“There Were Dragons” — And a Note on Creator’s Block

Once upon a time, there were dragons.

They flew through the land, breathing magic into the eyes of man. They spread their wings over the sun and made puppets that danced on the grass, and they shaped the clouds into infinite forms. Because of the dragons, anything existed, even that which did not exist in the land.

Once upon a time, the world had layers, and streams that ran to the center of the earth and back again, flowing with light and color. Inside the streams was life, and it grew and evolved and pulsated with energy, always changing. Because of the layers, anything existed, even that which did not exist in the land.

Once upon a time, magic was inside, but the magic has left now, and I am like a dead coral, a shell of something once great. Once upon a time, I swam in those streams, and I flew with the dragons, but now I am wingless, and the streams have dried up, and the dragons have flown away.

Where they have gone I do not know, but they must be somewhere. I seek paths through the tangled dead things in the land, but so far, I have not found a way out.

I need to find the dragons. I need to catch up with them. I need to take what made them leave and destroy what holds me captive here.

Once upon a time, there were dragons. They dazzled my eyes and sang magnificent songs.

But now they are gone.

By Anna Garner

This is a little reflection piece I wrote a few months ago. The dragons represent creativity and imagination, which could fill a mind with wonders that “did not exist” in the real world. Unfortunately, the creativity “left” and all that remains are remnants of what was once a flourishing world.

Many writers go through writer’s block, but creator’s block is even worse. Especially when life is busy or stressful, it can be difficult if not impossible to write or build on the worlds which you previously spent so much time in.

So! To all creators who may struggle with the same thing…

I can’t explain why the blocks come–it’s different for everybody. But one thing is for certain: We love to write, or draw, and create, and that’s not going to change anytime soon.

Perhaps this is a time of evolution in your creative process–maybe it’s time to branch out and try something new. Maybe you already have the stories in your head, but lack the motivation to put them down in writing. In this case, perhaps instead of writing them, you could sing them! (Singing in the shower works wonders… 😉 On another hand, you might try to turn your pictures into writing. Or, transform your stories into pictures.

As backwards as this seems, don’t try to force the block away. In my experience, it’s a little like sleep paralysis–the more you struggle against it, the more you feel like you’re suffocating. I find that when I relax against my lack of inspiration, the pressure subsides over time, and in due course of time, I once again find myself able to put words on paper.

If nothing else, turn this drought into something. Write a reflection like I did. Jot your thoughts down, no matter how mundane they may seem. Eventually, you’ll find the dragons.

Your motivation is in there somewhere–it’s just a matter of time before you rediscover it.

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