Posts Tagged ‘ruts’

Whether for Something Old or Something New

March 5, 2012 2 comments

How often do you walk into a store, a shop, or glance into a gallery for the simple purpose of seeing what’s there?

Do you explore possibilities of new interests in your shopping experience, or do you prefer to frequent the same stores each week for the types of purchases you’ve been making for years? Do you know whether another store has the same items for 25% less than where you normally shop?

If you’ve answered “No” to the above questions, you have described your buyer’s life as running in a rut.

Writers don’t necessarily fall into this category, but it’s not unheard of, and a shake-up in one’s writing life can bring about changes for better writing. Some prefer to write only children’s stories and can’t understand why they aren’t having much luck in the acceptance department. Others write only annotated non-fiction without ever bothering to explore the creative side of that genre.

Each of us has the ability to write with more depth, with a more distinctive style, and with greater range. It’s also true that the writer, like any shopper, does herself a disservice by not exploring the options available.

Locating New Possibilities

Finding new territory is scary. It requires thought, exposure, and research. A memoirist might not want to move away from those events within her life to concentrate on how those same events affected someone else. It might not occur to her that by seeing the event through someone else’s eyes for a change, she might gain a better understanding or a greater perspective, about the event and her ties to it.

This memoirist might never realize, without exploration, that fascinating characters with intriguing stories to tell live within her grasp. If she took a few of those characters, placed them within the confines of a historical framework, and wrote a fictional piece, she might realize that she has the makings of a best-selling historical novelist.

The poet who’s never done creative non-fiction or song writing has not explored the multiple uses that exist for lyricism and verse. A whole world of lyrical work is available to those who will attempt to spread wings and fly over new territory. The act of exploring new poetic forms helps to broaden one’s view of the genre. A willingness to stretch one’s writing wings can foster many rewards.

Take the writer who loves to read about amazing new developments in science and who can envision possible new uses for the information. She has an opportunity to move into speculative science writing. The road to science fiction isn’t too distant, either. The ability to extrapolate from a tiny bit of scientific knowledge to how that knowledge could change the future is at the root of an entire genre.

Finding new turf to explore is as easy for the writer as taking her fingers for a short walk through cyberspace. The internet has given us that access and ease of travel.

Shopping for New Choices in Odd Corners

Charles Dickens wrote a great little story called “The Old Curiosity Shop.” It’s believed that Dickens chose to write this story, with its fairy tale qualities, because of the early death of his young sister-in-law. That it reads like something fit for complex YA novels of today make it just as pertinent now as when it was written.

Dickens wrote about the ills of his Victorian world. Some may argue that he spent too much time fiddling with the psychology of this story and its characters, instead of using the hit-‘em-hard approach as he’d done so often before.

Perhaps, the story worked because it took a different approach to the world of the time. Here was a young female character who wished to run away from her daily life with her grandfather. They encountered both the sweet and the sour sides of life and the world. The symbolism woven into this story could as easily reflect our present world.

Dickens risked veering away from his previous comfort zone. He chose to change his approach, his character style, and how he interpreted his world. Today, his story continues to compel the reader to find the similarities between his time and the 21st Century.

Don’t Worry About Double Coupon Days

Whether writers take themselves into a small museum or gallery that they’ve not visited before, or spend a few hours with the local historical society, the change of environment can change one’s perspective. Junk shops, through which only serious antique collectors wade, can yield tremendous potential for stories and articles.

Small galleries hold treasures that can spark new writing prompts. Unusual little museums offer loads of faces, history, and unique examples of people’s lives. By taking the time to peruse these venues, the writer leaves her comfort zone long enough to browse someone else’s.

All of these types of places can take the writer into new territory for escaping the writing rut. What she chooses to do with the new data is strictly up to her. It’s true, though, that sometimes the shopper can exit the store with prime consumables without resorting to pulling out the coupon book.