When are you at your most creative?

Yesterday I was driving through a slush storm to pick my kids up from school. The temperature was yo-yoing just around freezing and the sky was dark grey, a heavy mass of clouds that couldn’t make up their mind if they wanted to pelt us with rain or bury us in snow. Hence the slush. I drive this route twice a day Monday to Friday and apart from being “slushed” by two passing trucks, the drive yesterday was otherwise uneventful.

What occurred to me though is that those 15 minutes twice a day, are my most productive in terms of writing ideas. I invariably put on a playlist and let my imagination loose. Don’t get me wrong – my attention is on the road! But in the back of my head, little bubbles are rising to the surface of my imagination and I see images or snippets of film and a stream of “what if’s”. I carry a small notebook where I can write these little pearls down – when I get to where I’m headed – and trust me I need to write them down or they get lost in the fog of appointments and meetings and “what’s for dinner”.

But why is it that most of my ideas come to me when driving my car? Why not in dreams? Why not when I’m sat here at my desk actually writing? Why not when I should be concentrating in a meeting or when I’m cooking dinner? I wouldn’t call the scenery along the motorway particularly inspiring….

My theory is that, when I drive on my own, my otherwise busy mind gets to relax and “breathe”. So often I’m surrounded by other people and demands on my attention, that the opportunities to be creative are severely limited. Those short intervals of alone time driving my little electrical car are golden! I could rehash a recent argument, mull over something work related, plan the dinners we’re having next week, but instead I find that I tend to gear down (pun intended) and let my mind wander towards my novel. I guess I’m not the type of person that finds driving particularly stressful – especially not on a route I drive so often – and the possibility of calm, unstressed focus allows my creativity to flow. Add in an amazing playlist I created as a “soundtrack” to my novel and I’m all set! It’s been great in terms of plotting my novel! I nearly always come back from a drive feeling energised and inspired and now that I’m consciously aware of how those moments of alone time boost my creativity – I have a great tool I can utilise when an inevitable bout of writers block hits!

Is it just me? Do any of you experience a boost in creativity when driving your car? Are there other situations or places where you feel your creativity flows better than others? I’d love to hear about it!

 

 

“Where words fail…

… Music speaks!”Β Hans Christian Andersen said that and I would imagine he knew what he was talking about!

Today I find myself staring out of the window at a clear, blue and beautiful winter sky, thinking over the scenes of my story. I can “see” my characters, “hear” their words and “feel” their emotions, but as with most stories – it doesn’t seem to work as well without a soundtrack! Have you ever had the shivers from a really good melody? Heard a singer who’s voice tugs at your heartstrings? Heard the words of a song and felt they were speaking to you? I live for moments like this and so it shouldn’t come as a surprise that, when I imagine the scenes of my story, there’s a soundtrack playing inside my mind in the background! It makes everything feel complete, feel “right” and I’m hoping the inspiration I take from the songs makes what I write, better.

To make my soundtrack more of a reality than an endless loop of phrases and snippets of melody running through my head, I decided to compile a playlist of songs that reflect the emotions, struggles and achievements of my main characters: Beth and Sam. As music will play a part of their story, I just had to create something that would do them justice! I know I will love listening to it – there are some of my all time favourites in there – but it occurred to me that maybe you would enjoy a peak into their musical world! If you’re interested in hearing Beth and Sam’s playlist, you can find it here on Spotify or follow the social media link at the bottom of the page! I hope you like it!