We’re all aware of quotes such as, ‘What do you do with creative blocks? Build a Castle!’ (Sark), but if we’re truly stuck where do we even place the first block to start building?
About twenty-five years ago I bought the work-book, A Creative Companion - How to free your creative spirit, by Sark. It’s full of lots of great little exercises to try and kick-start your creative juices. I was rummaging through all my books in our storage area the other day (25 years after having purchased said book) to look for inspiration and dusted off this old favourite. I took it down into my office and started to read through what I had written all those years ago.
One of the exercises goes like this - Use this page to write down a creative idea or dream you have. I’d written:
Write a book
Perform street theatre
Dance behind a back-lit sheet like a shadow
Knit a new Christmas sweater
Learn to pole vault
I laughed so much when I read that last line - and wonder if it’s now too late, at 54, to fulfill my pole-vaulting dreams? I haven’t needed to knit a new Christmas sweater as my old one (now in its 33rd year) is still going strong - and I wear it with pride from the 1st to 25th December every year. I have never performed street theatre and was surprised when I read that entry - it’s something I don’t ever remember wanting to do. I have danced a hell of a lot, but never behind a back-lit sheet, but that day may still come. I don’t live self-sufficiently and realise that I’ve kind of forgotten that fierce environmental side of me as the years have passed - though I do try to tread as lightly as I possibly can on our planet.
The one thing I have done from that list, however, is write a book. I self-published Spaghetti Head in March this year (2018). I could have followed any one of those dreams. I chose writing and I stuck to that choice fastidiously. I now have a novel for sale in bookshops and on Amazon with a second book in progress.
Creative exercises like the one above are a great way to bounce ideas around and commit your dreams to the page. Sark has written many more creative books since that one, check out her website www.planetsark.com - you never know, it may kick-start you into writing that book you’ve always wanted to.
Alternatively, join us on one of our workshops in France - it will transform your writing dreams into reality.
By Sarah Tyley