Thursday, April 2, 2009

Creating Something from Nothing

THIS JUST IN: I've received an astute Blog Award from my dear blogging colleague, Litgirl01 (aka Traci Lawrence.) Please let her know how much you appreciate her giving me this award, since pretty much the only thing I've won in life is a spot on the sophomore cheerleading squad. (Not that that wasn't a HUGE accomplishment!) Thanks, Traci! You made my day.;-)

Now back to regular programming....
In conjunction with the article I just posted on Examiner.com, (shameless plug) I thought I'd take a look at the creative process: creating something from nothing.

We writers are a funny breed. We sit down, usually at our computers, and start typing. Most of us are not quite sure (or have any earthly clue at all) what words will appear, yet we have perfect faith they will. In some instances, this might be called "crazy." (I admit to being called that and worse on numerous occasions. That's fine. I like attention. Plus, any publicity is good publicity!)

Yup, that's how it's done, folks. We trust in the process and the mystery of the universe, and lo and behold, before we know it, 1,000 plus or minus words have been added to the pile known as our current WIP. How the hell did that happen?

Seriously, how does this happen? Where do those funny, enlightening, interesting words come from? Ah... that is the wonder, joy, mystery, and genius of the creative process - the ACT of creating something from nothing. It is poetry in motion - a physical , spiritual and emotional enterprise. We writers sit down and open our toolboxes filled with emotions, moods, experiences, our past, present, our hopes and dreams for the future, mix them all together, and faithfully watch the magic unfold.

Then, after the magical work is done, we tread softly or forcefully (or more likely somewhere in between) into the world of agents, bringing with us peace offerings of queries, synopses, and sample pages that we've revised until we've driven ourselves (and our loved ones), "crazy." There's that word again! Then we eagerly await "acceptance" that may or may never come. It's no wonder we artist-types are a messed up bunch! Thankfully, we have each other to lean on, appreciate, lift up, and commiserate with.

So, to you, all my blogging (and lurking) friends, I commend you, I adore you, I appreciate you, and I honor you.

Now, let's get back to work creating our magical somethings from nothing!

32 comments:

Rebecca Anne said...

You wrote about the perspective side of writing spot on! People have questioned me about how I do it, where it comes from, how should they do it and usually I feel a bit 'wordless' on how to begin to explain it.
Truth is, and this falls into the crazy zone...the writer Rebecca and the Rebecca that walks around and talks and moves through life are two seperate souls. Sometimes the two of me walk hand in hand, sometimes they fight and sometimes they simply smile at each other and try to play nicely together. Which one am I right this moment? Both~~
Rebecca

DebraLSchubert said...

Rebecca, That's exactly what Stevie Nicks refers to in her song, "Sara." The words are: "Sara, you're the poet in my heart, never change, never stop..." Sara is her alter-ego, the poetess part of her. We artists all have that and, yes, it's sometimes hard to describe or explain. My stage name is Jamie and that is definitely the musical/singer/songwriter "side" of me. I love that "other side" - we humans are very deep and complex creatures.;-)

valbrussell said...

Every single damn time I've planned, manipulated and executed a story, the result was wooden and lacking in soul. I always sit down with a plan and then, I promptly watch as the characters toss it in the trash. Oh, right back atcha fellow artist, you are much adored too. :)

giddymomof6 said...

I know exactly what you mean! I always start from nothing and allow the inspiration hit. I love to see where it takes me and just what I'm meant to write. It's wonderful! i never knew I would love writing this much! Jenni

DebraLSchubert said...

Val, Ain't that the truth! Trying to force it out never seems to work for me either. I sometimes have a vague idea of where a particular scene is going to go, but even if I'm right, it usually goes other places as well. It really is like sitting in a theater and watching a movie and not knowing what's going to happen next. Ooh, I love the suspense!

DebraLSchubert said...

Jenni, I'm so happy for you and your writing. Clearly, you're on the right path. Let us know when we can look for your name at Borders! (And I hope you're feeling better...)

Beth said...

