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Wednesday, February 23, 2011


The Creative Spirit – or Lack of it.

Everyone’s creative in their own way, I’m certain. My mother loves to knit (Christmas presents), my husband rarely reads fiction but writes non-fiction and is the best interior decorator, my brother draws brilliant (if somewhat mean) caricatures of people – usually me – and is an expert at bending the truth. I’m like my father, I love to write and I always have. So why haven’t I produced more? Because life has a habit of getting in the way.

I won prizes at school for composition but academic life didn’t encourage writing as a career. I wrote in my twenties but I never considered dwelling in a draughty garret tapping on an ancient Remington. I needed to earn a living. In my late thirties, I took courses in creative writing but then, as it does, tragedy struck and that was the end of my creative stream.

Writers’ block exists and it’s not something you can ask two hunky guys to come and take away. It persists. When life knocks me cattiwampus I can’t write because my brain won’t go into gear until I’ve got over whatever it was. About a year ago something happened to me and whoomph – I was felled by writers’ block again. It wasn’t that I didn’t want to write, on the contrary I was desperate to get back to my half-finished second novel – I just couldn’t.

Then, from just a simple conversation with a friend, I heard about an alternative medicine technique which piqued my interest. Now I’m not a newbie to these things: I’ve been tickled by reflexology, thumped and pounded by massage, I’ve even walked around the city with a needle sticking out the top of my head because it was forgotten in an acupuncture session. But this method my friend talked about was new so I thought I’d try it and here’s what happened:

Ruth, my practitioner, ensured I was comfortably cocooned in warmth which triggered a wonderful feeling of well-being. Without any oils or creams, her hands rolled lightly over my skin to loosen or tighten the muscles, depending on what they needed. Every now and again she’d pause and hold a muscle or tendon before wielding her “magic” thumbs, a technique which sent thousands of sensory messages to the brain. We didn’t say much, all was quiet and reassuring and although she told me to shout if anything hurt, I didn’t need to. Once or twice during the hour she left me to stew in my slumbering trance, before she returned to administer a dreamy head and neck massage. There was a spot of foot and leg massage and after an hour I staggered home, fell into bed and slept ten solid hours.

The next day I was back at the computer. With shaking fingers I opened the file and…started writing. Oh, what sheer delight to sink once more into my imaginary world and my friends the characters, of being unaware of the hours rushing by – it was back! And it is back. For good I hope.

Now the question is: have I discovered the solution to Writers’ Block?  Was it The Bowen Technique sessions? I think it might have been.

Sue Roebuck was born in the UK but now lives in Portugal with her husband. Her recent novel, Perfect Score, was published by Awe-Struck Publishing ( on Sept 21 2010. "Perfect Score" is set in mid West USA in the 1960s and is a story about family relationships, corruption, growing up, integrity, responsibility, and being a man of worth in a society of the worthless. 

She’s, thankfully, well into her next novel which is set between Norfolk in the UK and Portugal and it features a female bullfighter who is very bad indeed.

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