Friday, August 18, 2017

Rituals & Creativity

We creative types often have little rituals we do in order to prepare ourselves for the muse. Early in my writing journey I would always light a candle and play soft instrumental music to get me into the writing "zone." Over time the rituals changed.

I went through several years of latte and bookstore noise. Then came the sunshine and noise of the wind in the trees. Lately, I've been in the "quiet" period with no candles or music, just me and my muse having a conversation about the story.

What are your favorite writing rituals? 

The latte is probably my personal favorite. Writing (or reading) and latte's just go together. 

But creativity can be fickle. And watch out for the inner critic. It'll stifle your creativity if it can. If possible do the rituals that allow your creative juices to flow and ignore the inner critic.  (They are only good for editing, in my personal opinion.)

When I was writing articles under deadline I sometimes I had to force the words to come. By the time I got through that first draft I was in a better place and able to mine the jewels from the garbage. Creativity doesn't always come on like a faucet. Sometimes we have to prime it, but don't wait for the muse to strike. It's more important to write badly than to not write at all.

If I'm really stuck and can't make the words appear on the page I'll take out my favorite pen and write in a notebook. When I transcribe it later onto the computer it blossoms and grows. Don't you love it when that happens? 

I used to paint pictures and I'd sketch for days until I got the layout I wanted. Now I paint with words. First drafts are our sketches. Whether on paper or canvas or computer we want the vision we see in our minds to be shared with others. How we get there is our own special journey. Never let anyone tell you "how to write." You will figure that out over time. Light insense or wear your favorite socks if that will help.

Just keep writing.
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Jacqueline Seewald said...

Hi Bonnie,

You've said a lot here that I agree with. The hardest part of writing is to get that first draft of any work down. I always used to write my first drafts in longhand on notebook paper. Most of the time now I only outline in that manner and do the actual writing on my computer. But rough drafts are never easy. Like you, I do my best to shut off the inner critic at that time. I agree, it only harms the creative process. Self-doubt is never beneficial. Time enough to wear the editorial hat on the second or third draft.

Bonnie Tharp said...

Hi, Jacqui!
Thank you for the comment. We, humans, love our rituals and for the most part, they are good. At least, I hope so. Writing rituals should be positive, uplifting experiences designed to encourage creativity. Bye Bye Inner Critic! Hello, something wonderful!

Jacqueline Seewald said...

I'm with you on rituals. I like to have a cup of coffee by my side when I start working in the morning.

Bonnie Tharp said...

Now you are talking!

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