In a day and age with a rampant search for writing gigs of all kinds, it’s only natural that productivity topples creativity at some point. Seeing that they’re the core of a writer’s occupation, it’s impossible for them to leave their creative veins behind. Yet, responsibility may dim the spark which got them started in the first place. Most of us began to play with words out of sheer pleasure, and the prospect of being in a constant productive state can make the fun go unnoticed.
According to Voltaire, “writing is the painting of the voice”. It sounds dreamy, I know. In fact, a lot of quotes about writing have a magical pinch to them. However, even fantasy writers will agree that’s not all there is to the job. In truth, the writing part is the least stressful among everything it takes to do it as a career or a dedicated interest.
For me a more relatable quote would be: “writing is blissful torture”. Who said that? I did. And I’ll explain why.
If one is serious about writing, the fact that it is a multifaceted pursuit should have dawned on them by now. Any job in the field may hamper creativity at some point, whether it is novel writing, copywriting, blogging, you name it. They all lug marketing, editing and the not-so-fun bits along with them.
It can be hard to watch a concocted notion fade. Still, you can bring your enthusiasm back with simple additions and a slight change in perspective.
Set aside some time to journal and freewrite.
Only ten minutes. Even five. I know you’re busy.
If you are the type of writer who just needs to unwind, this one is for you, especially if you are a freelancer. Discipline is primarily demanded when working for someone else, owing to their needs and deadlines instead of your own. Needless to say, being creative is still required, yet the feeling is far from the one you get when obliviously jotting down your thoughts.
So why not take a moment to unravel your feelings, as well?
Freewriting is a helpful technique that allows one’s imagination to bask on paper. Without regards to whatever mistakes you make, you simpy…write. Most writers know what that is, yet haven’t bothered to give it a shot due to modesty issues.
What about us, perfectionists? The need to blue-pencil each and every word is so tempting!
I know, I’m a perfectionist too. What comforts me is the awareness that I’m simply allowing my ideas to frolic. Nobody is going to see them but me, just the same as a diary.
When you first start, resistance is likely to kick in, but hear me out. As soon as you begin to freewrite and release the battle between what’s wrong and right, trust me: you’ll feel just like you did when you first started – no compromise or deadlines, but a moment of pure relish that will restore the faith in your ambitions.
Note: freewriting works best when done on paper. For some reason, thoughts seem to mingle better with the words as they flow from the tip of a pen or a pencil, not to mention the scribbling sounds that follow. The combination turns the activity into a delightful experience.
That said, I should add:
Write what you must, edit when you’re done.
This topic is done to death in the writing realm – for a reason. It’s unusual to imagine a writer who hasn’t felt a twinge to go back and smooth things out before carrying on. This, however, hinders efficiency to a great degree – essentially, it means multitasking at the least proper time.
Unlike freewriting, the foundation of stories and articles don’t call for unengaged creation. Instead, themes and characters’ motivations must be followed for the sake of coherence. Still, that early draft desperately needs work from your right brain hemisphere – the one in charge of imagination. When putting together a plot or an outline, you first need to know what to say, above all. Therefore, write for yourself first, then for your reader. I’m sure the technical side of your noggin can be patient.
That’s the magic of a start. To borrow from Shannon Hale, “I’m writing a first draft and reminding myself that I’m simply shoveling sand into a box so that later I can build castles.”
By the way, speaking of technicality: did you know that creativity hides even in the tweaks, the rewrites and adjustments?
Notice that your job consists of creativity, even when you’re unaware of it.
This can be tough to acknowledge when pressure strikes, but it’s possible if you give it a shot. Imagine the following scenario:
You’re pouting at you computer screen, sulking over a sentence that doesn’t go well with the paragraph…or perhaps a line of dialogue that sounds too mechanical. You erase it, rearrange sentences, replace commas, until it looks effortless.
That’s what you do. You stitch words together, you interlace written language and perception in such a way that is almost synesthetic. Whether you’re writing for yourself or not, the craft consists in skillfully maneuvering the words at hand. This simple shift in discernment can assist you in dragging your attention back to the artistry instead of the difficulty and make the experience less draining.
See, the “torture” I mentioned previously indicates the necessities that often distance us from the pure essence of writing. The bliss is the act of writing in spite of those. It is the fact that you still get to create and decide the most pleasurable way to engage a reader. All while you strive for that gig.
Remember: You are a creator by nature. However methodical a theme, you are still able to make use of your inventiveness.