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A Note on the Creative Process

Learning to trust something so intangible is difficult for an instant gratification junkie and perfectionist like myself. I want the story to pour out of me correctly the first time, but it appears that’s not how my brain works. I’d become frustrated that my story wasn’t working the way I’d like it to so I went away from it for a time. I began to think, ‘Oh no. I can’t do this. I’m a failure as a writer…’ on and on. I became depressed and actually thought I had given up completely when I had some ideas regarding the story.

Perhaps it’s because I don’t understand this whole process that I get caught up in the negativity. I’m not sure. That or the fact that I’m prone to negativity and depression.

Learning more about what works for others can help me find out what works for me too. Like this article I found googling creative process this morning:

Take a Step Back – When you’ve been brainstorming for a while you need to take a step back and let things settle in your mind. Sleep is excellent for this. While you dream, your subconscious will go through information it has assembled, sorting and chewing it over. When you wake up the next morning you might just have figured things out. [a list apart]

Some of my best ideas have come to me in the shower. All I have to do is begin to think about a creative problem in the shower and solutions seem to pop up almost immediately. It’s hard to spend your entire life in the shower, I’m pruny enough without having to live under a stream of relaxing hot water. That and the fact that writing in the shower is extremely difficult. Water paper make for mush let alone the issues I might have taking this laptop in there with me. The thoughts of an astronomically high utilities bill isn’t attractive either.

What else works?

  • Exercise – Walking is best for me right now. I’m sure running might help too. That will come in time.
  • Environment change – Going to a place I don’t usually go to. I’ve found cemeteries very peaceful and inspirational places.
  • Writing – I know it’s sort of a weird thing to say that writing helps me to write but the act of writing anything at all (yes, even blogging) tends to get the right side of my noodle working. It doesn’t have to be relevant what I am working on story-wise and ideas come.
  • Meditation – Just sitting and clearing the cobwebs helps tons.
  • I pray my creative breaks are shorter, happier and more productive from now on.

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Wes A. Wiens November 26, 2007, 6:41 pm

    Have you ever read Ray Bradbury’s "Zen and the Art of Writing", it did worlds of good for me.

    I find my house is the worst place for me to write. Home is where the Playstation 2 is. Also the TV, bed and a lot of books. There is too many distractions. I have also decided to give up on web design in favor of writing more. Web design is not making me enough money to justify doing it instead of something I really love to do.

    I too find the shower/bath a wonderfully creative but woefully impractical place to write. Maybe we could market a line of waterproof laptop covers for the bath.

    My most creative (dry) place is surprisingly the Starbucks in the Langley Chapters. I think it might be the literary vibe that flows throughout the place.

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