Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Blocking Creative Thinking

Why is it that we can come up with ideas to write but it takes us an x amount of years to finish? Can it be that some of us are not persistent enough to see our work completed?


Then maybe the loss of direction or passion delays the finale?


Then it must be the fear of producing a product less than adequate.


Oh…All of the above…gotcha!

Writers are a funny lot. Many of us know what we want our writing to say to our readers because we’ve researched our market and target audience. Then others pick up a pen and write random words, stringing whatever pops in their heads. Both may end up with a superb product because these two methods, although different, fit the style of the writer writing. So before you dump your method to follow someone else’s, try it out first and see if it fits your style. I tried outlining a series once and almost gave up writing that series all together. I am a fly-by-the-edge-of-my-seat writer and it suits me, my thinking and availability. And guess what…

I don’t feel guilty. Some writers have written to me in the past, guilty that they don’t write 5,000 words a day like others, that they write in the morning instead of at night like others… Everyone picks what they can manage, but the most important part is to stick with a schedule as much as possible. I remember exercising and having to go to the gym for a 2 hour workout. I dreaded it. Guess what happened? I quit. At home, my method is to do 15 minute exercises in the morning, afternoon, and early evening and that suits my lifestyle better, and I haven’t quit yet. When the time comes when I can handle more then I’ll add a few more minutes. But I don’t feel quilty and neither should you. Forget what everyone is doing. Set a writing schedule that fits your lifestyle and add to it when you have more time. Stick to your present circumstances and avoid the mounting guilt because that will affect your writing.

Also remember that the more you write the more enthusiastic you get about finalizing your project. That’s why it’s important to have a set schedule and try to adhere to it.

As soon as you feel your schedule is taunting you, teasing you, causing you to avoid it, change it to suit your present needs. However, to play devil’s advocate here, if you continuously alter and lessen the writing time, your work will stagnate. Avoid changing to a lesser degree but concentrate more on perhaps changing the time of day or night you write.

At times we writers block our creative thinking because we stick with one project and have no clue where we should go next with that manuscript. Put it away and move on to another project. Give that project time to get out of your head and return to it at a later date.

What it boils down to is this:

Set a writing schedule that fits your outside commitments.

Have fun with your writing because you have readers who are depending on you to entertain them.


Roseanne Dowell said...

I also outlined a story and almost dumped it. It sqelched my creativity. I'm still not finished with it and I love the story idea. I will finish it someday, I'm sure. In the meantime, I have a couple of others I need to finish. Thanks for the tips.

Larion aka Larriane Wills said...

I don't have a schedule, never have, and probably never will. I've tried. every time I read an article or a book that tells me how important a schedule is, I try. It just never has worked for me. Writing gets in the way. lol

Lin said...

I found stories I started back then...eight pages...eight excellent pages...and then?...well I locked my writings away and now I wonder what I meant for the story and how I can take it from where it is at page eight and create a work of literary flights of inspiration...but I have loads of completed stuff to work on first...still those were pretty good eight page beginnings.

Unknown said...

I'm most assuredly a pantser as they say. I don't outline. I hate outlines. Even in school I could never do an outline and stick to it. I kept changing what I wanted to write. So now, I just sit at my computer and let my fingers fly. It works for me. And I love writing.

Anonymous said...

I started slow - it took me a year and a half to finish my first book because you are learning so much as you go, and initially, it is really hard work. My second book took less than half that time, because I had less to learn, I was having more fun with it, and I was starting to get a proper feel for my voice. Now, I tend to finish a first draft in 6 - 8 weeks(I'm working on book #11). I still have plenty to learn, but I understand what works for me much more than I used to.

Anonymous said...

I just wanted to say, THANK YOU for posting this. I know this post was made a couple of days ago but today was the day I needed to read it.