#writerslife: Reuniting with Creativity

Approximately a year ago I began feverishly reading blog posts, articles, and books about writing. I had been reading them before but not with the conviction that I  procured last spring.

During that summer I felt I was gaining knowledge about the craft and how to work better through the writing process. I was reading such blogs as Bane of Your Resistance, Today’s Author, WordDreams, and A Writer’s Path. [There were others too but they’re too numerous to count.] I was reading articles at Grammarly and Writer’s Digest taking notes along the way. Amazon was seeing me regularly at their site buying how-to books on the subject.

Conspicuously, I didn’t have any confidence in my ability to write. For that matter, it’s still rather shaky. The whole point of reading all the blogs posts, articles, and books was so I could write without having to stop to look up anything about the craft and feel some pleasure in the actual act of writing. Although I feel I have learned a thing or two, I believe I came away with all that reading with a dilapidated sense of self-worth.

I remember as a teenager I was enthralled watching the words appear before me as I typed on the electric typewriter. I’d be fascinated by how weaving the words together created passages I thought anyone would want to read. Somewhere in between those years and present day I had lost the luster I once saw in the written words. I wanted that shimmer back. I thought studying diligently would make my skill come to life again. It seemed reasonable that knowing what to write and how to write it would make the words on the page glisten and flow with ease.

While trying to enhance my writing skills, the blog posts, articles, and books kept coming at me. I’m ashamed to say that all of that information had me feeling undone after a while. If I really tried to absorb all that I was reading, I’d get befuddled. So much of it was aimed at specific ways a writer could approach the writing process. Not everyone is a plotter. Not all writers are pantsers. Some writers attack scenes randomly while others like to follow the chronological order. I know some who prefer not writing at home, taking their laptop to an eatery, the library, or maybe even to the park. I like writing at home in complete silence. Yet, from what I’ve read these past months, it’s being suggested that I write in one of the diners in this small town I currently call my own. The reasoning behind all of the advice is good. It all makes sense to me but it had me going in several directions at once. To say the less, I was getting a little dazed by all of it.

A couple of weeks ago I came across a blog post [I can’t remember which one now] that discussed the joy of writing just to write. I realized about a third of the way through the piece I had been leaving my muse behind. My imagination was sitting outside the door waiting for me to let her in. I was finally conscious of the issue of I can’t write anything even halfway decent without my creativity being in full swing.

In other words, I had put limits on my writing by putting the rules and advice first instead of using this information as just a guide. Writing is an art, which requires imagination and emotion. I had put that knowledge on a shelf someplace never bringing it down to inspire me. That is until of late.

Have you ever got too caught up in the knowledge so you couldn’t see what was important?

“Imagination is the beginning of creation. You imagine what you desire, you will what you imagine and at last you create what you will.”
George Bernard Shaw

 

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15 Replies to “#writerslife: Reuniting with Creativity”

  1. Do I ever doubt my skills as a writer? All the time. Even when someone tells me they’ve been moved by a passage I wrote, I wonder if they’re sincere or just trying to get me to shut up and go away.

    Knowing how I react to any kind of a compliment, should I ever get a book in print, should even one person tell me that I’ve touched them in a positive way, I will not believe them.

    It will not stop me from writing, but it will do nothing to increase my confidence in myself. I will still compare myself to other writers whose work is monumental and I will still find myself short in all areas.

    But I’ll turn the computer on again, open a blank page, and the words will show up.
    Your thoughts here are genuine, Glynis. Do I dare tell you how well written this post is?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for the compliment. ❤ [I did edit your question. 😉 ]

      I hate it when I compare myself to other writers. Of course, they're better at the craft than I am but I also know I'm not completely awful at this either. I do still have some creativity in me even though it's been over 45 years since I was that teenager. I just need to drag it out and make it show up on the page.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Glynis, this is a wonderful heartfelt post and I’m so happy you have found yourself free from the flood of ‘advice’ and ‘rules’! I recently wrote a post called ‘Write from the Heart’, based on my talk at a school and I think you’re right, it is important to have guidelines but just as vital to feel free within oneself, let the creativity flow unhindered, without censure and to find one owns voice! You seem to have done just that and I’m so pleased for you. Happy Writing!! 😀🖌

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Annika, when I saw you had “liked” my post, I went hurrying over to your blog because I haven’t been there in a while. Guess which post I decided to read. 😛 Yes, “Write from the Heart”. It wasn’t until later that your comment came through my email inbox and I saw you had referred to the very same post. I love being in sync with other writers. ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I understand how easy it is to get tangled up in advice from those who seem like “well, they must know what they’re talking about.” I don’t find that with writing, because I don’t read much about writing, but in other creative hobbies, I have gotten mired in advice and “the right way” – “the only way” and it can make me crazy.

    Hopefully, you have this sorted out, Glynis. Apply the advice where it works for you, but trust your instincts.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I should trust my instincts more because usually, they’re right on target. However, when I read my own writing, there are times when I want to gag. [Yes, my writing gets atrocious.] That’s when I lose my confidence and start the search for answers to my plight.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I know that feeling. I have drafts that I put away for months because I didn’t like it. Then, I take it out and rewrite it, keeping only about 10% of the words but most of the thought. It’s easier to walk away when it’s disjointed.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. What a line—“whole point of reading all the blogs posts, articles, and books was so I could write without having to stop to look up anything about the craft and feel some pleasure in the actual act of writing”. Isn’t that the truth? At some point in the past, I too stopped reading all the how-tos and dug into doing, letting my subconscious absorb all the new information and create my writerly self.

    Well written, Glynis.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for the compliment, Jacqui.

      It’s nice to know that I’m not the only one who has been trudging uphill with the learning of this craft. And you’re right. At some point, we have to just set our behinds in the chair and rely on ourselves to let what is in our hearts and minds pour out onto the page. Let the rules and guides just hint once in a while during the writing.

      Like

  5. I’ve spent years stuck and hung-up on my writing, but once I just decided to do the thing and get on with it, the words flowed much like I’d remembered in the past. Starting is always the hardest part, but I know that now and am better at just getting on with things.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The start is still a little bit of a struggle for me but I push my way through. Now that there are more days of sunshine, I seem to be at a better place with my writing. Maybe I need more florescent lighting when I work in my home.

      Like

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