What Works For Me…May Not Work For You

A creative block is the wall we erect to ward off the anxiety we suppose we’ll experience if we sit down to work. Eric Maisel

I wanted to address a comment Jim made yesterday about my sculpting post…
In reference to one writers way of writing.

“I’m sure that’s the case for some but writing is exactly like that for me. I write a basic story and then graft on bits here and there until the work is ready. I’ve written four novels that way and the fifth is shaping up exactly the same.”

My posts are just meant to be exercises to prompt you to write. I find inspiration in quotes from other writers, poets, artists, creative folk etc. Some writers find they need to wait for inspiration I have found I need to hit the keys daily. This may not work for you. And many of the quotes may not emulate your writing life. Don’t be discouraged if that’s the case. Keep searching, keep learning, keep writing. It took me many years to figure out what works for me, during this time I read everything I could on creativity, writing, inspiration and became a fan of the expert on creativity, Dr. Eric Maisel. Some of his books for writers include:
Deep Writing: 7 Principles That Bring Ideas to Life
Living the Writer’s Life
Write Mind: 299 Things Writers Should Never Say to Themselves (And What They Should Say Instead)

At the end of February I will be interviewing Eric on The Writing Nag as part of his blog tour to promote the paperback release of The Van Gogh Blues: The Creative Person’s Path Through Depression I look forward to his visit and I hope you will stop back to read the interview. He has really tapped into an important piece of the creative soul.
Tomorrow, I will post more information about Eric Maisel’s work. Today, spend some time writing your goals but this time write ones that you would think impossible and then enter them in this contest. You might want to read the guidelines first. January Contest. Now get back to work!

The Writing Nag

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3 Replies to “What Works For Me…May Not Work For You”

  1. Thanks for the mention. Since you’ve brought up writers block can I just add my tuppenceworth on that topic? Like most writers I get times when I can’t write. It happens. I’ve had three lengthy periods of creative block in my life. The first time I just sat there waiting for my muse to wake up but that took three years.

    The next time, when I found I couldn’t make progress on a project I was working on I put it aside and did something else; two years later I went back and completed my third novel but in the interim I’d written about forty stories, a pile of poems and even a play. I’m going through the same problem now with my fifth novel but I’m not fretting because I’m starting to understand how I work.

    I’ve been writing for thirty-five years but it was almost twenty years though before that first bout of writer’s block hit me so don’t assume because you’ve had a good run you’re exempt. Also don’t mistake a lack of motivation for a lack of inspiration. There was plenty to write about in that first three year period, I simply couldn’t be bothered. That first block was caused by the lifestyle I was living. When that changed the words came back and with a vengeance.

    And, by the way, at the end of that three year period I was suffering from clinical depression and continued to be depressed for the next nine months during which I wrote the outlines for my first two novels. It’s not the brick wall many imagine.

  2. I think that’s why surrounding yourself with the right people is important. One person I knew stated unequivocally that a writer “always” overwrites at first and that you need to cut. I tend to write a pretty bare bones skeleton (with flashes of extraneous stuff and cool stuff), then have to go back and fill in “the pretty” as I call it. Because of the decree, I felt I was doing it wrong. Stopped my writing for a year.

    Then I started hanging out with different people. And found out that everyone has a different process. And that individual processes can change over time. That what works for one project, may not work for any other. We need to stay open to what our creativity is telling us.

    The sculpting analogy still works in any case. It just depends if you’re working in marble or clay.

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