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Creative Rites : Conversation question • Page 3 • Writing Forum | WritersDigest.com

Creative Rites

Every month in Writer's Digest's InkWell section, we pose a question related to the writing life. Tell us your thoughts.
Hockeyknight
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RE: Creative Rites

Postby Hockeyknight » Wed Oct 31, 2007 4:12 pm

I spend some time people watching at the local Wall-mart, treat myself to a bite to eat at a restaurant or watch Karen run through her back yard. I don't have any rites or rituals.. although I do seem to always make my round of page visits to my favorite internet sites.

If I really don't like where a writing project is going... I will give it some Creative Last Rites.

[thanks ahead of time in hopes that Karen is a good sport]

slcboston
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RE: Creative Rites

Postby slcboston » Thu Nov 01, 2007 11:10 am


jonthestoryteller
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RE: Creative Rites

Postby jonthestoryteller » Sat Nov 03, 2007 8:25 am

I find if I think too hard about the whole thing, my mind goes into PowerSave mode and locks up (and the headache can be debilitating).

I work on nonesense short stories, do some people watching @ the mall or go for a drive.

In the end, I come up with something.

I also notice that (as a general rule) my first draft of ANYTHING I write looks like an emaciated, lifeless husk. I usually have to breathe into it seven or eight times before it is alive enough for me to even look it in the face. Hopefully it's smiling back and not too mad at me. I'm only trying to be a helpful god (small 'g', 'cause getting struck down by Big G would ruin my day).

easy_writer
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RE: Creative Rites

Postby easy_writer » Tue Nov 06, 2007 7:46 am

.......When I get a great idea, I'll go somewhere with a pen and notebook, sit down and work out an outline. ...

OMG I'm so jealous!! I feel like my ideas (for fiction) are never great. Good ones come to me in the process of writing sometimes but almost never beforehand. And I stink at outlines! I have to sit my rear end down on the couch in silence until I've almost run out of writing time and then panic-write! For me, it's all in the revision later on.

My ritual is a morning ritual. I get up in the dark, make coffee, do the "down dog" yoga pose in the kitchen to get some blood into my brain, and head for the couch. I know it will pay off in the end, but for now, no huge results, except for an abandoned half-novel and many journal entries. I think of it as therapy...And I"m very lucky to have a writing day job, so I'm honing my skills all day. The rest will come.

bekahaura
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RE: Creative Rites

Postby bekahaura » Fri Jan 18, 2008 5:39 pm

I was so jealous when I was looking at the forum with all the photos of everyone's writing space. I'm only 22, still in college and I can't wait to have my own little area! I've written in my bedroom, in my boyfriend's bedroom with the gunfire and death moans of Halo 3 in the background, I've written in my car, at the cafe in Barnes and Noble, and in my boring classes each semester (math or history). I prefer complete silence unless it's raining (I should really get one of those nature's sounds cds) but as long as I'm in the zone I can write.

When I have a break from school, work, and nagging friends, I try to get up early and I need my coffee! If I'm writting at night a beer or two usually gets me going (of course I'll have to edit with a cup of coffee in the morning to catch those spelling and grammar mistakes not seen through the beer goggles).

I'm a big procrastinator as well, but what I have to do, I do. Which usually means I stay up until 3 in the morning to finish articles and essays for school. That's why I can't wait to graduate from journalism and begin my graduate studies in creative writing. I need a nasty professor to give me a deadline and hack at my work with his red pen.

I'm still young, I'm sure I'll develop all kinds of strange rituals, but for now I'd just like to get out of school and find a place I can call my own.

Today I continued work on the novel I started a year ago, I got another 7 pages and I just feel good that I'm back into it! It's starting to come together now. It's so nice to have a day to dedicate completely to my writing. Now school will be starting next week, go figure!

I just had to mention this because I'm so proud of myself, and there's no one in my world who can see how big of challenge it is to just keep writing when it's not a primary job. I'm sure someone here understands me.

If I didn't have my Writer's Digest to inspire me every other month I think I would have given up by now!

Jamesaritchie
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RE: Creative Rites

Postby Jamesaritchie » Mon Jan 21, 2008 7:14 am

My creative ritual is living life in as varied a manner as possible. For me, writing is about life, and nearly every good idea I've ever had came from personal experience. The experience may morph into unrecognizability when turned into a story, but the germ of the real experience remains.

With this in mind, I try to do as many things, go as many new places as possible. This does not have to be expensive or terribly time consuming. Going to a new restaurant and ordering something I've never before tried qualifies. So does paying twenty bucks to have a meal with a political candidate I'd never vote for, who belongs to a political party I can't stand. So does walking down a railroad so I can see what people's backyards look like. So does going to a Civil War reenactment, or a mountain man gathering, etc.

