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Creative Process

March 11, 2010

I just nearly shot a white chocolate orange bliss latte out of my nose, and I blame the Subourbon Wife.  (You can rib me about my girly choice of drink in the comments, but her post on an unexpected chat she had to have with her daughter this morning about modesty really cracked me up).  The Subourbon Wife is one of my new friends from a couple of Shocking Real Life writing workshops I’ve been taking from author Hollis Gillespie here in Atlanta over the past couple of months, and I’ve loved every minute of them.  I’ve always thought it would be great to be talented creatively.  I tried my hand at playing an instrument.  I sucked.  I tried my hand at painting.  I sucked.  I tried my hand at drawing.  I sucked (though I do have a rather nice sketch of the key to the Jeep I drove in college that I drew when I was going through a phase of wishing I had artistic talent and practicing sketching between classes).

I never considered my writing to be creative, because 1) it’s something I’ve always done, and as such is just something I’ve always thought of as a part of me, and 2) I’ve always been a non-fiction writer, so I wasn’t creating some fantastical alternate reality.  Thus, writing never struck me as creative, but just as something I had to do.  Idiot.  I know.

I attended my first workshop with Hollis, a blogging workshop, because I was new to blogging, and I wanted to learn something about it.  It was in this and a second workshop, in that room full of creative energy from my fellow eager writers, that I began to realize writing is my creative outlet, and it’s something I like to think that not only do I not suck at, but maybe I’m pretty damn good at.  Hollis talked on a couple of occasions about how writers have a creative process, and I began to identify some of my writing behaviors through the years as just that – a creative process.

The way I’ll mull over a concept for a written piece for what’s sometimes hours, though more often days or weeks, until I have it almost perfected in my head, then I throw it up by way of my fingers on the computer – interspersed with pacing, a hot shower, cleaning, etc., while I think about what the final revisions will be.  All these years I thought I was just a little nutso, now I realize, I have a creative process.  Take that high school AP English teacher who was always giving me the red pen treatment!  (Though he did push me to take my writing to the next level…  Hmmm…  Maybe he saw some talent he wanted to help develop.  I may have just changed my long-held opinion of that guy.)

Anyway, the heart of this blog’s content has been health and wellness, as that’s the biggest and most visible part of my reconstruction at thirty, and I doubt that will change dramatically, but there’s much more to reconstructing thirty than just the increasingly hot body.  For me, this is also about pursuing my passions, and not just doing things because they’re lucrative or stable or prestigious.  Don’t get me wrong – I love me some paychecks – and I have no plans to leave a paying job for a writer’s colony anytime soon.  But I do love sitting here in a coffee shop with my laptop, just doing what I love.  Writing.  Even if it is after work.  And even if people are still staring after the Subourbon Wife made me laugh like an imbecile.

  1. March 11, 2010 at 8:50 PM

    I love to write. Fiction, of course 🙂

    It’s my hobby now…but oh how I would love for it to be a career. It’s truly the only thing I want to do. Not be a laywer, doctor, nurse, etc. Just a writer. We shall see.

    I’m trying to incorporate some of my writing (hobby wise) into my weight loss blog (the flashback posts)…but I’m using true stories as the base and making it more fun to read instead of just saying “In eighth grade the other guys were so mean to me. They blah blah blah blah”…I have several ideas for posts and I’m excited about doing them!! Just hope I can avoid them being boring 🙂

  2. March 11, 2010 at 11:34 PM

    And your flashback posts are awesome, Craig!

    If y’all aren’t reading Craig’s blog, be sure to click on his name in the comment above, or on “My Life, Take Eight” in the column on the right. His flashback posts are powerfully and painfully honest – and very moving.

  3. Jay
    March 13, 2010 at 12:17 AM

    When I first started to write I hated it. To me it was a chore because I just wasn’t good it at.

    I guess after years of doing it though, it kind of grows on you. Everyday I write not because I want to, but because that’s my job. I’m a writer sort of speak. I have information people want to know about and so I share it by writing.

    I rather do other things then write.. but if it pays the bills I’ll do it. 🙂

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