By Anonymous Writer
So you’re sitting at your desk trying to write creatively, but there’s a problem: You’re stuck. No matter how hard you try to focus, no matter how much coffee you drink, your fingers are simply frozen. And when they do finally move, what they type is quickly dismissed by your backspace key. Sound familiar? If you’re faced with this situation, you should seriously consider establishing a creative process. This takes time; it takes discipline, but it can also be fun and extremely rewarding for creative writers.
A creative process? Yes, a structured routine that will consistently enable you to access your inner creative juices and deliver high quality writing for school, work, or your readers. Why wait helplessly for words to appear, when you can construct a winning formula that not only facilitates creativity when you need it, but also allows you to meet deadlines without the stress of being rescued at the last minute by a burst of creative energy?
The first step in building your own creative process is to identify exactly what it is you’re trying to write. This is where reviewing the work of others can be extremely useful. Oftentimes we don’t know what we want to do until we’ve seen it done. Let’s say you’re writing an article on a specific topic, then it’s a good idea to read articles that have already been written on the subject. Seeing how others have presented their ideas can help you generate new interpretations for your own work. Plagiarism? Absolutely not! No, the objective here isn’t to copy and paste, but rather, absorb and be inspired to create something original.
Being inspired by the work of others is fine. However, always remember one thing: Inspiration is all around you! Every possible moment of inspiration can be recorded. No excuses. Pull out your phone and take pictures and/or videos of things that make an impression on you. Use the voice recorder to make notes on impactful situations or ideas that pop in your head during the day. These saved moments of inspiration can serve you well when it’s time to start writing.
Assuming you’re inspired and know exactly what you want to write, you now need to establish an environment that’s best suited to extract your creativity. In other words – set the mood. What type of music do you like to listen to when you write, or do you prefer silence? A dark room or well lit? Indoors or outdoors? Do you feel more comfortable writing on a laptop, tablet, or desktop? It’s really up to you. Only you can answer these questions. You might have to literally go through a trial phase to see what works for you and what doesn’t. Oh and don’t assume because you’ve never tried a particular setting that it won’t work for you.
If creative writing is driving a car, then writer’s block is a traffic jam: It’s bound to happen. Although having a creative process will minimize the likelihood of being stuck and unable to write, it won’t completely protect you from writer’s block or having glitches in your creative flow. If this happens, you must first trust the process. Sure, you can and should make adjustments. For example, you can try listening to a different type of music. But you shouldn’t be too eager to completely abandon ship. Be patient. Maybe you need to take a break? Go for a walk, record whatever strikes you as interesting. Or maybe what you need is a good night’s sleep? Whatever you do, don’t panic! Remember, it’s just a traffic jam, eventually you’ll be cruising on the highway.
Building your own unique process is an important part of being a creative writer. Your creative process should help you to deliver quality work, minimize the potential risk of having writer’s block, and efficiently manage your work output to successfully meet deadlines. Once you’ve found a process that works for you, stick to it, but be prepared to make minor adjustments as situations arise. Still, you’ll inevitably encounter rough patches in your writing, as interruptions in creative flow are natural. However, having a solid creative process in place will help you to reduce the temptation to panic, resolve these glitches in a timely manner, and successfully complete your writing task.