Arguably, everyone is creative. When I use that word for the title of this piece, though, I'm talking about creative in the overactive, imaginative, free-running mind.
I feel this is something that certain writers, perhaps intuitive, sensitive, feeler-types will be able to relate to.
It can be both a blessing a curse. A blessing because, well, creativity and imagination are will thoughts can only be a good thing when it comes to creating, whether it's fiction or poetry or songs.
The downside, though, is that the mind wanders and jumps around from thing to thing. Or, it does for me anyway.
This is a piece about settling down to write.
For me, I'm very much someone who likes to go with the flow. I don't like to-do lists, and I get overwhelmed easily by expectations and pressure to do something, whether it's for someone else or myself. (When it comes to Gretchen Rubin's 'Four Tendencies' quiz, I'm a 'Rebel').
If I left my creative work, or anything, to 'how I feel' (like I have done in the past), it's not always the most conducive way to work. The work may or may not get done, and I can find myself working in two default modes; all out, intense, forgetting about the world around me. Or, just not doing anything at all. I'm an all-or-nothing person.
For me, it's a case of scheduling in time to get stuff done, but not being too rigid with my schedules.
(Yes, I'm a nightmare. Can anyone else relate to this?!).
Basically, I try to write for 30 minutes (at least) every day. Whether it's a blog post, or a poem, or fiction. 30 minutes. I tell myself 30 minutes intentionally, because it's short enough to feel manageable and not be overwhelmed by the size of the task. For example, setting a task like 'write for 2 hours' wouldn't go down too well on a day I don't feel so much like writing, or in general - as it feels like too large a commitment to get started and keep going for two whole hours.
If I skip a day here or there, it's no big deal. But I'm finding that it's enough to keep me moving forward, putting one foot in front of the other.
Yes, I still have many a blip when I don't feel like writing, and so don't for a few days. Equally, I'll have other days when I find a good flow and do a big chunk of writing.
For me, though, I much prefer to write little-and-often and gradually build a stronger writing routine. In fact, routines/habits are important to me, particularly first-thing (AM) and last-thing (PM) ones. One for a future post, perhaps.
A couple of great articles from fellow intuitive writers, Lauren Sapala and Amanda Linehan, are below; these resonate with me strongly, and you might find them useful too:
Sticking to the Plan vs Going With the Flow, by Amanda Linehan
3 Reasons Why Writing Every Day Doesn’t Work For Most INFJ Writers, by Lauren Sapala
They resonate with me strongly, and it's no coincidence that Lauren is an INFJ and Amanda an INFP. (I'm an INFP, and us INFP- & INFJ-types are very similar indeed). If you’re confused about these 4-letter-codes, and want to know which ‘type’ you are, head over here.
Getting settled and actually putting pen to paper, or fingers to keyboard, is very much mind over matter for me. I've got no reason *not* to do it, but it's amazing how creative I can get with my excuses and how very distracted I can get with thoughts and feelings and moods and procrastinating and all sorts of things.
For me, though, having this little schedule to aim towards (30 mins a day), suits me just fine.
I may also take this timing approach to NaNoWriMo this year, too. We'll see.
👉🏼 What about you?
Do you have a writing schedule? How do you make sure you settle down and get to writing? Are you a rigid planner, or take a less rigid approach like mine?
Comment over here 🙂