When I was young and naive I was so desperate to become the writer I dreamed about that I wrote like a bunch of other people.
My words were not my own, the rules I blindly obeyed acted like a cage.
I wrote like one or two of my favorite authors, depending on the day. Sometimes I’d write with the kind of brevity only Hemingway was capable of, other times I’d struggle to craft the kind of complex sentence structure only Gabriel Garcia Marquez could manage to create.
After all, my first novel was sort-of like Great Gatsby, but from the perspective of a narrator much akin to Nick, hopelessly in love with a woman he could never have.
Whether you’re trying to fix a certain issue, start a business, market that business, or write an interesting article, creative thinking is crucial. The process boils down to changing your perspective and seeing things differently than you currently do.
People like to call this “thinking outside of the box,” which is the wrong way to look at it.
Whenever we submit a part of our soul that we translated into words, we do so armed with nothing but the hope that the person reading our work will understand it.
Sometimes they do. Most times they don’t.
Rejection scrapes the heart. But, well, there’s nothing to do about it. In fact, rejection is as much a part of being a writer as punching those damn keys. It’s as much a part of being a writer as edits and the rewrites and the social media marketing.
I’m a writer. I have spent the last fourteen years telling myself this. Reading at least a book a week since I was fourteen, spending at least 8 hours every day punching those damn keys, hoping to be rewarded by the muse with something that someone else can call beautiful.
And, yes, from time to time I did doubt it. I still do….
Oscar Wilde once said that, “Education is an admirable thing, but it is well to remember from time to time that nothing that is worth knowing can be taught.”
Writing as an art can’t be taught, and even though Creative Writing courses and workshops undoubtedly help writers grow, writing is a solitary process, and it’s up to each individual to reach within the confines of his mind for answers.
J.D. Salinger once wrote, “Do you know what I was smiling at? You wrote down that you were a writer by profession. It sounded to me like the loveliest euphemism I had ever heard. When was writing ever your profession? It’s never been anything but your religion. Never. I’m a little over-excited now. Since it is your religion, do you know what you will be asked when you die? But let me tell you first what you won’t be asked. You won’t be asked if you were working on a wonderful, moving piece of writing when you died. You won’t be asked if it was long or short, sad or funny, published or unpublished. You won’t be asked if you were in good or bad form while you were working on it. You won’t even be asked if it was the one piece of writing you would have been working on if you had known your time would be up when it was finished.