So does jumping out of a plane, getting on a skateboard, going on a ride-along with a police officer, getting permission to watch an autopsy, and running a booth at a passing through county fair.

So does learning a new skill such as how to make my own paper and ink, and how to properly cut a goose feather quill to write on said paper with said ink. Or learning how to make a whistle from a willow twig, or learning how to do any one of a thousand things from the Foxfire series of books. So does learning how to bake homemade biscuit, how to clean a fish, or how to butcher a hog.

And everywhere I go, I spend as much time as possible talking to people. No, not talking to people, but listening to people. People who work at gas station, who work on farms, who travel with fairs and circuses, truck drivers, the homeless, etc. People everywhere love talking about themselves and their work, their wants, needs, dreams, and desires. Give them a willing ear, and you'll hear it all.

The properly lived life is the best creative ritual of all. Live well, lived varied, experience as much as possible, listen to people when they talk, and all this comes back out as words when you sit down to write.



Mooncat
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RE: Creative Rites

Postby Mooncat » Mon Jan 21, 2008 8:09 am

I'm new at this having just decided that writing will be my next career (I will be retiring in 4-5 years or so). Right now my problem isn't getting the motivation or creative juices flowing, it's just actually making the time to do it. With working full time, working part-time on my degree, and spending time with hubby and family, there seems little time to put my thoughts on paper (or on the computer). Lately, I've find myself making time, though, early in the morning or late in the evenings. Then I gather up the ideas that have come to me while driving home from work, or walking my dog, or taking a shower, or yes in my dreams...and I just simply start to write.

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Susan
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RE: Creative Rites

Postby Susan » Mon Jan 21, 2008 2:27 pm

Hi  Maria:

My main creative rite is exercise, usually running.  When I go running in the morning, I think about my novel (or short story I might be working on), my characters and what their next move might be, or what I want to happen next.  Many times I find myself having conversations in my head with my characters, or the characters have conversations with themselves! Since running is before my day job, I end up not getting to work on my novel right away- I need to wait until after work to work on what I've been thinking about. 

By the time evening has come, I have many things to do: eat dinner while I check this website, wash the dishes, read the mail, feed the cats, pet the cats, pet the cats some more, talk with my boyfriend, maybe call Grandpa and see how he's doing.  By the time I've done all I know needs to get done, I am ready to sit down and write.  It really has taken all that to get to the real task that I've wanted to do all along- write!

While that's my creative writing, my day job also requires that I do an enormous amount of writing that will be judged by others.  When I do legal writing, I find myself doing all of these little tasks before hand, all the while thinking about what I really have to do first- those menial little tasks.  I love taking the facts of a case and putting them together and creating a picture that others can understand.  For me, that is exciting.

I just love that I get to write so much in my day job and at night as well- creative is right brain, legal is left brain, but both are second nature to me, a lot like eating, breathing, sleeping. 


KarenRankowitz
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RE: Creative Rites

Postby KarenRankowitz » Mon Jan 21, 2008 3:25 pm

James,

This is really some good stuff here.

Though you won't catch me jumping out of a plane, I agree with being a good listener.  Everyone has a story to tell, and if one truly takes the time to listen great stories can be created.

Lisa and I were recently discussing how the element of truth (as in personal experience) as a seed for fiction can give a reader a sense believing what the writer has written.

It also works well with non-fiction (duh, non-fiction is factual), all of my stories are what goes on in my life - but embellished a bit for the sense of humor I want to portray.

I'm not the adventurer like you, but I do take the time to not only listen, but to observe...and use all of my senses when I'm out in the real world, of course that is only when I'm not too distracted by Chaos and Commotion, my two boys.

Great post James, thanks for sharing.

Karen


FXerFic
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RE: Creative Rites

Postby FXerFic » Tue Jan 22, 2008 6:10 am

Like a lot of you, I plan out my stories while I am driving (or at the gym, although that's been on hold for the last two years :( )....but my ideas come from characters I create....and those characters are usually people I've met in the Autism community, somewhat exaggerated, or somewhat subdued.......People I meet tend to be really intriguing...I often take a small "quirk" and decide why that person has that "quirk", how it came about and how they can put that quirk to good use.....or how it can get them into trouble.....or make them a hero.....for example I am currently writing a story about a woman who used "peeling" oranges to calm herself in anxious times.....I'll let you know WHEN I find a market to publish this one in so you can see how I've dealt with this one............

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