Friday, August 28, 2009

Squeezing the Creative Juices Dry

I read a post titled Ten Great Ways to Crush Creativity, and while it is aimed at the creativity desired in a business, I think some points apply very well to the creative process in writing.

1. Criticize and 7. Punish mistakes
No sooner do we write something down than we start picking it apart. "This won't work in the plot." "This doesn't fit into the argument." "This sounds awkward." Before we know it, we've turned from critiquing the piece to punishing ourselves verbally: "I'm never going to get this right." "Who am I kidding, I'm not a writer." Good writing takes time, and it takes the freedom to let the ideas flow... even if they aren't perfect at first.

6. Adhere to the plan
Some of us struggle with this more than others. My strength of outlining a plot is also my downfall. I get so focused on what I originally planned that I ignore the possibility that maybe one piece doesn't belong or should go in a different direction. Sure, the end goal should be kept in mind, but a plan should be flexible enough to allow for multiple ways to get there.

10. Don't waste money on training
Or time. Why learn from others when you can be mediocre all on your own? Training doesn't necessarily mean that you're taking a college course. It can be as simple as talking to another writer or even keeping a writer's eye peeled when reading a book.

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