Tuesday, December 8, 2009

A Thin, Brittle Wall of Mother Of Pearl

People always say that they would love to write but can never "just sit down and do it"-like its something they have to force out.
For heaven's sake- you're writing, not taking a shit.
The process is entirely different. Rather than squeezing creativity out of yourself, writing is more an exercise in listening to yourself. The creativity is all there: the challenge is actualising it. How do you do that? its easy. The first step is to carry a notebook with you all the time. Whenever you leave the house, make it part of your checklist. Wallet. Keys. Phone. Notebook.
A great idea will always take you by surprise so make sure you have close at hands some means of bringing to life. Another thing-never ever let a good idea get away. Don't think you can write it down later: you'll just forget it.
For me inspiration is always in a state of flux. My thoughts are like a turbulent river, with memories, worries and fantasies writhing against each other. An Idea is a minute gleam in the midst of chaotic coginition. That gleam is the signal for you to spring into action. I always liken the process to smashing through a thin brittle wall of mother of pearl. That's just me.
When you get to the other side, the world suddenly explodes into brilliant colours of inspiration. This is what constitutes an Idea. Break down that wall and you'll have written six pages before you know what's happened.
The other concern that people have is that they won't produce anything "good" when they write. A fundamental flaw in the fabric of our society is how undervalued creativity is. We appreciate the finished products of musicians and artists, but are quick to stereotype the lives they lead as lazy and wasteful, and the people themselves as unbalanced and melodramatic. The dichotomy however between "work" and "creativity" is entirely false.
Exercising ones's creative potential is perhaps one of the most mentally healthy activities one can do. Everyday life (in most cases) does not require any kind of rapport with the more abstract realms of the mind. By being creative you are able to deeply scrutinise your immediate reality and see the surreal lurking behind the shallow facade of the real.
Creative people aren't an elite caste of painters and writers. They are everybody. Unfortunately we are products of a society where the opportunity to be creative is afforded to a few. Furthermore one is confronted with the aforementioned ultimatum of being creative and earning money. You should endeavour to dispel any angst relating to the quality of your work. Write because you want to, write for the joy of being borne away by a passionate idea.
So cancel your appointments, lock your office door and write.

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