Creativity And Time

Creativity and time are seldom very good companions. Often, when you have the time to write, your creative juices aren’t flowing, and likewise, inspiration can hit you at the most inopportune times. So what do you do?
Creativity And Time
On the surface, there appears to be only two solutions:

  1. Force creativity
  2. Stop everything else you’re doing when creativity strikes and make the time.

But neither is really feasible, because forced creativity often lacks exuberance and flow, and it’s not always possible to drop all else if you have a job or need to tend to every day chores like taking care of the family.

Personally, I often get inspiration when driving long distances, which is obviously not a very good time to break out the laptop or a pad and pen. Yet at the same time, there’s so much to get inspiration from, as cars filled with families deep in conversation, people working on the side of the road, and interesting landscapes pass by my windshield.

Yes, trying to meld creativity and time can get somewhat frustrating, especially when time also tends to take recall away as one ages.

It’s tough, after all, when you can remember having a moment of inspiration, but can’t recall for the life of you what it pertained to.

But here’s an idea that might help when you get a brainstorm but aren’t quite in the right place or time to continue on with your story page by page:

  • Use those creative moments to build structure to your story line by way of outlining, rather than trying to write linearly.

For example, say you get some inspiration about a new event or scene for your story line. Grab an index card and write it down. Add enough detail to remind you why you thought it would help your story and where it might fit in.

You can do the same for your characters’ personality growth too. Create a profile card for each character, and add to it whenever you’re inspired to do so.

This way your creative moments aren’t lost, and because they’re written down when they occur, going over them when you do have time to write out your narrative could re-inspire you to press on.

As allusive as the pair may be, creativity and time do cross paths once in a while. It may not always happen at the most advantageous moments, but if you use them wisely, they will still contribute to your story.

We show you how to create outlines for both fictional and non-fictional books in our courses. Just click on either course cover to the left to learn more.


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5 Responses to Creativity And Time

  1. Rajendranath Mehrotra says:

    Personally, I don’t agree with 1st point, ‘Force Creativity’. Creativity comes from positive ‘attitude’ and ‘aptitude’, it needs a passion, a strong will power to be creative and then use all the faculties of Ur logical brain. It needs emotions too and none of the above can be forced.
    Inspiration comes from others but becomes effective only if U keep Ur brain in receiving mode. Secondly, However passionate, or Inspiring Ur words may be; they become effective only if “U follow first and suggest afterwards”. Creativity is not a profession and if one has the right kind of passion, aptitude and attitude, the cues required can be found out through various sources available all the time everywhere.

    • Ken says:

      We don’t agree with the 1st point either, Rajendranath :)

      This is why the article goes on to suggest trying to fit creative moments into time frames isn’t the way to go. Rather, when creativity strikes, take notes so you can be re-inspired later when you do have time to write.

  2. Perhaps the word “forced” is a misnomer. A deadline can force or demand a creative move when the writer may not be operating on all cylinders. Every writer has faced a moment of empty. My father was on deadline at age 82 when he died. His entire career was spent as a journalist, or as he referred to himself, “reporter”. When cleaning out his office, I found dozens of notebooks filled from cover to cover with ideas, thoughts, notes on possible features, book outlines, future columns.

    He would check off those he had used, marking the date and publication, along with an aside as to how he might tweak it to work for another market. The journals are now inspiring his two writer daughters and a granddaughter. Inspiration is never forced but it can help to drive or direct the writer’s creative experience.

    • Ken says:

      Thanks for sharing your father’s story, Eularee. He certainly showed how utilizing note taking during those inspirational moments pays off, and not only for himself, but for you as well :)

  3. My father also was a collector of the life stories of writers. Most of them were note takers, some sleeping with their notebooks by their bedsides for the middle of the night inspiration. You just never know when creative thought will provide itself. Therefore – be prepared!
    Eularee Smith recently posted..Blackboard to BlackoutMy Profile

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