Does Writing Fiction Need To Be As Hard As We Often Make It?
By Emily Hanlon
We make writing a lot harder than it is meant to be. Don't get me wrong-writing is not a piece of cake. It is hard work, but it's good hard work, like digging in the earth to make a garden. The problem for many of us is that our minds have convinced us that sitting down to write a story much less a book is at best painful, at worst impossible.
I believed this for many years -- and despite that I managed to get five novels, two picture books and one book on writing published. I don't believe in the pain theory of writing any more. Experience and age has convinced me of this: all our stories and novels are vibrant and complete somewhere in our creative unconscious. If we could side-step the Inner Critic who resides in the mind, we could sit down, put pen to paper or fingers to keyboard and the story would reveal itself in its glorious completeness in much the same way as Mozart's symphonies did for him. I have read that Mozart sat down and wrote his symphonies with very little revision, if any at all. In other words, he gave himself over fully to the creative journey and fell headlong into its passion.
The first time I read about Mozart composing without revision, I thought, sure, right. And if it's true, well, we're talking Mozart. For sure, that's not me! Now, some twenty-odd years later, I no longer doubt that it is possible to sit down and write a book from beginning to end and have it come out whole. I would like to experience such a creative flow and know that what prevents me is me, my mind that says it's impossible, "What, are you kidding? Writing is blood, sweat and tears. It's revision after revision. It's tearing your hair out. It's giving up and picking up. It's blah, blah, blah..."
Because that voice, the voice of my Inner Critic, still has sway over me, I have, like you, something of a difficult time opening to the creative flow. It's getting easier. And who knows? One day I might just manage to quiet the naysayer in me and write a book whole from beginning to end. For now, I'm happy that writing is no longer such a mountain to climb... and I can imagine the possibility of creative nirvana!
Emily Hanlon is a writing coach, a creativity coach and novelist.
As a writing coach, Emily demystifies the writing process with her two pronged approach of teaching technique and unleashing creativity. In addition to private coaching, she offers, workshops, retreats, teleseminars and teleworkshops.
Her work as a creativity coach is based on her belief that the multifaceted journey of creativity is not limited to the arts, but nurtures life at its most profound depths. The creative journey is a template for leading a more creatively fulfilling, aware and meaningful life. Emily offers two Mentoring Programs: Creativity as A Wellspring of Life and Writing Your Story, Creating a Tapestry of Your Life: Memoir Writing as a Healing Journey
If you are looking for help on writing technique or unleashing your creativity, explore these TeleSeminars from Emily Hanlon, now 50% off.
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