I just finished a discussion post for my playwriting class at SNHU and thought I would share it on here. The more I write the more I develop a theory on it. I thought alot of you could relate.
The Prompt: Naked Playwriting authors Downs and Russin describe the importance of fostering both creativity and self-critique to complete writing projects. What strategies do you use to write? Do you move back and forth between your “little poet” and your inner critic?
The practice of writing is something I have been studying for the majority of my twenties (It kind of comes with the major, right?). What Russin and Downs said in this section are things (at least conceptually) that I have been hearing for awhile and really find beneficial. Writers write. Every day. It’s what we do and it is how we get better at it.
I was working as the EIC for my community college newspaper and they would let us go to various conferences on journalism to learn how to build a better paper for the school. One of the practices I have taken from a conference we went to in Louisville is to blog. My blog is my creative wasteland. My creative playground. They told us to write a thousand words a day (the number is really irrelevant) however we see fit, one long post or a bunch of little short ones – it didn’t matter. We just had to keep writing.
That’s the point Russin and Downs are making in this section. The more you write, the better you will become at it. It’s fairly simple. The romantic notion that big masterpieces are built in a moment of greatness is a fallacy. Good writing is a grind. It is a day after day process that gives you more truth the more effort you put into it.
Now for how this applies to me. Am I more little poet or self critique? I think, like all of us, it depends on the day. The more I write on the blog, the more followers I get and the more I gain a semblance of self-worth. So I guess I am getting to become more little poet the more I write. But there are days, or projects, that make me feel like this:
I have a screenplay that I have been toying with that I do that a lot on. But even though there is a lot of critique in that, the song in it self is a creative piece. He is trying to work through everything so he can start writing what he is supposed to be writing. I didn’t really get that until now. It’s kind of genius.
I have a saying when it comes to the process of writing: “Vomit on the page and see what sticks. Work around that.” What it means is get all of your ideas out there and see what plays well together. Don’t sit and wait for one thing to come up when there are a bunch of other things you can use. Gross metaphor, but it works. And, when Russin and downs speak on creativity, it is what they are talking about.
About a week and a half ago I came across a prompt for my blog that really coincides with the creative strategies I use for writing question (sort of). It asked about what traditions or rituals you have. I decided I wanted to be a pretentious writer and write about my process – which can be ritualistic. It’s farcical but we all have days when we wake up feeling like that. On those days I just take a breath and try to shut up and write.