I’m having a fascinating journey as a writer right now.
The past several weeks have been interesting. Some days I’ve lacked inspiration and other days I’ve been furiously jotting down ideas that I want to come back to.
Recently, I was reading a book called “Feck Perfuction” by James Victore and an idea popped into my head. I jotted it down dutifully, as I had 15 other ideas the past couple of weeks. I was tempted to file it away, just like the others. I promised myself I’d return to it when I’m in a better position.
The reality is, as artists and creatives, inspiration simply isn’t enough. It MAY be the beginning of a process, but it’s not the entire process.
I decided to expand upon the concept of “Artist’s Sign Their Work”, an idea I stumbled upon when reading “Feck Perfuction”. I had no planned direction when I began writing this piece. I just had one starting point:
“I’m going to change my signature. Going forward I will sign all of my creative work with this new signature”
That’s it. I knew there was something there, but I had to work at it. I wrote a couple of paragraphs and then I scrapped them.
I began writing again, from scratch.
It’s not fun writing and disliking what you’ve committed to the page or screen, but you have you to get past this minor speed bump and often this requires pushing through it. This is the rent you pay to create great work.
Once I get past the initial “resistance” I’ll begin writing and often I end up liking what’s taking shape on the page or screen. Which is progress, but I always give my writing some space. I’ll go off and I’ll read a book or I’ll listen to some music on a walk. I need to develop some objectivity. Later I’ll return to my writing, then as I re-read it, I’ll realise it doesn’t work, not yet.
I love rap and poetry, and it influences the way I write and assess my work. I like my writing to have a rhythm to it. I want everything I write to roll off the tongue when I read it.
Quite often that rhythm is about re-arranging paragraphs so that a piece flows well. Other times it’s about editing sentences. To write really well though, you need to do both.
I also love film, so I’m always aiming to create a narrative arc. I want my writing to feel like a story, with a beginning, a middle and an end. I’m a sucker for a good start and a good ending. I want to grab your attention, take you on a ride and then close strong.
But the process is messy, it’s doesn’t follow a straight line.
I can alternate without any justified reason between cleaning up sentences where I:
- Rid my work of redundant words
- Change the punctuation
- Shorten sentences
- Lengthen sentences
Yes, you read the last one correctly. Sometimes lengthening a sentence can make it and the paragraph it sits in jump to life.
So, going back to what I was saying before, I will repeatedly alternate between cleaning up sentences and rearranging the order of paragraphs.
It just makes sense in my head and I LOVE the process of doing this.
Creativity is play, it is tinkering.
However, none of that can happen IF you don’t begin. If you don’t begin to rest your hand on a piece of paper or your keyboard.
It’s by starting, however imperfect, that I was able to write my last blog “My Name Is Haroon and I’m An Artist”.
I started writing this current article the day after I wrote the above article (2 weeks ago), but I kept stopping. It could have died a death like so many other ideas I’ve had, but it’s never too late to start again, to resuscitate an idea, to return to a dream.
I may stop, but it’s temporary. I promise I’ll never stop starting and seeing through ideas and sharing them with you.
I hope you start something new and see it through, I hope you share it with me and with everyone else.
I can’t wait.
Potsa Luv xx