Some of the smartest people in the world cut down on their decision making in order to save their energy for creativity.
Einstein owned four brown suits, all alike. He didn’t want to waste his energy on choosing clothing.
Mark Zuckerberg, it’s said, dresses down to save time and energy for the important things.
I, personally, sometimes barely get out of my PJs before I begin my writing – and you know what – I get more writing done!
One writer I know said she refuses to put on make up or do her hair because writing takes precedence.
We don’t need to abandon all our comforts and regular healthy habits in order to be creative, but our energy for decision making could be more balanced and save more preserved efforts for our projects.
We all have painful experiences –
Instead of letting it bog us down, keep us from doing more with our lives, we must use the energy of that pain to feed our creativity.
Write out the painful experience as if it’s happening to someone else.
One writer I knew created a superhero to fight for him when he was unable to fight for himself. Painful experiences, left to rule, stop us from being our very best. You must get it out, get rid of it, use it for your benefit, and the pain of the past will lose its power.
Write it from the superhero’s point of view.
Write yourself out of that painful experience. And Live.
Write about being stuck.
Write about your distractions.
Give them a life, a reason, a purpose.
Then get rid of them.
Even if they’re not gone – at least you’ve been writing.
When I started writing memoir, someone said they had no desire for revenge and so they would never write memoir.
But memoir is not about revenge. And you shouldn’t write memoir to get revenge.
Basically, it is believed, a writer can use an actual name of a real person because we all have our points of view and, if they disagree with yours, they can write your own.
HOWEVER, consider these things:
- Why do you feel the need to use that person’s full name? Is it for revenge?
- Don’t give enough information so any reader might contact them. All you need these days is a name, city, and google.
- Do you feel so strongly about using their real name that you want to face a possible lawsuit; whether or not they will win, they may be granted a day in court.
In the memoir pieces I’ve written, I’ve made minor changes to names. This gives anyone in the piece deniability if they’re ever asked whether or not they are the person in my writing; as well, it doesn’t necessarily point to them, and I am able to defend myself should anyone be looking to sue me. Or, in other words, I have deniability.
How are you like a peanut?
I gave this prompt to my students. Even as I was assigning this prompt, I saw the looks on their faces. They were not the first class to question my sanity; that happens regularly. So, my answer, must be “I’m a little nutty.”
Some of my students came up with amazing responses.
- Like a peanut, I have a hard shell. But once I open up, I’m quite pleasant to know.
- Like a peanut, I’m coming out of my shell.
- Like a peanut, I’m a little rough around the edges, but smooth on the inside.
- Like a peanut, I am versatile.
- Like a peanut in a shell, I am not alone.
- Like a peanut, I’m caramel colored.
This is challenging and, as writers, we must challenge ourselves. When we challenge ourselves, new parts of us open and allow us to grow and see life from a different point of view.
Choose an item from your refrigerator or snack drawer and compare it to yourself.
(Or choose an item and compare it to your main character.)
If you’d like to share it in our group, please do.
Steven Tyler of Aerosmith says, “Dare to Suck.”
It seems that he and his band mates have a regular meeting in which they bring the wildest, crappiest, outlandish ideas to toss them around and see if they work.
9 out of 10 of those ideas have to be trashed – but the tenth gets you something like “Dude Walks Like a Lady.”
Why not throw around ideas that seem completely outrageous?! They can always be canned later, but in the meantime you have some ideas to play with and you might, well, come up with something good.
I wrote the line, “When I killed my neighbors dog…” My friends said, you can not use that. But I played with it to see where it might take me, and I wrote “Of Strays and Exes” by just playing with this strange line that came to me in a dream.
It was accepted for publication in Pilcrow and Dagger almost immediately and later made into a podcast. You can find it kindle now, or search P&G’s podcasts.
**Disclaimer: No animals were killed or injured in the writing of that story.