Creativity isn’t on a time table.
Writing is a business.
Those are the titles of two recent blog posts. At first glance, it doesn’t seem that both statements could be correct.
But I think they are.
Let’s start with creativity. I completely agree that creativity isn’t on a time table. There’s a lot of creative things in my life and frankly some of them take a lot longer than I had anticipated. Which means some don’t get done when I hoped they would. Which means I’m almost always behind in some creative project.
Like the quilt my husband has been asking for. For the past two winters. That is mostly cut out. I think.
Or the kitchen that I had every intention of repainting this summer. But didn’t. Then again, in my defense, we never did get around to buying the paint.
Or the novels I’m working on. Both of which get a few thousand words added to them each week.
Sometimes a person just can’t be creative. That’s when you need to rethink what you’re doing. Why don’t you finish that project? Is it because you’re too easily distracted? Try shutting yourself in a room. Threaten the family with lack of food if you’re interrupted. Refuse to do laundry until you get another chapter (or so many more words) written.
Do you not have the right “supplies”? I don’t mean the paper, the pens, the computer. I mean the backstory. The idea of where the characters are supposed to end up. Maybe you didn’t really do all the research you needed. Without those supplies, I’ve found that I can’t be creative at all because I don’t have the items necessary to do the job.
Do you need a change of scenery? Take a walk around the block. Stepping away from the computer might let you see the answer to your predicament a little more clearly. Or at least a little differently!
Which brings me to the other statement: Writing is a business.
It is. An author is more than just a writer. An author is also a marketing guru, a public speaker, a social media presence and a person with a “real world” life and commitments. Often times the author has another job (or two!) to help pay the bills.
And there’s still only 24 hours in a day.
Can creativity and business be combined? Yes. But it takes discipline. A lot of it. And that’s something I don’t always have. I confess that I let my family take priority a little more often then I maybe should. And it’s hard to try to get those words down when someone is begging for your attention. Or the dog needs to go out. Or the dishes need to be washed.
So what’s a creative soul to do? Easy. PB&W.
Plant Butt (in chair) and Write.
The words may not be great, but they are out there. You can edit later.
And that’s a whole other issue….
Nichole R. Bennett is a creative soul and currently working on her second, third, and fourth novels. Her first novel, “Ghost Mountain,” is available through Second Wind Publishing.