my creative process is that i don't actually have a process

7:00 AM


The official autobiography of me.


creative process.

Ooh, lookit that. It's a big scary "as seen on Twitter" kind of word, and I don't know exactly what it brings to mind for you. For me I think of artists, of fabulous creative people or Sherlock Holmes shoving people out of the room because before they start they have to go into their mind palace and spend two days straight thinking and drinking tea before creating. Creative process is, essentially, the way you go about creating the things (what else did you think it was, don't make this way too complicated), and it's different for every person.
it's been far too long since i've used a sherlock gif.
I've been thinking about this scary "creative process" thing lately. More specifically, what is mine? How do I create things? What is my process, what are my habits when I create things, and is it helpful? Does my creative process need tweaking? Am I a little too much like Sherlock? I took a good long look at my habits and how I've been creating lately, since I've been creating a fair amount.

What I came up with was that I am an erratic mad scientist with the attention span and normality of a heavily caffeinated bee.

Read as: I have no solid creative process

"Find the time of day you write the best and make a habit of writing then!" 

Sometimes I pound out 2k in the morning. Sometimes I wake up at midnight and write half a novel. Sometimes I do it over lunch. I write pretty much every day, and I'm able to force myself to grind out words when I sit down to write even if I don't want to, but I don't have a solid time and I don't have a desire to have a solid time. The time that works best for me is whenever.

"Wake up earlier!" 

I will be up at 6 or I will be up at 11 and good luck getting me working any time before 10.
my process is best described as "andy dwyer", perhaps.
Essentially I have no schedule, I have no plan, I have no way of doing things. Sometimes I outline before I write a draft, sometimes I don't. Sometimes I outline halfway through. Sometimes it's a detailed outline. Sometimes it's no outline. It depends on the novel, on how I'm feeling, on the alignment of the moon and the sun. 

I'm starting to figure out more and more that I don't have one way of doing things, and I don't have a plan. I throw everything I have at the canvas, so to speak, without being careful. (With first drafts, at least.) I make a mess. I fingerpaint. I mix stuff together and most of the time, it's awful, but sometimes it turns out okay. It's not a perfect system and I would not recommend it -- there's lots and lots of rewriting and starting over and frustration-crying at midnight. But in the end, I operate best when I have the freedom to word-vomit whatever's on my mind and do the thinking later. It starts out pretty raw.

Take this blog post, for example. By the time you're reading this I've probably read it over maybe once after it's all come out. I didn't know what I was writing about before I sat down to post this. I just kind of...let it all out.

That's just how I roll. And the more I give myself freedom to play around and screw up and not have a plan the first few times around, the better I do and the more natural it feels. 

Some people, who are to be feared and respected, function better with plans. Some people have actual bullet journals instead of throwing together the bare minimum, and that's how they like it. That's awesome. There is no one way to art. There is no set creative process of any kind. We will all approach things differently, and we all have a different set of things that work for us when it comes to creating. We don't need to feel like we need to do anything in particular.

Pick out what works for you, what you like, and discard the rest.

Except don't be like me. You'll do a lot of revising along the way.

what's your creative process? how do you create things? what motivates you? spill alllll so i can steal it from you.

22 comments

  1. "The time that works best for me is whenever." SAME, AIMEE.

    I can work in the morning if I am on a deadline, but otherwise my creativity waits until the sun goes down to perk up.

    I do my best work when I choose daily to do what I love instead of strapping myself to a schedule. I need to feel free. Process is personal. There is no sweeping generalization of what is "best" for all people. Keep being you. 💜

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. As artists/creatives we have this weird feeling that we need to be doing things "right", and we try to do things the way successful people do things, but...those things aren't our way, y'know? What works for another writer isn't going to work for me. Which sucks, because now I have to figure it out myself, but.

      Delete
  2. The only thing I do that designates my "creative time" is that I will usually turn on soundtracks instead of P!ATD and make a fresh cup of tea.

    Other than that, I write whenever, I surf Pinterest to get inspired and then an hour later I'm watching a baby elephant throw a tantrum. XD Inspiration at it's finest. ;)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Pinterest is a miracle, honestly. I don't know how I'd not get stuff done without it.

