Thursday, April 2, 2015

Grace Jolliffe on "How To Avoid That Blank Page" and subsequent Writers Community feedback.


What you say is true about every writer being different.

Some of the things that need to be accounted for so moderation of the collective view in this thread are:

What stage of the creative lifespan are you in? 

A new writer will have acclimatizing period and instances where they stare at the blank page and engage their wonder, or curiosity or whatever emotion, thought or instinct is at the TOMA (and old marketing acronym for 'Top of the mind awareness' appropriately applied here).

This has a periodicity that varies according to one or more of the following reasons:

They have not acquired faculty with engagement with the wonderment process yet, and this comes with time and practice.  The mind is a programmable thing.  This blank page syndrome is often confused detrimentally with the myth of writers block - a great detriment to both the individual and culture in general by misattribution as cause.  

And experienced writer with more developed faculty may be ready to write at anytime, or at specific times.  

There are few hard and fast rules that cannot be controverted through an analysis of correct comprehensive scope.  

Another writer may feel the germination of an idea or story forming in the subconscious creative faculty and understand themselves enough to know to be ready near the production center (drawing board, keyboard or pen and paper) when it arrives consciously for transcription in order to enter the first draft stage of production and the subsequent editorial process.  

So evaluating the specific point in development of the creative faculty supports your assertion Grace that every writer is different.  This is a reason for many but not every writer exclusively.

Another point to consider is the type of data you are producing.  Many of us can rip through a query letter (a marketing remnant of yesternomic publishing empires - thankfully in the dust of time for the most part) in a few hours, or a day to a few days.  

But outlining a novella or script or epic novel can be a lengthy, iterative process.

So it is wise to consider just what kind of work you are producing.  

Is it something that can be conceptually and logically proofed in a short while because of the hierarchical complexity of the work or is it something requiring considerable thought, contemplation, research or development activity?  

Or is it an original scope of work (and I refer to the difference between creative work and original work) that no research can be resourced and you are entirely responsible for the IA (information architecture of the work)?

These can be very long term projects to produce.

 actually make a sage and salient point handed down to the writing community by authors like the great Ray Bradbury.   

Stop where you know what goes down next and begin there at your next writing opportunity.  

This is a buffer technique, and speaks to the wisdom of working with the creative faculty pretty flawlessly for many writers who have only one manuscript in front burner priority development contemporaneously.

This doesn't work for all writers but can serve well the majority of the writers.

Remember the subconscious does not shut off (in fact it is running the show) and it is where the creative faculty resides. 

So when the words come forth is when they come forth.  If you have to wake up and write it down, you have to. It's your call.

I relish those occurrences because it is a sign I am in tune with my creatively faculty, though it can have an effect on your day job nonetheless.  Who cares?  Your are a writer with a day job, not a cog or gear with a side gig.  

In fact these kinds of happenings will provide you with perspective on how society represses creativity, and spur you on to do something about it for the collective culture in the advocacy sense.  

Most of all, it is an honoring of the creative process which is paramount.  Take care of your creativity and it will take care of your fame is one of the maxims I utilize in my fame consultancy.  But that's not all you have to do, of course.  

  makes a provocative question relevant when he states, "Why would you sit down to write when you don't have a story to tell? "

In my humble opinion, this is true in the context he states, but not always true to the writing process generally.    

Sometimes your creative faculty has the ability to deal with more that one concept at a time, such as one story being worked out or in a finer, granular sense a particular detail of a passage or beat that just doesn't have that zing you are looking for or expect from yourself creatively or professionally. 

It is perfectly OK from my chair to write down anything that comes into my head irrespective of whether it is current production cue related or not.  This is the way I work, and it is not for every writer.  

In fact, because of the way the creative faculty works, things are not always going to come out of your creativity in exact, linear order even if everyone would like that.

The linear and often but not always logical proof aspects of the project under development are usually, but not exclusively relegated to the drafting (which is partly editorial) and the final editing stages (specifically editorial) of manuscript development. 

So what needs to be worked out can sometimes present itself for transcription and have nothing to do with current production cue items.

Forsaking this opportunity to jot it down even if it is not relevant to the current project can be detrimental to your style development, your approach or prevent you from garnering technique.

Since the above three things are absolutely necessary and critical to serving the original idea the manuscript is about,  I recommend taking advantage of them by jotting them down when they come up.

Approach, style and technique always serve the execution of an idea and can have profound positive impacts on both originality and general artistic skill development.  

This is the point  is taking exception too.  

Bear in mind as Grace said every writer is different, but I would suggest every opportunity you have to develop your technical or creative skills is not one to pass up.  You can find this to be quite true if you go back to a story you wrote long ago and reevaluate it with a critical or even non-critical objectivity. It can be both an eye opener on just how far you have come and additionally a great confidence builder, which seems to be a great problem in the literary arts community that needn't be if you just understand how the creative process functions.

Thanks for listening,

The Lone Comic TM
Defender of Creativity and Entertainment SM
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