Judging ideas as they form kills them. The constant interplay of ideas is the wellspring of creativity. When you are attuned to the play of your dragon, writing flows freely, never still, like bees flitting from flower to flower, tasting and sampling the nectar of many ideas.
Bees, like the ideas in our minds, are constantly on the move, too busy to stop and pose for you. Listen to your dragon and allow the ideas to flow from your pen or your fingers on the keyboard. Worry about outcomes later.
Creativity never waits. Tapping the inner flow of our ideas doesn’t always come easy, but it can when we recognize creativity as play. I love to sit thinking quietly, playing with ideas, watching them bounce and skitter about. I’ve come to realize that even though I don’t have pen in hand or my fingers on a keyboard I am writing. The trick then is to grab a pen or keyboard and capture your thoughts without judging. Simply let your mind run free and record what comes naturally.
When we freeze at the keyboard wondering what to write next, our inner critic, the eternal judge has gotten the upper hand, afraid we might make a mistake.
The difference between a professional photographer and an amateur is the size of their wastebasket. The pro’s basket is bigger. A pro follows his or her ideas and takes lots of photos. Ideas that didn’t work out end up in the wastebasket, but the ones that make the cut will be good ones.
Our wastebasket is for later. There are no mistakes when the ideas are flowing, all are worth remembering. True creativity demands that we suspend judgment and play. Creativity is a journey where the destination, the outcome is rarely clear and isn’t important while our ideas unfold taking first one fork in the road, then another, circling back.
Ernest Hemingway said that “All first drafts are sh*t.” He was right. He had a huge wastebasket and wasn’t afraid to use it.
When you’re writing, all ideas are worthy. You can’t capture the gems unless you take the risk of writing junk. You will. Lot’s of it, but that’s how you discover the gems. Save everything — the wastebasket is for later.
PS I included the black and white image because it reminds me of a dragon.
Read Full Post »