Write Path Ideas & Creativity: How do you nurture your creativity? Ep. 1.4

Yep. You caught me. All this talk about procrastination and writer's block and creativity.... Well, it caught up with me. Sort of.

If you happend to notice there were no #WritePath posts last week, then congratulations to you! To be honest, no one was beating down my door wondering where the Monday post was. And that's okay. Glad I didn't disrupt your routine too much. (Or at all!) 

Last week I took a mental break from my writing world. Sometimes we just need to do that—our brains need down time. Or, time to focus elsewhere. That was me last week. I needed to point my creative efforts in a different direction.

So what did I do?

I redid the backsplash in my kitchen. And, I like it so much, I'll be doing the soffit above the cabinets in a similar fashion next. See? 

The tiles are new. Still much to do! This is my mother's kitchen and I recently inherited it. It's a great, functional kitchen, just needs some updates. I'm on it! But I digress. A little. Back to today's topic which is....

YOUR IDEAS & CREATIVITY: Episode 1, Part 4



First words, first thoughts, are powerful. Capture them in your creative spirit and hold them to the page. Be free with them and write what comes. Natalie Goldberg says in her book, Writing Down the Bones, "Sit down with the least expectation of yourself; say, 'I am free to write the worst junk in the world.' You have to give yourself the space to write a lot without a destination."

Write a lot without destination.

It's okay to lower your expectations at "word one."

Let's let that sit for a bit.

There are two things in today's world that might stifle your creativity—the wild west of today's publishing industry, and the crazy mixed-up society in which we live. Not to mention the day-to-day chaos and monotony that can sometimes be our lives.

Pandemonium, uprooted routines, the uncertainties of life at times, and even boredom, depression, and just plain busy-ness (and maybe business) can wreak havoc with our creative selves and our time to write. Just to name a few. We begin to doubt our muses, our imaginative energies, and our abilities to get the words right. And even if we find the time to lay down words on the page—we question. 

Are they any good? Good enough? Interesting? Dynamic? Or just stilted words with no oomph?

Maybe they lack oomph. Natalie Goldberg says it doesn't matter. We are free to write junk. We need to give ourselves the headspace to not only write junk but write freely. Sometimes it's the only way to give our muse the nudge, and maybe even more importantly, the space needed to spark the good stuff.

Just write stuff. The more we write stuff, the more stuff we write.

Give yourself the headspace to write and write what comes.

Don't censor yourself before you type the first word.

Don't hold your words in check before you write because of fear of perfection. No one's words are perfect from the start. Take that pressure off yourself.

Also, don't fear writing the stuff that makes you uncomfortable.

Writing is often (and should be) raw and gritty when it comes off the pen. Don't be afraid to put your thoughts on paper. Give yourself the mental brainspace, and physical time and space to write freely and write what comes. When you censor yourself, you are censoring the power of your story. Stop doing that.

I'm not saying first words shouldn't be edited (they will need editing down the road), but capture that raw, unfiltered story while you can.

The publishing industry has traditionally dictated what writers should write because it's what they thought readers wanted to read—but mostly it was because what genres or tropes were selling and making them money.

This is why traditional publishers often run a story by the marketing department before contracting with an author to publish a book—they want to know if it is marketable, as much as they want to know it is a good read. Did you realize that?

Many successful indie authors do that too—study the markets and write their books to target what the readers are buying. And there is absolutely nothing wrong with that.

But do you want the market to drive your words? Money? If so, then write accordingly. If not, then write what you want to write and let the chips fall where they may.

Writing to the market or writing from the heart has been an ongoing debate—or discussion—within writer circles for decades. It is still an important concept for writers to ponder, and something to consider as you walk this journey on Your Write Path.

Which path is right for you at this point in your career? Writing to market? Or writing the book of your heart? 

Which path best nurtures your creativity?

Your thoughts?

For more articles on writing, search the hashtags #microworkshop or #writepath within this blog.