Throughout the course of any given day, I’m busily cooking up creative ideas. It happens spontaneously in the course of living my life. The ideas are often related to writing, which is my primary art form, but aren’t limited to that milieu. Some drift by, perhaps never to be recalled. The ones I find particularly cool I’ll jot down for (possible) later use. Other ideas will insist that I do something with them on the sooner side. This method of inspiration works better for me than trying to do it the other way around (deciding to write an article and then deliberately figuring out what it’ll be about).
Usually when I write a short article, essay or blog entry, it’s something I’ve started thinking about a day or so before putting pen to paper. Then I’ll sit down with an actual pen and my journal or a pad of paper, and write down what I’ve come up with so far. Sometimes I’ll start by jotting a list of things I want to include, and other times I’ll just start writing the article.
When I type the article up, that becomes the first edit. I’ll change words, correct my sentence structure, and sometimes add or cut phrases or sentences. I’ll often flesh out the examples I’m using, or paint a more colorful picture of what I’m describing.
The second edit comes when I have my writing partner, BlackLion, take a look at the article. We work well together. He’ll make suggestions, remove commas (I tend to be liberal with them, which I blame on my career in radio), and generally do a final cleanup. Then it’s pretty much ready to publish.
If I’m working on a longer article or paper, I get a bit more formal. I’ll take notes over a period of several days, then use them to create an outline. The writing might happen over a period of a few days (or at least separate sessions on the same day), and I’ll incorporate research as needed. Again, I usually like to use paper and pen first, before heading to the computer. Something about the tangible act of writing, of feeling the pen in my hand and seeing the words flow onto the paper, helps me to focus on the subject at hand.
I’ll type the article up, then walk away from it for a while. A second or third session of editing will happen before I’m ready to show it to BlackLion. And with a longer piece, I’ll often go back to it yet again after he’s made his changes and suggestions.
I feel blessed with an abundance of ideas, but sometimes the follow-through is a bit shaky. Sometimes things I write will be started but then abandoned, or at least left alone to hibernate. I write primarily non-fiction. I do have the impulse to write fiction now and then, and have started many stories and novels, but for some reason I haven’t (yet) finished any of them. When the time is right, I’m sure they will come to fruition. My poems have a mind of their own; I only write them when I feel inspired in the moment, and then I’m capturing them as a whole entity. Very little editing happens with my poetry (at least the poems worth keeping).
My creative process is a lot of fun! I love sharing ideas and thoughts with others in this form. I can see my writing improving over time, and I’m thankful to be practicing my chosen craft. My daily journal keeps me in the writing mode even when I’m not working on a particular project. My next big goal is to have a book published. Wish me luck…and skill!