Every creator has their own creative process. Some of us turn to liquor or drugs (not me, don’t worry). Others turn on dazzling lights or strike a match to light a candle. The point? We all engage in actions that create our creative process.
Personally, I’ve always found the things that authors and other artists do to enter into their correct head-space fascinating. It allows us a glimpse into their lives. We are able to understand their work in a new, enlightening way. For me, when I investigate into how an author writes, I feel as if I’ve picked away another layer of my own craft and glimpsed something special.
What’s your creative process? Leave a comment and let me know because I am interested!
Most of the time, it begins with something that envelops my senses. That can be loud music of any genre, I’ll go from rock and metal to jazz and ambient music just depending on my mood. However, it’s often times a smell like a candle or essential oil being diffused. Sometimes it’s even cookies or any combination of the above. I always start by submerging my senses a bit. It helps me fall into wherever I am trying to go.
When I first sit down to write, my process begins by working on an empty paper or document and permitting myself to write garbage. The first 500 words of my day are always trash but by allowing myself to scribble a bit, I’m waking up my creative muscles to put out quality content when I turn my eye to my real projects. It’s a warm-up.
This takes no more than a half hour, if I’m focusing. If my brain is in a wandering mood, it can take me an hour before I dial in my focus. Figuring out how to focus on any given day is exactly why I take time to warm up before my work.
So, my music is on, I have a snack, and the candle is burning. I’ve even warmed up. Right into writing then?
Nope. Something unexpected instead.
Well, not every time. And I’m not sobbing either. I just focus very intensely on the emotions I feel as I begin working on my novel. I focus on the sadness, the joy, the heart of the story, and I let it overtake me. I imagine the end and project how I want the reader to feel onto myself. Accessing my emotions in this way gives me the ability to spread them like a thin layer of lacquer across my words.
Without this step, I’ve found my work falls short. It doesn’t have the same impact I want it to have. It might still be good, but it doesn’t hit the same way.
Over the years it has changed, just like how my fitness routine has changed. Years back I may not have needed to stretch my muscles before a long run but now I’ll die if I don’t. In the same way, I once might have been able to just jump into my writing without much consideration to what happens beforehand but the knowledge I’ve acquired over the years has taught me this might not be the best approach after all.
The biggest (and most recent) change has been the accessing of my emotions. It’s a definite act of vulnerability and it feels very strange.
In the past, I’ve done many things and made my writing routine very complicated. The only thing that has stuck, has been to take myself out of this world and into my own. Sometimes this means blasting a TV show through noise cancelling headphones and sometimes it means sitting in complete, complete silence away from everyone.
Experiment. Developing a writing routine was the best thing to happen to my writing. It means that every single time I sit down to write, I’m in a comfortable space where my creativity can flow unrestricted onto the page.
Anyway, don’t forget to tell me about it!