      Delete
  3. Oh man, I have no process. I plan erratically for months with one thing, then I write a ton of another at 5 AM. I have a half-baked notebook full of undeveloped concepts I'll never use. I'll start out trying to write a book then try to turn it into something else halfway through. It's horrific.
    ADHD is a curse.
    I think I work best (creatively) when I have a very loose schedule for it. That way I have some guidelines that force me to move forward, but not a made-for-failure plan that'll only end in tears.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. *hysterical laughter* what even is process man

      Delete
  4. A+ for the Sherlock gif, it was beautiful...

    Personally, I don't think I have a "creative process". I mean, my writing (schedule?) is very sporadic, and I don't write everyday. But my creativity comes from really random things like tv shows, movie trailers, or just the weird, unknown parts of my brain. Lol.

    ~Musicgirl121

    ReplyDelete
  5. I totally get you, Aimee. I don't have a specific time of day that I write. I just write whenever I have time. I'm trying to get away from just writing "whenever I feel like it" because that makes you productive....not. And sometimes I outline and sometimes I don't, and sometimes I do and I don't end up following it. I like just letting stuff spill, and it if doesn't work, you can always fix it later!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. My personal belief is that you just do ALLLL the things, make a mess, and find out what works for you. It's really the best.

      Delete
  6. Ahhhh I'm one of those obsessive planners.😂 SO OBSESSIVE. *glances at that 22K outline I wrote once* Ahem. I think it's awesome that writers can all have such different creative processes though. It just makes writing so much more awesome that we can all come up with brilliance in 1000 different ways. :') It took me like 5 years of writing to figure out I should work with my process and not what everyone else was doing though.😂 So I'm glad you've found yours!! STICK TO IT!!

    ReplyDelete
  7. Yes this is so me! There will be days I don't write anything, and then days were I bust out 10 poems There's really no set process, I just have to be ready whenever inspiration hits me. Like the other day in history, a novel idea came to me and I started writing frantically about it to not loose it.
    Though one thing I now ALWAYS do is create a secret pinterest board for me to draw inspiration, because what would a writer do without a pinterest board?

    Elizabeth
    http://whimsicalthoughtss.blogspot.com/

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. PINTEREST IS MAGIC AND ALWAYS HELPFUL.

      That is all.

      Delete
  8. Also have no real process. Thank God for bullet journals! I don't find that pinterest works that much for characters because it doesn't have many people who look similar to the ones in my head, ya know?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sigh, yeah, my visions of my characters are so specific that Pinterest doesn't usually cut it.

      Delete
  9. I LOVE THIS POST FOR MANY REASONS. First, I've been thinking about THIS EXACT THING NO JOKE lately. Second, it was awesome to read about your creative process (or the lack thereof lol) and idk it just fascinates me to see how other people create art. AND YES I THINK THIS IS SO IMPORTANT to kind of take a step back and look at the way we do things and be like "is there maybe a more natural-feeling way for me to create that I'm overlooking??" so that's kind of what I've been thinking about lately. I'm an intense plotter (with novels and every other aspect of life tbh) but I'm starting to see that sometimes having that outlook on everything can really wall off other options. Like...maybe I need to be more messy.

    THIS COMMENT IS CERTAINLY MESSY. Anyway, this post has inspired me and gave me a lot to think about. <3 THANK YOU DUDE.

    >><<
    abbiee

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. ALLLL THE PEOPLE DOING ALL THE ART IN ALLL THE DIFFERENT WAYS.

      :P

      Delete
  10. I have pretty much no creative process, although I really wish that I did. I feel like I'm kind of a less-productive version of you? The one thing that I have learned is that I work best on a deadline, because then I'll actually force myself to get the thing done.

    I don't know, I'm trying to find a process I suppose.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ugh yeah, I definitely need more deadlines. That helps me more than I'd care to admit.

      Delete
  11. So I'm not sure what my creative process is? Except that I'm trying to be more organized. And I think I *need* a to-do list, because if I don't have one then all these things I need to do sort of attack my brain all at once, and then I get overwhelmed and push them off until later, and don't do any of them. So having a bullet journal has helped a lot with that (although it is most definitely *not* one of those gorgeous amazing ones I've seen on the internet). As far as writing process... let's just say I'm still figuring it out? :P Deadlines help me a lot, though!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Who even knows how to creative process

      I certainly don't

      Delete

hey. hey. talk to me. i'm a fan of comments and flailing with you. go for it.