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And now, here’s Zorak with something to think about!

25 January 2013


I’m on Facebook pretty regularly, and Twitter a couple of times a day. By virtue of being… well, me… a lot of the people I follow are writers or artists or creators in some way. And while a lot of them are fine to do their own work (and talk about it, which is also fine), there are some who just seem to feel the need to tell you how to do things.

You need to write in third-person. You need to avoid head-hopping. You need to draw for a thousand hours before you even attempt to do a comic panel. You need to write a million words before you attempt to write a novel. You need to do this to be creative — NO ONE WHO IS CREATIVE DOES NOT DO THIS, DO YOU NOT UNDERSTAND?!

Thing is… it’s not that you don’t need to do any of this stuff. You might, or you might not. I can even say (and probably have on this blog) that you should put in the hard work and finish things if you want to be successful, but the truth is, there are people who don’t do either and end up doing just fine for themselves. We look at these people with anger and not a little bit of envy.

A thought for the day: no one can tell you how to be creative, or how you should go about doing something you want to do. Everyone’s method is different, and what works for me might just hold you back. Figure out your own way of doing things, or follow someone else’s template to the letter. I’m not the boss of you.

One Comment leave one →
  1. 26 January 2013 0631

    I’ve finished more than many of the people who are often online telling people what they must do to be creative. I break one big rule: when I’m writing something big, I often don’t read much. I definitely believe that reading fiction helps if, you know, you want to write fiction. But at some point, you get it–you know how a story goes together. After that, the best thing you can do is write!

    I probably read more than most people (fiction and non-fiction), and I know writers who are voracious readers and prolific writers. I also know people who don’t read all that much who destroy the writing of some who read a lot. As you mention: the big thing is doing it. I’m fascinated by the processes of others, but I have my own process that works for me. On my blog, I share what works for me…and if it helps others, cool. You and I write different things at different rates, but we eventually finish.

    In college, in a Shakespeare class, I sat by a guy who talked about the novel he’d been working on for years. He had all kinds of rules: he had to write under certain conditions in his study and parts of the novel couldn’t be written until he’d gone to Paris…for research. I bumped into the guy a few years later and his progress? Held back by excuses: “I just haven’t felt inspired,” “My Paris trip wasn’t all I’d hoped it to be,” “I need to read these 12 books in order to work on the next section…”

    It’s like this: Family Guy: Three Year Novel.

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