Friday, May 15, 2015

What Does Your Creative Process Look Like?

Writing is a deeply personal process. It taps into a part of us that we may not even fully understand. The mind of a creative person is a very complicated thing.



The process of getting our ideas onto the page can be a sensitive one. We may learn we get our best ideas in the shower. Or while out for a walk. Or while staring out at the water.



A writer might find the ideas flow more freely while seated at a desk. Or reclining on the sofa. Or while perched on the roof of a doghouse.



Some writers have to have a cup of coffee before sitting down to write. Some have a glass of wine or something even stronger. Some of us boost our serotonin with a hefty dose of this:



Some can only write with pen and paper. Some prefer an old-school typewriter. Most of us, however, write on a laptop or desktop computer.


Personally, I recently found that changing my font while writing fiction was oddly inspiring. It felt more creative. Try it sometime!


Whatever your process, it's probably drastically different from how people picture it.


What is your creative process?

54 comments:

  1. Computer - water - Hot Tamales - music.
    And sometimes the television is on. No sound though - that would be overkill.
    What it takes for the inspiration is often music, either what I am listening to or what I am playing.

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    1. I find the Hot Tamales part interesting!

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  2. first, I make sure my pups are surrounded around me and gotten the morning loving they required; second, gotten at least three cups of coffee; then it's an hour of social media...the writing come eventually

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    1. It's all about the dogs, isn't it?

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  3. How much hefty is the hefty dose of that? :)
    My translation process means that I lock myself in my office from morning till dark and not speaking to anyone..... And starving myself too because full tummy means sleepy brain :)

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    1. I'd say locking yourself in your office will work. I get those individually-wrapped chocolates and grab one every time I need a boost. That's probably why I can't ever lose weight!

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  4. Ideas come randomly and I mainly develop existing ones while walking the dogs. Lately my writing has been done between around 4-6am, which works for me - I need total silence (well, until the pups want out of bed) and it sets me up for the rest of the day to know I've got stuff done!

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    1. That sounds like a great idea! They always say you should try to get things done early in the morning because it gives you a sense of accomplishment.

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  5. Okay, so I laughed out loud at the first quote—so true!! Hmm, I'd say I get my ideas anywhere but I'm most comfortable writing on my bed. I like music (without words) in the background sometimes but not always. Chocolate is always nice to have on hand...And I can only write on a laptop. :)

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    1. I can write longhand, but it just takes too long. Laptops are so much faster.

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  6. I'm learning to embrace the fact that my creative process is pretty much all over the place. I'm tired of trying to force it into some "acceptable" system.

    I am open to different ways of doing things, though, and I really like the idea of changing the font, either on the screen or when printing things out to read over. Thanks!

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    1. It does tend to shake things up if you're feeling like you're in a rut. I say whatever gets those words on paper!

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  7. I paint and I write and I never know when the inspiration to do either is going to hit... but when it does, no matter what else I should be doing...it's going to have to wait until the paint is on the canvas or the ink is on paper.

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    1. Creativity always comes first! It's great that you can set life aside when inspiration hits.

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    2. I started writing way back on a typewriter but had to write it out in long hand first and thought I never could "think" into a keyboard...but...when computers came out with spellcheck and formatting I made the effort and finally accomplished writing directly into the computer.

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  8. All my best ideas come to me when I'm driving. I purchased a voice recorder and I never carry it with me! Shameful!!

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    1. I always had every intention of doing that but I never could make it work. I even tried Dragon Dictation, but it was too distracting behind the wheel!

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    2. I have that! You can speak it to text. I haven't even installed it yet. I'm horrible!

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  9. mine is all over the place! I am so easily distracted, except I can keep TV on (mainly Food Network) in the background. NO music whatsoever. Oh and I have to start on a full stomach! Or I'll just keep going downstairs to snack. I'm going to try the font thing! I've found writing single spaced and then the glory of highlighting all and double spacing a huge chunk of MS is oddly rewarding haha

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    1. Ooh, I like that idea! Then you've written much more than you thought.

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  10. I write my best blog posts at 3 a.m. in bed in my head and forget them by morning :) I write my most revealing blog posts after a few glasses of wine :)

    betty

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  11. Usually, I have a hot cup of tea and a view out the window. I leave my laptop right in the middle of the dining room table on all day because my writing is more of a dabble between other things. No sitting still for long for me!

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  12. My ideas just flow once I get a word that pops in. Then away I go for kids books and blog posts. Novels take a little more, but they get done

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  13. HA what a great post. Being a writer means being different...in every aspect of live, including the writing part! Which, let's be real, oftentimes takes over all the other parts...

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  14. I'm not a writer, but I sure applaud those that can write well. Every time I pick up a good book I'm in awe with the authors talent. Whatever that process is it's working as I become part of the book.

    Have a fabulous day and weekend. :)

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  15. Music, peppermint chocolate pieces or Bugles snack, laptop, tape recorder (for a quick side note.)

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  16. I don't think I'm all that creative.

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  17. I love seeing what other people create-that inspires me. Taking a nice walk when I can and I always have classical music on when I create my cards.

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  18. This is not about writing specifically, but about creativity. Just today, I was pondering the way my creative juices flow and I realize that there is a definite zone I have to be in - and if I'm there, it doesn't matter how much work is required. If I'm not in the zone, I can't make myself do something creative.

