Take no advice unless it makes sense to you.
The binary I speak of consists of welding and writing. One helps the other. I'm a sculptor who has written some books that got published. Or a writer who has solo shows at galleries. One just opened in Santa Monica in January. And one every May at a gallery in Kansas City, The Hilliard Gallery.
Fine for you, you say. (you) I'm a writer. How binary is that? (me) I'm getting to that. (you) If I wanted to be a welder I'd go to welding school. (me) hear me out.
My binary approach to creativity is sneaking up on it in one guise or the other.
When waiting for something to happen at the keyboard is fruitless, I go fire up the welder. When something happens there, I work it for awhile, go back to the keyboard. My subconscious inner writer has worked it out and something will happen now. You don't have to weld, but you have to busy yourself at something. Don't just sit and stare. Do <i>something</i> away from the keyboard or writing pad. Something entirely different so your inner writer can work on the problem.
BUT, If I have something going and it sputters, I wait awhile before I leave it. Ron Carlson said, I'm paraphrasing here, the best stuff he ever wrote happened about twenty minutes after wanting to leave the room. Good advice. If you have another interest you can pursue, wait. Your inner self will probably work it out. It's not a real rational process.
When sculpting, I have a vague idea what I'm after unless it's totally abstract. Like a robot or a raven or a horse. Abstract stuff is tougher—if you screw up the design, you don't always know right away. I have a plasma cutter for that. Sometimes I have to cut a piece off, never much fun. Bet you can see the metaphor there for the writing. Editing. Editors are always after me to cut chunks and usually I see the wisdom. I don't like it, but I grudgingly see it and do it.
So, if it's all going to hell after grinding, welding, cutting, I call upon the binary deal. I go write. Something good might happen there.
1. Sit and write.
2. If the writing wienies over on you and goes into mental ellipses ... don't get up. Not yet. Try the Carlson thing. Don't leave the room. (yet)
3. Bold moves. Say, screw it, I'm writing in a scene where the protagonist has just hot-wired a car and a cop walks up and says, "Sir? (or Ma'am?) Did you know there's someone under your car calling for help?" You can always delete it and it might break something loose.
4. It may be time to chuck it for now. It shouldn't be torture, whatever "they" say.
5. DO NOT cruise the internet while writing.
6. There's a handy app called Freedom that will not let you cruise Facebook and your email for awhile.
7. DO NOT discuss your writing with anyone. That always waters it down and sucks the interest out of it. Your inner writer is satisfied. You don't want your inner writer satisfied until you see the pigdog (book or story or poem) in irrevocable print. And even then, not completely. That inner binary writer should say, "Next!"
8. When you've left the room go accomplish something. A load of wash. Finally take the car in for service, and take a book.
9. Apply to welding school.
10. In the end, take no advice unless it makes sense to you. There is no end of advice out there. Your voice is unique. Vonnegut said, and I agree, "Write to please just one person. If you open a window and make love to the world, so to speak, your story will get pneumonia."
Binary, schminary. I just used that to get the keys warmed up and brag about my sculpture. And as for me giving advice? My last royalty check was $12.74, and I drive a twenty year old truck. Who the hell am I to give advice?
Love, G (write your ass off)