For the longest time I never really considered myself a creative person. I have always had hobbies that most would argue required a creative mind, but I always thought of myself as a more analytical, driven by the facts kind of person. I love to knit and crochet (I have even designed several of my own patterns), something my grandma taught me at a very young age. I have dabbled in nature photography for years and much of my home decor is centered on several of those images. But I never considered myself artistic.
About two years ago I finally decided I wanted to be more “artistic.” I started buying art books, trying my hand at painting, and then dived head first into creative writing. And that’s when I fell in love. Creative writing makes me happier than anything I have ever tried before. I honestly have no idea how I missed this about myself for all these years. I remember in my early years of college having nervous breakdowns over creative writing assignments. I was a science major, creativity was not my thing. But now that I have given into my creative side amazing things are happening.
I recently finished reading a book published in 1986, and re-released in 1995 title A Writer’s Time: Making the Time to Write by Kenneth Atchity. Overall this was a decent book with some good advice even though much of it was outdated. I was expecting a book on time management. This book was less about time management and more on the overall writing and publishing process. However the best part of the book didn’t come until chapter nine. I had to read the entire book to get my hands on these great “Rules” to help motivate and inspire one to write. For once I wished I had read the end of the book first and then gone back and read the first couple chapters before stopping and calling it quits.
But these “Rules” are quite helpful and really all about being in touch with your creative mind. We all have a creative mind, it’s just a matter of whether or not you know how to tap into that part of your brain.
I loved these “Rules” so much that I thought I would summarize them here and provide my own insight on how these help my creative writing process.
Rule #1: Keep moving forward despite your moods
We all have bad moods. But it’s important to not let those bad moods hinder progress. Keep moving forward no matter what.
Rule #2: When things get tough, take a vacation
Sometimes you just have to take a break and that’s ok. This is probably one of the hardest things for me personally. I sometimes set ridiculous schedules for myself and I don’t include breaks into that schedule. I might have to rethink my scheduling process.
Rule #3: The difficulty you are experiencing is normal, and necessary
No one ever said it would be easy. In fact, nothing great ever really comes easy. The best parts of life sometimes are those things that are the hardest to get.
Rule #4: Don’t doubt yourself
This is a tough one. Confidence is an issue everyone has to deal with at some point in their career. I have especially struggled with this when it comes to writing because I doubt my creativity more than my ability to write.
Rule #5: Face your fear and make it your ally
For me this goes hand in hand with Rule #4. My fear is driven by my doubt. If I fix my doubt I fix my fear. Figure out what feeds your fear and then you too will be able to turn it around.
Rule #6: Associate with positive people and stop associating with negative people
I started on this path a few years ago and can say that without a doubt it has changed my life for the good. Negative people are a waste of time.
Rule #7: Take responsibility
It all stops with you no matter what. This is your career and your opportunity. You can try to lay blame on to others but at the end to the day it’s about you. If you want it, make it happen. If you identify problems, fix them and move on. No one can do it for you.
Rule #8: Take charge of your own thinking
For me this is kind of a repeat of Rule #7 just reworded. Take responsibility for your mind.
Rule #9: Let go of the wrong kind of control
Focus on your actions, not the external drivers you have zero control over. Try not to think about the external drivers. Its fine to be aware of those drivers, but never forget you cannot control them.
Rule #10: Start figuring out want you really want and start living as though you already have it
So true. Once you start living your life for your dreams as if they are reality. They become reality!!!
Rule #11: Congratulate yourself and celebrate
Don’t be afraid to be happy for yourself. Even for the little accomplishments. No one else is going to pat you on the back.
Rule #12: Just try “coasting” for a few days
Sometimes you have to go with the flow and let life be. Inspiration can strike when you least expect it!