- Have you always dreamed of writing a novel?
- Have you worked hard fulfilling everyone else’s dreams, only to find yours have been on hold for too long?
- Do you have the desire to write but aren’t sure how to go about it?
If you answer yes to any or all of these questions you may be a frustrated creative. I use writing as my metaphor but you can add anything you like to your questions. It doesn’t matter. What’s important is that you recognise the things inside yourself that are stopping you living the life you were meant to live.
Creativity is the right of every one of us and it’s been hijacked by the Prussians (oh, alright, you’re onto me; whoever invented schools ought to be shot even if it wasn’t the Prussians – talk about creativity killers). But rest assured, I’m here to give you the tools for stealing your creativity back and reclaiming it as your own.
Rules for reclaiming our Creativity:
- Know Thyself: do you like the idea of being a writer or do you want to write?
RULE: TO BE A WRITER YOU’VE GOTTA WRITE
- Trust: do you trust your instincts to tell you that you’re finally committing to something big or are you secretly hedging your bets?
RULE: TO BE A WRITER YOU MUST COMMIT TO WRITING
- Honesty: can you write raw on the page or does everything have to be perfect?
RULE: JUST WRITE – YOU CAN FIX IT LATER
- Doing it: are you bored at your desk already or could you do this all day?
RULE: TO WRITE YOU MUST HAVE YOUR BUM ON YOUR CHAIR
- Perseverance: when the going gets tough, will you plow on through to the end or give up and go shopping?
RULE: WRITE, KEEP WRITING, WRITE SOME MORE
- Admitting defeat: it’s just not working (and you’ve shopped till you dropped) – do you give up altogether or will you come back tomorrow and try again?
RULE: EVERY DAY IS A NEW DAY – VOW TO WRITE EVERY DAY
- Asking for help: will you tell anyone you’re writing the Great Australian Novel or will it be your little secret so that when you fail nobody needs to know?
RULE: FIND A MENTOR – TELL THEM YOU’RE WRITING A NOVEL
- Celebrate every success: can you already see the dinner and roses in your head, the trip to Paris, and the week at your favourite tropical resort complete with handsome hero? And that’s after Chapter 1… Imagine the rewards to which you can treat yourself after you finish a whole book.
RULE: DREAM BIG – YOU ARE, AFTER ALL, A WRITER – AREN’T YOU?
We’re creatives. It’s in our natures to think big, to see our names on billboards next to Nora Roberts and to fall in love with Richard Gere. What would life be without our dreams and our secret fantasies of fame and riches, mixed in with a handsome hero or two?
The trouble is, our intellect is highjacked somewhere along the way to growing up and we were taught to get a real job, which we did, then we got married, had kids, and…you know the rest. We live happily ever after with a ‘to do’ list that will keep us wasting our energies on the mundane forever more unless…
…we reclaim our creativity and bring it to the top of our ‘to do’ lists, the pedestrian life be damned. Albert Einstein may have said creativity is intelligence having fun but we all know true creativity is intelligence having fun with the top three things on our ‘to do’ list.
Which brings me to a Hugh Howey quote I read today that offers a perfect end to my set of rules…or is it the perfect beginning?
‘You are creating a product that never rots, never rusts, never expires. It is distributed worldwide by the largest retailer in the mulitverse. You control the price. Shipping is free and immediate. You can market it forever. Your margin is 70%. You’ll never need to write it again or spend another penny on it. For Pete’s sake, can it get any better?’