When Creativity Takes a Vacation

6 Nov

003Welcome back, whatever day it is.  I swear, my internal clock or calendar must be off, because with the time change and the early darkness, and with just every blasted day looking the same (gray and wet) I’m having a hard time telling what day it is.  I sure hope I’m not the only one who feels that way.

Yesterday was a particularly good day of writing my latest novel.  I kicked out 3,500 quality words, and that’s about double the amount I normally do in a day.  It was just one of those days when creativity flowed smoothly.

And that just happens to be the topic for today:  creativity.


Creativity involves breaking out of established patterns in order to look at things in a different way.

Edward de Bono
There were so many great quotes to choose from about creativity.  I like this one the most.

But what happens when creativity takes a vacation?  What happens when, no matter how hard you squeeze, no creative thought will pop out?


I can only share my experience with you. I can’t speak for every writer out there, nor do I want to.  The thing about creativity that I want to mention is that you can’t force it.  No matter how loudly you order it to appear, it will come in its own sweet time.  In fact, it has been my experience that when I strain and struggle to be creative, it is a no-show, but when I just shut my mind down and relax, it reappears.

I’ve seen a lot of great articles lately about writing prompts, and other exercises you can do to jumpstart your creativity, but the bottom line is this: if it ain’t there, it ain’t there, and you can quote me on that.  Don’t try to force it.  If it fails to show in a reasonable time then walk away and literally go for a walk, listen to some music, take a bath, whatever.


If you were paying attention, I already gave you the tip of the day. J


What have you done today to market your writing?  Give that one some thought and see how you like the answer.  Marketing has to be a part of your daily and weekly efforts unless, of course, you just love obscurity.


Have you had a “holy cow” moment yet?  Have you had one of those moments when the clouds parted, and sunshine rained down on you, and you realized that you are, indeed, a real, honest to God writer?  If not, then what is holding you back from having that moment?


I am going to ask a favor of you.  An old friend of mine is returning to writing after taking a year off.  I think a great deal of this lady, and I think she has some serious talent regarding writing…and I’m going to ask you to stop by her site, say hello, and give her some encouragement.  I’ve said for a long time that I have the greatest followers in the world, and now I’m asking those followers to take five minutes and show some love and support to another writer.  Can you do that for me?  Thank you!

Say hello to Suzie HQ on HubPages, please, and tell her it’s about time she gets back on the horse.  She’ll understand.


My offer is always open to any of you who would like to guest blog here. I only ask that you center the blog on the subject of writing. I think we all benefit by hearing from other writers, and I would love to have you all take me up on this offer.


I take weekends off. If it’s possible for you, I highly recommend it.  Give your mind a break, and your creative muse will thank you for it.


“Helping writers to spread their wings and fly.”


20 Responses to “When Creativity Takes a Vacation”

  1. Janine Huldie November 6, 2014 at 3:46 pm #

    Never have to twist my arm about weekends now here and I have had both girls not feeling well here this past week, so honestly just hoping we can all take it easy and rest up. Wishing you the same. And I also love how much work you got done yesterday on your novel. Way to go! Happy Thursday again 😉

    • Billybuc November 6, 2014 at 3:53 pm #

      I know, Janine, I love that you take weekends off now. Way to go my friend, and thanks for the well-wishes about the novel. It was a productive day for sure.

  2. Shauna L Bowling November 6, 2014 at 4:06 pm #

    Bill, you so right about creativity. It can’t be forced. Sometimes my creativity comes when I’m trying to go to sleep. An idea or line will gnaw at me until I get up and jot it down, lest I lose it in slumber land. Which reminds me. It’s time I pay Faith, Hope, and Nathaniel a visit and see if they have anything for me.

    I’m glad you’re sending your readers to Suzi. She’s a wonderful writer with very useful tips. I’m so glad to see her back.

    Enjoy your weekend. I, too, try not to work on weekends. I get burned out if I don’t take a break from writing and the glare of this stinking computer.

    How busy are you today? Do you have time for a phone call?

    • Billybuc November 6, 2014 at 4:28 pm #

      Sha, let’s talk tomorrow if that’s okay. Fridays are my best days to kick back a little and chat…hope that’s okay. And thanks for always being here…go see what Faith, Hope, and Nathaniel are doing.

