other creativity thing, Inspiration? Guess when I decided I’d better get back to my novel?