Yesterday, I detailed a problem not only with my writing, but with my imagination overall:
I’ve allowed the pump to run dry, so even if the well has water, and even if I go up the hill to fetch a pail, I’ll have to do some serious priming to get anything drinkable.
And if I’m not careful, I might fall down and break my crown 🙂
So what am I going to do? Metaphor aside, an imagination isn’t like a water pump or car engine.
Well, I have a few ideas:
Listen to music that fired my imagination the past, musicians whose lyrics were poetic, with imagery, metaphor, and complexity.
- Sarah McLachlan
- Bob Dylan
- Peter, Paul, and Mary
- Wyclef Jean
- Mary Chapin Carpenter
- Rosanne Cash
- Maria McKee
- Leonard Cohen
- Bruce Cockburn
- Sarah Brightman
- 10000 Maniacs
- Beth Patterson
- Rich Mullins
- Jennifer Knapp
- And many others
Seek out more music by musicians who’ve caught my attemtion once or a few times in the past:
- Amanda Abizaid
- Amanda Ghost
- Martin Page
- Nina Gordon
- Charlotte Sometimes
- The Pogues
- Sara Evans
- Annie Lennox, both solo and in that band my auto-correct won’t let me write.
- even Guns N Roses
(It occurs to me how white this list is, with the exception of Wyclef and Shakira. Maybe I should look in some new directions as I seek out new material)
Seek out new music that may have the same qualities. This is harder, because it involves spring through a bushel and a half of disposable pablum. The old stuff comes pre-sorted.
But this is not just about music. I need to read actual poetry. I also need to constantly read fiction, fiction with imagery, fiction that plays with language.
Perhaps most importantly, I need to take better care of myself. I need to get enough sleep. I need to get more exercise, and I need to eat less refined sugar.
I need to clear space my mind. This isn’t about excusing myself from doing the things that need to be done.
It’s about clearing out the clutter, watching less tv, wasting less time on Facebook, Slate, etc.
It’s about doing one thing at a time. Multitasking isn’t just inefficient; it’s frustrating and depressing, too.
It’s about regeneration. But mostly about getting enough sleep.
I hypothesize that two weeks of adequate sleep, limited attention-splitting time wasters, and reaquaintance with nearly forgotten favorites will have back to my old self.
I’ll collect data and get back to you with the results.