    Most of the "zone" components are emotional and environmental. I can't worry about a child and be creative. I can't work in a dirty area and be creative. In fact, desk clutter bugs me. I need a blank slate mentally.

    People are weird. Creative people are awesomely weirder.

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  19. While I am not a write like most of you but just a blogger -- I like writing in the evenings with my headset on while sipping a glass of wine. A few squares of Dove Dark doesn't hurt either!

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  20. I am an appreciator rather than a creator. And probably often look quite demented whle in the throes of appreciation. Which I can do anywhere, any time. Which I do do anywhere, any time...

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  22. Depends on what stage I'm writing. If it's early, first draft, stream-of-consciousness-just-get-shit-down-on-paper, then I will write in a notebook with headphones on and loud music playing. I can do this anywhere, even on a crowded bus.

    If I'm at a more refined, carefully revising or researching phase, then I want a computer in a quiet room with no distractions. I get very different results depending on the environment.

    Latest post at Rule of the Dice

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  23. I get ideas at the weirdest times but I can't write until I'm comforably in front of my desk top... I email myself ideas sometimes and most times they come from quotes... often it's something happening in my life I need to work out... so yes I'm all over the place ♡ xox

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  24. It's so true our processes differ from each other. Personally, I prefer writing on a computer/laptop, and I must outline beforehand or I won't get more than a chapter or two into the story. And great ideas do for some reason come while in the shower. Heh.

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  25. I write on my laptop, write out the plot on paper, and bring a notepad with me to jot things throughout the day that come to mind. Mornings, or late at night with a coffee or tea. Music, but no TV and I can't really have a lot of people I know around - distracting.

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  26. I don't think I have a creative process

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  27. Interesting post. My thoughts come to me at the oddest times. Sometimes at nigh. Sometimes when I'm walking. This morning, while I was driving to the supermarket, an idea for the story I've been stuck on popped into my head. It hopefully will solve the problem of where this story is going. I love it when that happens. Better go write it down before I forget.

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  28. When I first started to blog I had no idea what i would write about until the fingers hit the keys and the ideas would just flow without effort. Now the novelty has worn out I think. Another way I'm more productive is when I'm under pressure.
    Have a great weekend.
    Hugs,
    JB

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  29. Daily morning writing before work - at my desk with my morning cup of coffee. On the weekends, one to two writing sessions broken up by a walk and or chores. Same desk, though.

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  30. Thanks for a great post Stephanie. I agree, writing is intensely personal which is why it is annoying to read those 'rules' for writing. I think the only way is to ignore the 'rules'. A mentor told me about the changing font idea. She said to do that before you submit as it helps pick up any typos etc that you've been accustomed to seeing in your default font. I like to write in a lovely, sprawling cafe down the street. I get the same large table in a quiet corner and write and drink coffee to my heart's content. Less distractions than at home. :-)

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  31. Hi Stephanie,

    A thoughtful writing perspective. Whatever rituals or idiosyncrasies provide the ambience desired, is indeed a positive thing.

    In my case, I write whenever the mood comes along. Sometimes a bit of music in the background and way too much coffee. Okay, what really happens is that I have a very famous dog help me out with the writing process. It makes it so much easier having a dog or good grief, a cat, help out with the writing process.

    Enjoy the rest of your weekend.

    Gary

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  32. My creative process usually looks like my spice drawer in the kitchen--the spices are laid out flat with the labels showing, and they're in alphabetical order. I have OCD so I have to be organized. Occasionally, an idea hits me in the middle of the night. I have a pen and pad of paper next to the bed for such emergencies.

    Love,
    Janie

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  33. Did you know you can make a font out of your own handwriting? There's a template to write all the letters out, and there's a fee of some sort. I forget where the link is (I have it saved...somewhere...).

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  34. Definitely walking--on days I need to write I always try to walk. Swimming or paddling always works.

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  35. I hardly ever sit in one place, though, I do like a hot cup of tea by my side. With summer on the way, I like to sit outside on the patio.

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  36. Early in the morning with a cup of coffee is a must for me. Sometimes I really indulge myself and bring my laptop to Starbuck's, where I sip mint tea and enjoy some time away from interruptions!

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  37. I will try the change of font:)
    I've found it helps to vary my routine. When we are traveling....I normally get lots of writing done, and no I'm not driving at the time. grin.

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  38. I'd like to try the different fonts.

    I write ideas in notebooks, but do everything else on a laptop or word processor since I type fast. I often have water or tea by my side. I also have favorite times of the day to write.

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  39. I'll have to try the font change, Stephanie. It is funny how little things like that can make a difference. I prefer to be out of the house when needing to write something important. My office is boring with few distractions--much better for creativity as compared to home where I have dozens of things to attract my attention.

    I hope things are going well for you.

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  40. Coffee, complete quiet, a flash drive, and a laptop. Happy life:)

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  41. I only write a blog so I feel a bit of a fraud commenting on your post but anyway I tend to write first thing in the morning when my hubby is asleep. I need peace and quiet and lots of cups of tea!

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  42. I'm completely dependent on my characters. Once I have an idea for a novel, I wait. Within a day or two, a protagonist arrives in my brain and starts talking. It's my job to write down his or her words as quickly as I can.

    I always burn a scented candle while I write, and I reward myself with a sticker on the calendar after each writing session. But that's just for fun. :)

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