Books About Creative Writing How To Write A Good Creative Story
By contrast, working sporadically makes it hard to keep your focus.
It’s easy to become blocked, confused, or distracted, or to forget what you were aiming to accomplish.
Because lots and lots of people are creative when they feel like it, but you are only going to become a professional if you do it when you don’t feel like it. As Cheryl Strayed put it in her timelessly revisitable meditation on life, Ultimately, Shapiro seconds this sentiment by returning to the notion of presence and the art of looking as the centripetal force that summons the scattered fragments of our daily experience into our cumulative muse — a testament to the combinatorial nature of creativity, reassuring us that no bit of life is “useless” and reminding us of the vital importance of what Stephen King has termed the art of “creative sleep”.
And that emotional waiver is why this is your work and not your hobby. Shapiro writes: If I dismiss the ordinary — waiting for the special, the extreme, the extraordinary to happen — I may just miss my life.
We seem to have a strange but all too human cultural fixation on the daily routines and daily rituals of famous creators, from Vonnegut to Burroughs to Darwin — as if a glimpse of their day-to-day would somehow magically infuse ours with equal potency, or replicating it would allow us to replicate their genius in turn.
And though much of this is mere cultural voyeurism, there is something to be said for the value of a well-engineered daily routine to anchor the creative process.
Anthony Trollope, the nineteenth-century writer who managed to be a prolific novelist while also revolutionizing the British postal system, observed, “A small daily task, if it be really daily, will beat the labours of a spasmodic Hercules.” Over the long run, the unglamorous habit of frequency fosters both productivity and creativity.
Frequency, she argues, helps facilitate what Arthur Koestler has famously termed “bisociation” — the crucial ability to link the seemingly unlinkable, which is the defining characteristic of the creative mind.
Reflecting Thomas Edison’s oft-cited proclamation that — since true aspiration produces effort that feels gratifying rather than merely grueling, enhancing the grit of perspiration with the gift of gratification.) One of the book’s strongest insights comes from Gretchen Rubin — author of We tend to overestimate what we can do in a short period, and underestimate what we can do over a long period, provided we work slowly and consistently.
For Charles Bukowski, it sprang from the soul like a rocket. Every year on January seventh, I prepare my physical space. I just leave my dictionaries, and my first editions, and the research materials for the new one. He said, “Do it another ten years, you can be a writer.” But I looked around at the people on Wall Street who were ten years older than me, and I didn’t see anyone who could have left. […] I used to get the total immersion feeling by writing at midnight.
Joy Williams found in it a gateway from the darkness to the light. From those seventeen steps on, I am in another world and I am another person. When it comes to nonfiction, it’s important to note the very significant difference between the two stages of the work. So it did appear to be financial suicide when I quit my job at Salomon Brothers — where I’d been working for a couple of years, and where I’d just gotten a bonus of 5,000, which they promised they’d double the following year—to take a ,000 book advance for a book that took a year and a half to write. I was twenty-seven years old, and they were throwing all this money at me, and it was going to be an easy career. It’s very hard to preserve the quality in a kid that makes him jump out of a high-paying job to go write a book. I noticed very quickly that writing was the only way for me to lose track of the time.
In my notebooks, I escaped an unhappy and lonely childhood. Quirks are great fodder for gossip and can morph into gross exaggeration when passed from one person to the next.
There’s also no way to escape the self-mythologizing particularly when dealing with some of the greatest storytellers that ever lived.