There are times when I overthink my writing. I don’t assume to be the only one who does this. I think what’s most important now is that us writers write. Something. Anything. As long as we’re doing, we can always go back to revise (something I think is the fun part) and pick and choose our stories.
Don’t Forget That We Writers Are Storytellers, Narrators, Wordsmiths (If You Use That Phrase)
It can be difficult to not judge our writing as it comes out of our heads and onto a paper (or keyboard, in my case). Overthinking can lead to hesitation; and hesitation leads to unproductive work. As one of my graduate professors once told me, “keep on writing; don’t stop because if you do, you lose that touch.” He was telling the truth, that wise man. Writing is a craft that must be practiced.
Learn To Love The Mistakes — They Can Become Part Of A New Story
I Don’t like to think of my writing as being full of mistakes (who am I kidding? I have horrible grammar). But setting aside the grammatical implications, I’ve learned to find my own pace and tempo. I’ve learned to write with a voice and even to mimic other voices as well.
What’s best about letting go of strict conventions is realizing the untapped ability to produce pretty awesome work. I’m speaking here as a novice writer despite having been writing my whole life and having a story published in an anthology because I think the act of writing should be one that is in constant revision, both with what is written and with the person who is doing the writing.
Being Creative Is A Constant Learning Process
Letting go of hesitations opens up a whole world of creativity. Remember those times when you tried to draw something at school only to be ridiculed by your classmates or corrected by your teacher? No? That’s just me.
What I do think that happens to most individuals after surpassing an elementary school age is their acquirement of fear — fear of being creative because somehow creativity has become equated with right or wrong. Either you’re a naturally gifted artist or you’re just so terrible (by your standards) that you don’t try anymore.
When I was growing up, creativity and art was a secondary thing below other curriculum, like math or writing (something that’s still prevalent to this day). I learned to disregard my love for colors or my want for creativity because that “wasn’t going to take me anywhere.” So I learned to be uncreative. I learned to focus only on words and to forget that images, both physical and imaginary, are key components to telling any story. This is something that I’ve slowly learned to regain.
Storytelling involves imagery; it involves invoking emotion through the reader. I’m relearning how to be creative by relearning my other artful passions, besides writing. Music, painting, drawing, and designing have been the avenues that I’m using to relearn my creativity. Because, ultimately, writing and storytelling should be fun, it should be informative, and it should be inspiring to others.
© 2017 | The Black Lion is a humble interdisciplinary journal that values your voice. Visit the submissions page to learn more about submitting to the Journal’s sections or to The Wire’s Dream Magazine.
This is part of a new column on Medium: ‘Relearning Creativity’