Creativity flourishes with a spirit of playfulness.
There’s a moment that occurs in every writer’s life when your fingers begin to cramp into a claw-like formation as you madly type toward another word-count milestone. “Perspiration trumps inspiration,” you chant, but the problem is that your brain is so fried that it feels like a wet noodle. (I’m using clichés and mixed metaphors at the same time, so I must be in such a state now.) Read more
The principles of improv acting apply to writing as well.
Your Inner Editor has a sibling, who can be more dangerous to your writing than even the growling critiques of your Inner Editor itself. It tends to walk around the rooms of your mind gazing at all the imaginative ruckus with a persnickety, arrogant gaze. It exudes an air of judicious logic, speaking in the grave tones of seasoned caution. It likes to stroll in just when you get an idea that you’re about to pounce on like a puppy pounces on its chew toy, and it says, “But wait . . .” Read more
If you don’t appreciate the beauty of the flame, you take away its oxygen.
The Novel Idea
If there’s one thing we writers specialize in, it’s self-loathing. We tend to beat ourselves up, whether we’re stuck in the muddy middle of a rough draft or slogging through a seemingly endless revision of a novel. We somehow forget the wondrous flow of a mellifluous sentence we write one day as we clank our way through a ragtag snarl of words the next. The novel idea we were once so thrilled by too quickly becomes a burdensome yoke around our neck. Read more