Saturday, October 3, 2009

Writing From a *gasp* Practical Standpoint

Writers. We're an interesting bunch of people. I took creative writing in college and was exposed to an interesting group. More than half of the class of thirty, including myself, were left handed. Lefties are notoriously scattered and a little on the 'eccentric' side of things. Again, being a lefty, I'm familiar. And if you're not left handed, well, having the creative mindset is sort of like being honorarily left handed.

What does that mean? It means that we creative types tend to let our creativity yank us around like it owns us! Well, at the risk of sounding like an ancient Kung-Fu sage, if we don't master our creativity, our creativity will become our master.

Our Creativity Master might tell us we can only write at 2AM, or when it's quiet, or that we are bored of our current WIP and want to start on a new one...that has zombies!

So is there hope?

Yes! There is!

It just takes a little bit of, oh man, do we creative types HATE this word...discipline. What does that mean? Sometimes, for me, it means making sure I write every day, even when I don't feel like it. Even when I only have five minutes, as long as I do it. And yes, sometimes I have to do it when the creative juices aren't flowing so much and it means I get two pages in an hour instead of six, but it's been a (here's that word again!) very worthwhile discipline for me over the past year and a half.

It can also mean finishing a manuscript that may have lost its bright, shiny lustre in the face of a brand new SHINIER idea. My solution to this, not a unique one by any stretch, is to create a little file dedicated to my new idea, a little one page write up, and then I save it and leave it alone until I'm done with my current MS.

I love to write, but I'm not in it solely for the enjoyment, I want to make it a job, and with that in mind I've set out to treat it like a job. I think if the aim is publication, that level of practical thinking has to come in somewhere.

Next up, I'll talk a little bit about picking a market to write for! (yay)



  1. Maisey,

    Great post. I'm a lefty too! And, IMHO, discipline should be considered a 4-letter word. But, as you say, it is essential to the writing process.


  2. LOL. So you know what I'm talking about!! I'm so left handed I can barealy do addition...

    And I never said it wasn't a four letter word, just that it was a necessary evil. I discover that more and more as this process goes on!