How has creativity in my life evolved since I began writing? I expect more from myself with anything I write. And I feel others expect more creativity from me once they learn I’m a writer. Whether it’s a letter [remember those?] or a response to an e-mail, a blog post or even an answer to an essay question, I feel pressure to create something pithy, something memorable, something witty.
Creativity to me is like leaves in autumn. Some seasons are better than others. Whereas trees need successive days of sunshine and warm weather during their growing season for colors to be their most radiant in autumn, so too does my creativity require days of sunshine—or at least calm—and the warmth of positive thoughts for my stories to become the best I can make them.
Positive thoughts. Calm. It’s what every person needs—especially writers. How can we become creative if we don’t believe in ourselves? How can we remain calm?
Don’t get me wrong. Life’s not meant to be easy; at least mine isn’t. But neither should our characters’ lives be easy. Our own struggles help us to create stories with meaning.
I remember learning in my Story Genius course that writers need to make things as bad as they can for their protagonists. Thanks, Lisa Cron. And then, she adds, make things even worse.
I have this problem about being mean to people. And our characters are people. At least they are to me. I feel sorry for anyone who’s having a bad time in life.
I know. Why am I a writer, then? It’s a good question. The answer is: I feel compelled to write. I can’t just not write. This makes life a bit more difficult for me. When my life is exploding all around me, I fight with myself that I must write. I need to accomplish something worthwhile in the writing realm; whether it’s a blog post, a eulogy, or a short story.
My battle lies clearly defined between trying to find time to write and trying to find time to maintain [or is it create?] a social media presence so that when I ever finally finish the next [hopefully better] draft of my memoir story about attending college as a mother of five children, I have the necessary connections and presence to submit it, either for critique or to publishers.
But I need this time, in my writing life, to concentrate solely on my memoir. And I need to truly recall the events during those frustrating college years when things got harder and harder for me [the protagonist in the memoir] at college or where family life—or the guilt of not finding any “down time” to spend with the family—lodged deeply in my psyche, almost paralyzing me from moving forward with my college career.
The best thing for authors to realize, when creating story or memoir, is when they need professional help for the book to come to fruition. I feel I’m at that stage. I’m seriously considering becoming a part of Author Accelerator where each writer has his or her own professionally trained editor offering concrete feedback to the manuscript. I need someone to help me find the “because of this, the next event happens” structure to the college memoir.
Where or who do you look to for professional guidance in preparing your story? Please share any information here at Adventures in Writing.
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