Writer. Father to daughters. Husband. Ad man. Raised by wolves. @jmitchem on twitter. First novel, Minor King, out now.
Feb 15, 2009
Great life long love and fascination. Perfect. Do what you love, the rest will follow!
Is creativity really measured by success? I never saw it that way. Thank you for sharing this!
Charlie Fern Reply
Feb 27, 2009
When I was in my 20s I described my own creative writing process very similarly.
I would say that I was a vessel through which words and ideas flowed — from the heavens above in through the top of my head and out through my fingertips.
Many times I was hardly even aware of the composition process; I was merely a transcriber. It seemed to me that the passages I wrote were devised, organized, outlined, and prepared somewhere in the clouds above me.
And since I was hardly aware of the thought process that produced more than a decade’s worth of writing — tomes of it — I was always disinclined to look back through my files and see what I’d done. If writing required so little effort, then perhaps what I thought was a masterpiece back then would turn out to be, to my more practiced eyes, merely pedestrian.
Astonishingly, the old stuff was pretty good, and in some cases it was inspired genius. Even odder still, it was as if I were reading some of the pieces for the first time. Had my name not been on the work, I wouldn’t have recognized it as my own. Maybe my 20s are the equivalent of this author’s hit book. Maybe those were the best years of my writing life, and everything from that point forward will continue to deteriorate. Time will tell. =-)
I love this video. It reminds me of how easy it was to be inspired, relaxed, and prolific. Thanks for sharing this, Mr. Mitchem.
Amy Stewart Reply
Mar 4, 2009
@Misscharlie, thanks for the link on Twitter, and for the video in this post.
I completely love this speech (love speeches in general), and I identify hugely with your response to it.
My own creativity comes to me like wind–all in a moving rush. If I grasp onto it mentally, it is like flying through sequences of images, feelings, and conversation. Words flow fully formed, like rivers, but it all dries up at the moment I sit down to write.
If I experience a river WHILE writing, I called it “hitting groove” and in this magical state, I can go for hours, but it is rare. Most of the time, I have to create the wind, and it takes awhile, if it happens at all. And very very rarely do the spurts of imagination and the finished product resemble each other (much like the poem that was pulled in by the tail and written backwards).
I am still in my twenties, but I have experienced what you are talking about when it comes to looking back at older work. I have published online anonymously–work I have no interest in publishing professionally. Sometimes it is terrifying to look at work I have published even a year ago, because all I can remember are the flaws, the juvenile ideas, the awkward phrasing, but sometimes I am surprised by gems within it, a style or a scene or a clever description that moves me, and I think “I can’t believe I wrote that.”
It is seemingly the same for you. Writing is a very special gift, I think, and one that I find both wondrous and humbling. Should I feel proud? blessed? alarmed?
In that respect, I identify very much with this video, and also, I hope, with you!
Thank you for sharing it with me! It is always a pleasure to know other writers.
Thanks you also for browsing through my blog! I wish I had spent more time on it so it was more impressive. 🙂
Off to dig my way out of the pit of despair now.
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