  3. Denise Anderson November 6, 2014 at 4:48 pm #

    You are right Bill, I was having a dearth until that prompt of the picture of the woman on the mountain. The response I received helped me to solidify a direction I want to go with my writing and set some concrete goals.

  4. Sally November 6, 2014 at 5:53 pm #

    Great minds think alike Billy – I stopped by Suzie HQ on Hubpages yesterday – when I saw you connected with her yesterday and told her exactly that – you are missed Suzie. Thank for caring.

  5. Michael Milec November 7, 2014 at 1:48 am #

    Bill, my friend
    O yes, creativity is a gift of heaven coming our way when we need it , as we need it. My desire is to say it about writing (now as I was prompt in my former life)- as I can say about my wood-working prodigy presently. . . What a secret behind, I don’t know; when asked by a client , ‘ could be ‘- something unusual done, not knowing why my quick answer yes – immediately follows with a solution in my mind before even being authorized to do it.
    You already know how it works as an artist and an inventor of countless helping ideas for all of us learning the secret of gratifying writing.

    Wishing you great and blessed weekend from deep south of our friendly land of Canada.

    • Billybuc November 7, 2014 at 1:52 am #

      Michael my friend, you stated it perfectly. I don’t know how creativity works, but I know it is there when I need it…as it is for you.

      Blessings my friend, from rainy Olympia

  6. Christy Birmingham November 7, 2014 at 11:12 pm #

    You are a wise man, Bill! There’s just no forcing creativity, that’s for sure! I tried and the result is only a strained piece of writing that is so obviously forced. Instead, we’ll take the creative days with the less-than-original-feeling ones. I send you a hug, my friend, and hope you have a wonderful weekend ahead!

    • Billybuc November 7, 2014 at 11:27 pm #

      Thank you, Christy. Wise? Maybe experienced would be a better word, but thank you for your kindness.

      Hugs coming your way, and a wish for a Happy Weekend.

  7. shellywyatt70 November 8, 2014 at 1:31 pm #

    Reblogged this on Author's Page Shelly Wyatt.

  8. phoenix2327 November 9, 2014 at 12:04 pm #

    I’ve begun reading a book on writing called ‘Becoming A Writer’ by Dorothea Brande and it’s been a revelation for me. It’s making me realize and, more importantly, accept that I can only be the writer I have in me to be. I have got to stop comparing myself to others and just do what I do and be proud of it. My method isn’t wrong, it’s just different.

    As for creativity, it can be frustrating that it cannot be summoned on command. But it certainly does help to walk away sometimes. If I act like I don’t care, it seems to seek me out; much like a piqued lover. lol When it does come around, I jot down some ideas to work on later. It can take me many days to write out a story, but some things just can’t be rushed; and I’m learning to deal with that.

    • Billybuc November 9, 2014 at 4:20 pm #

      Ahh, yes, Zulma, the grasp of reality. I will never be Steinbeck…poor me! But I can be the best damn Bill Holland the world has ever known, and on my best days, that is pretty good. 🙂 I think…no, I know…the same is true for you.

      Thank you for sharing your honest thoughts…like a piqued lover…love that line. 🙂

  9. ruchira November 10, 2014 at 3:26 am #

    I agree we ought to take a break to give a kick to this creativity cause a writer works only on inspiration 🙂

    hope you had a lovely weekend, Bill

    Will see you tomorrow!

    • Billybuc November 10, 2014 at 3:53 am #

      Thank you Ruchira. It was a busy weekend but a good one, and I hope yours was rewarding as well.

  10. Dee November 11, 2014 at 3:42 am #

    I am winding down for the day and thought I would add my thoughts before retiring. Some times the creative juices flow so freely but there are days when I have to just wait for the inspiration. Thanks for the encouragement.

    • Billybuc November 11, 2014 at 3:44 am #

      You are not alone, Dianna. We can’t force creativity, but it never leaves us if we are patient. Thank you for your thoughts. Sleep well.

  11. suziehq November 11, 2014 at 3:23 pm #

    Oh my friend, you are amazing!
    Your resounding trust, support and faith in me is so warming. Thank you so much for this shout of encouragement and “getting back on the horse” . . . Thank you to all those who stopped by and that horse is ready to get going again.

    • Billybuc November 11, 2014 at 4:33 pm #

      Suzie, it warms my heart to hear that. I’m looking forward to watching you gallop by on that horse. 🙂 Hugs my friend, and say hey to Mick!

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