I have a mixed relationship with motivational sayings. It alternates between abject distaste, vague tolerance, and actually finding them useful. Consequently, I’ve come across quite a few writing-related slogans that I’ve kept because they’ve actually struck me as kind of handy, rather than regrettably cheesy. Here are some of the highlights:
I have a yes/no relationship with this one. If you’re writing something that you want to publish, then it does make sense to have a recipient in mind. However, it can also be very distracting to write with only one person at the forefront of your brain. Personally, I prefer to use this strategy when editing, not writing from scratch.
100% agree. Even if it comes out like mangled laundry, at least something’s come out and you can call it an exercise, if not a polished product. Sitting stuck for ideas is the least productive thing you can do. Just write around in circles about any aimless thing until something strikes you as useful or interesting, then move on from there. Or go and get another coffee.
I disagree. One of the best tests of your writing is determining whether or not it sounds good out loud, especially if it’s poetry. When you read, does it flow? Does it jar appropriately? Does it sound interesting, or unintentionally repetitive? As you read, you’ll also notice where details are missing or superfluous. Don’t underestimate how important the sound of reading your work is when you’re in the editing or shaping processes.
What we idly write or quickly jot down can reveal a lot about how we immediately think or judge things. When editing, it’s important to go back with this in mind and decide whether or not it’s appropriate for what you originally had in mind. After all, if you’re writing over a long period of time, it’s very likely that your thoughts and stances will shift.
This is what got me into writing fanfiction. I knew exactly what I wanted to read, but no one had written it yet. I find this statement particularly helpful as well because it reminds me that if I can’t read my own work and enjoy it, then it’s pretty unlikely that anyone else will either. If it’s too dull, then it needs fixed!
Another one I have a mixed relationship with, based mostly on its abstraction. I think that creativity in writing can definitely be trained, but not always summoned at will. I do believe that not everyone has the same levels or directions of creativity, but that this isn’t necessarily an issue. I do believe in one of the centre comments here though: don’t demand perfection for creativity. Give it time and be prepared to accept the weird things that your brain offers up.