For the past few weeks I've felt as though I've been living in some kind of creative desert. I haven't written any prose worth mentioning. I've looked at so many of my own badly composed, under-exposed photos can't that I can't seem to recognise a good one any more. I can't even bring myself to write a review of Brighton Rock, one of my favourite reads this year.
This feeling has come on gradually, I think. An expanding, imperceptible at first, of the mundane worries of everyday life until any thought of creativity seems irrelevant or just impossible.
After a good night's sleep, I'm feeling a bit more positive today. I scanned the plethora of creative writing books on my shelves and picked up Short Circuit A Guide to the Art of the Short Story, edited by Vanessa Gebbie. This is an excellent collection of twenty-four essays commissioned from well-published short story writers. I read a piece on setting by Nigerian author Chika Unigwe. It didn't tell me anything I didn't already know, but it did make an impression of sorts: bringing back memories of a holiday in Greece and a little girl being tested on her times tables. Perhaps there are a few rain clouds on the horizon after all.
How about you? Do you ever feel this way? How do you escape from your creative desert?