Do you ever feel creative anxiety? Your brain is buzzing, and you’re spinning your creative wheels faster than your feet can pedal. You’re just plain fried.
I’ve analyzed this malady to see what causes it, as well as what fixes it.
- You’re looking at the project as a whole instead of bite-sized pieces. Change how you think about your work. If you’re struggling with where to start or the enormity of what you’re doing, don’t try to attack it all at once. Focus on one piece, whether it’s writing one stellar sentence or one excellent chapter. As Anne Lamott said, “bird by bird.” Read more
So much of writing is actually revising. Whether you’re writing a poem, science fiction novel, essay, memoir or short story, writing and rewriting is where you fully discover your story and add emotional meaning and depth to your work. Revision is where you have epiphanies about your characters, see new themes, find ways to add symbolism and more. Author Anne Lamott illustrated this idea when she said:
“When I was a young writer, I was talking to an old painter one day about how he came to paint his canvases. He said that he never knew what the completed picture would look like, but he could usually see one quadrant. So he’d make a stab at capturing what he saw on the canvas of his mind, and when it turned out not to be even remotely what he’d imagined, he’d paint it over with white. And each time he figured out what the painting wasn’t, he was one step closer to finding out what it was.”
Whether you plot and plan out your book before you type the first word or just dive right in, you’ll find rewriting a necessary part of the writing process as you figure out what your “completed picture” looks like. The elements below can serve as a mini checklist or starting point as you work through scene revisions. Read more