Writing, or any art for that matter, is an extremely personal thing, and by extension every creator has their own methods to their madness. Some people, like my brother for instance, require silence in order to write. Others enjoy the tranquillity of some nice scenery. There are those who perhaps need to talk to themselves as they perform their art. Often these methods can mix and match depending on the person and their mood, since there’s no right way to do it. I mean, some people study using mind maps and pretty pictures, and I for one can’t get on with that. There’s another method I personally use to inspire my writing when the piece in progress needs a little extra kick, and it’s to do with the power music has to inspire art.
I’m sure that in your years as a living, breathing human being on planet earth you’d have many a time heard sayings along the lines of “nobody can do it alone” and “everyone needs someone” and so forth. Typically though some people (like myself) can identify as lone wolves, stubbornly tackling problems solo because they believe themselves capable and are determined enough to learn and overcome challenges no matter what. However in matters of the arts that can only get you so far, and in reality you truly do need what other human beings call support if you are to thrive.
Honesty is a strange thing in the sense that it’s often far less difficult to practice it with others than yourself. Being truthful is a good quality, there’s no doubt about that, but I would argue that the ability to be self-honest is a great one. I’m of the belief (however idealistic) that true progress in both your ability and personal growth should be grounded in this trait, rather than excuses or cushioning words to soften harsh truths. Reality needs to be faced, and not sent away into a dark corner because it’s not pretty to look at.
Writer’s block is pretty much something everyone has heard about, and every writer at some point has thought that they had. Many a debate has surfaced over whether it’s even real, or just a branded name for an affliction that arises purely from external causes. While I don’t think a debate of that sort is of paramount importance, I certainly believe that like any slump there are usually active causes and active solutions, with the key being that I don’t believe it just magically comes and goes. If you are suffering from a creative slump, which any writer or artist surely does at some point, then it is important to identify probable causes and thus work towards necessary solutions, depending on your unique situation.
We all know that hindsight is a perfect science. But more than that the first time you do anything usually comes with a certain level of reservation, self-doubt or a general lack of full expression, particularly when what you’re doing is creatively inclined. I feel since it’s been some five months since I published my self-published book, and a lot longer since I actually completed writing it, it’s a good time to talk about my thoughts about it in retrospect, and what I have in mind going forward with my second novel, The Black Glass Killer. This isn’t a revisit of the topic I already covered regarding the six months rule of progressing in writing, but rather an honest assessment of my first novel months and months after having written and subsequently published it. After all, I like to believe that I am self-critical and set high standards for myself.
We live in a world that is ripe with hostility, especially when it comes to dealing with different opinions. At least that’s what the internet will have you believe. Don’t get me wrong I love a good debate, even a heated one, because sometimes passion for the subject matter overrules calm and collected banter. And it’s more exciting. But sometimes people do it wrong, and eventually someone gets tired enough of something they love getting criticised that they throw out the clichéd argument of “let’s see you do better if you’re so quick to criticise.” This sadly is a stupid argument.
We’ve heard all the cliches before. It’s about how you get back up again after you fall. It’s easy to enjoy success, but overcoming failure is where real strength stems from. Failure is a natural part of the journey. Whatever doesn’t kill you only makes you
stranger stronger. But as is the usual story, it’s easy to know something somewhere in the back of your head than to actually come face to face with it and experience it first hand. After all, everyone has an illusion in their mind of how they would respond to any given situation, but you’ll never really know until you’re in it.