“When something moves you, FOLLOW. Don’t look back” That’s the philosophy of my Guest Blogger this week, the lovely Rochelle Campbell. Rochelle tells us of the outlying origins which helped her to start writing again after suffering from the dreaded ‘writers block’ for a sustained period of time. Thank you Rochelle for sharing this great post with us.
The creative gene is an elusive one. You never know when that gene will kick in and begin producing at its highest capacity. The gene can lay completely dormant, or it can produce minor pulses that tease. Or, it can turn on slowly building and increasing its output.
Sometimes external situations can jumpstart the creative gene. However, like an old car, one may need a sustained boost from the external source in order to produce a spark and get the creative gene going.
This last scenario happened with me. The external source, in my case, was Egyptian history.
Finding out that Ramesses II had red hair was fascinating! I thought all Egyptians had swarthy complexions along with dark hair. Not so. Why? Because of the numerous invasions Egypt suffered through. The Asians (Hyksos), Greeks, Romans, and others have intermingled their genes with the hearty Egyptian stock creating the world’s first mulattos and multicultural Peoples.
Researching and discovering that Ancient Egyptians had running water in their bathrooms and sturdy ships for warring and exploring amazed me. The ships utilized an elaborate rope-pulley system and did not require metal bolts to keep them together — and they were very sea-worthy vessels!
We all know about the amazing pyramids and how modern scientists and engineers still cannot construct a pyramid like those that still stand at Giza. There are thousands of web pages and television programs that speculate that aliens built these colossal structures. One of these programs can be found on the History Channel’s Ancient Aliens (Season 3, Episode: Aliens and Ancient Engineers – http://www.history.com/shows/ancient-aliens/episodes/season-3#slide-9).
All I know is the intelligence of Ancient Egyptians is unparalleled. They were the epitome of creativity.
Some years ago, (okay, like 17 years ago…), I began writing a story about a few of the Egyptian kings and in it speculated about how they achieved their accomplishments. I felt at many points in the research and writing that I was having lucid dreams about Ancient Egypt! The world I was creating seemed more real to me than the nuts-and-bolts world that truly surrounded me. I became frightened and began wishing that my creative gene would stop churning out this Egyptian output and feed me instead safe, non-confrontational, pablum to feed myself and any who chose to read my work.
Around that time, I noticed that my creativity began slowly to shut down. Things stopped flowing for me and stories stopped wanting to be written leaving me with a very long dry “writer’s block” spell. There were fits and starts across these dry years of creative leanings. By actively shutting down that story that greatly inspired me, I did irreparable damage to my creative gene and my writer’s soul.
It took another cathartic experience to revive and resuscitate my creative gene — after 20-odd years, I graduated college and received my degree in Written Communications. That was a little over 18 months ago. In this short time, I completed a novel started over 4 years ago and compiled four short stories into a collection and made both of these works available online via Amazon.com and Barnes and Noble’s Pubit! E-book publishing feature. The blog came next and shortly thereafter, my author’s website. And most importantly? I’m writing real work again — that is, new short stories and work on two novels.
The moral of this story? When art and antiquity — or anything else for that matter — moves you, FOLLOW. Don’t look back, or stop for anyone or anything because your creative life may very well depend upon your complete and utter devotion.