Writing for leisure should be an enjoyable experience, an outlet where you can express your own personal views and tell a story or two.
Ian had reached a hiatus to his latest manuscript and decided to ‘down tools’ for a bit so I ‘put the kettle on.’
Working with a new author can be rewarding, it can be demanding, even exhausting at times. Living with the highs and inevitable lows, Ian is no different to myself and a ‘million’ other’s when personal expectation and the dreaded ‘creative block’ meet.
His first words to me as I placed our current favourite brew on the table in front of him went something like:
‘I really thought it would be a whole lot easier, it’s been almost eight months BUT I just cannot figure out where to go here …’
My reply was aimed at consolation … take a break Ian, go for a stroll, smell the roses, meet some people …drink more tea!
I explained to Ian that personally I’d found it was no good worrying about pursuing a solution (which in this case was a new chapter) and that really great things happen when we take the ‘load off’ and allow some freethinking to happen. We push too hard and tend to compound the problem, I suggested.
‘I’ll never get this finished, I need to find some inspiration.’ replied Ian.
Tea didn’t seem to be working.
‘It’s the same with any creative process.’ I continued.
Allow inspiration to find you. Write like you are on holiday.
Sure, we set high standards for ourselves when assessing whether our existing draft is any good, so make a change if it’s necessary or perhaps take time to prepare an alternative storyline. Most importantly though, at some point leave the table and enable the creative influences that initially inspired you, to return.
Song writing is the same. We start with a line, a story and there is a natural flow, you work with a melody and come back with it to the story when the time is right.
Take some time. This is your work. There is no deadline on quality, no specific time for ‘done.’
Take all the time that you need to be satisfied, be content. We are not out to please the critics, but to please ourselves.