For 30-plus years I worked for a criminal defense attorneya powerful, successful advocate. He was my mentormy teacher, and during the last twenty-five years of our work association, I wrote nearly everything that went off his desk with his signature (I could even do his signature quite well).
Many assignments werent easy, and neither was he, and when it came to writing briefs, particularly appellate briefs, I would have to psyche myself up and write it in my head, before I could put pen to paper (I always wrote briefs in longhand before typing them). A couple days after giving me the assignment, hed ask how I was coming on it. "Okay" Id say. A week later? "Im working on it." Two weeks? "Still doing research."
A week before the deadline, hed ask, "Wheres the brief?" Id point to my head and say "Its up here." And, hed explode. "#%&*@$#^&, I cant read it while its in your #%&*@$#^&-head, I want to see something on paper by 5 oclock tomorrow." Hed leave the office muttering and still swearing. A typed rough draft would be on his desk the next day.
It took him a while to realize that it was necessary for me to obsess-over and formulate everything in my head before I wrote a word. But once he swore at me, the words would come pouring out.
So it became a ritual, although I dont know if being sworn at could be considered as "creative": I continued to over-think, and hed wait an appropriate length of time and ask. Id point to my head (it wasnt necessary to say anything by thenhe knew), and hed start swearing. We never missed a deadline.
maria - 2007-10-09 10:57 AM
What are your creative rites? Do you pace and clean, like me? Go for long walks? Stare at the ceiling? Paint your toenails? You can bet youre not the only one. Tell us about your creative rites here
I have 2 different rites, depending on where I left off the day before.
If I was writing well, knew where I was going, and just ran out of time. Then I sit down and reread whatever I wrote the day before, half-skimming/editing but no major edits. That or I read a chapter or two in a book in the same genre as I was writing in. By the time I get to where I left off, I remember what I was doing and start writing.
If I wrote until I didn't know what came next. Now that's when I wait until I feel like writing, and don't. I won't let myself write until I need to so bad, it's almost a tingling in my fingers, it's where every show on TV, every book I read, most of my wandering thoughts are reminding of something in my story. Then, when it's nearly unbearable, then I write.
QUESTION: Has anyone every finished their writing "session" for the day bc they were stuck, went to take a shower, and had ideas pop in their head?
It happens all the time to me. (Don't ask why I carry a notebook into the bathroom. )
Cool thread Maria,
Often it takes only one little thing that I see or hear that sparks a thought for creative writing.
I'm like you, I clean, mull over, write thoughts on anything handy, I clean more, do dishes or take a shower - all while I'm mulling.
Then all of a sudden it all comes together and I start writing it down like a mad woman - and poof -there it is.
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