While I write just for fun, the same concept applies to me. It never ceases to amaze me what will spark my interest or fire my imagination. I've never thought of myself as creative, but blogging has helped me to explore the possibilities in the everyday.

Beth

Lynnette Labelle said...

I guess I can't totally relate because I'm a plotter. The canvas is clear until I start writing the outline, but once that's done, I basically know what's going to happen and when. Every once in a while something changes, but then so does my outline.

Lynnette Labelle
http://lynnettelabelle.blogspot.com

WendyCinNYC said...

I generally start out kind of free-form, but then I stop and plot the rest of the story out, otherwise it's tough to keep everything under control and flowing toward the ending.

Although right now I'm in the middle of edits and the opposite of free-form is happening. I feel like I'm wringing my brain out for every word.

Litgirl01 said...

Oh dear...I can so relate to everything you just said. I love reading your blog! You have great voice! :-)

Where does it come from? Why, my muse of course! ;-) I just wonder where the little minx is now...I haven't been able to write a THING for two weeks! She has such a bad habit of doing everything when it is convenient for her. UGH!

DebraLSchubert said...

Lynette, For you the creating something from nothing part applies to your outline. I know some writers are meticulous like you, and I really admire that. I'm sure my life would be easier if I had a little more outline going on, especially with the murder mystery I'm working on now. It's hard to keep track of all the little clues...

DebraLSchubert said...

Wendy, You lucky girl! I can't wait until I'm at that point. (Will you remind me I said this when the time comes?!) I should also consider your style of starting out free form and then plotting. I'm 25k words into my new WIP and it's definitely starting to get a bit confusing. If I sat down and tried to plot it all out, that would be a HUGE change (breakthrough?) for me.

DebraLSchubert said...

Beth, I find it amazing that you've never thought of yourself as creative. Your blog is awesome! I'm glad you've discovered your creative side and are gracious enough to share it with the world.;-)

DebraLSchubert said...

Litgirl, Thanks for the kind words. Maybe your little minx is vacationing in the Greek Isles, I know that's where mine is planning on going when she's able to break away. I've told her it's fine to go, as long as she brings me along with her. (*grin*wink*)

Joanne said...

What a process! It is magical, most definitely. Especially to read the masters of the craft, we all have our favorites, and see the beauty that ends up on the page and in our minds, beauty that stems from the moment they sat and put pen to paper, or hand to keyboard, whatever the case may be! What a journey writing is.

Beth said...

I got a kick out of your comment on my blog about "As the Cigarette Burns." Are you okay with sending me your email, so I can reply directly if need be? I'm at Luvrte66@aol.com

B.

DebraLSchubert said...

Joanne, I love sharing this "stage" with you. Your deep appreciation for the beauty inherent in life is so evident on your wonderful blog. Thank you.

Big Plain V said...

Hey Debra -- ever read Stephen King's 'On Writing'? (Ray gives it four pints) Your post here reminds me of the bit where he describes the white rabbit with the number six painted on its side, and how POOF -- the image is magically transported into a reader's head.

It is magic, and I am awed by its power.

Anita said...

I haven't been into my WIP in awhile, but I'm gearing up for it now...thanks for helping me get excited about it again...I needed a boost!

DebraLSchubert said...

Ray, I haven't read it, but I've now heard about it several times so I'm taking the universal hint. I'll be stopping by Borders tomorrow and picking up a copy. (Thanks!)

DebraLSchubert said...

Anita, Yay! I've inspired you! My work here is done.;-)

DebraLSchubert said...

Beth, Did you get my e-mail????

DebraLSchubert said...

Beth, Did you get my e-mail????

Lady Glamis said...

Fantastic thoughts, Debra. I agree. I've often pondered where in the world my stories come from. I certainly don't sit down one day and just decide that I'm going to write a story about this, this, and this. It just flows out. A mixture of weeks and months of years of ideas just sticking together in my subconscience.

I think it might seem like nothing, but it's actually something we're simply not aware of. Just my thought. :)

DebraLSchubert said...

Michelle, You're right. It's definitely "something." But like so many precious things in life, we're not meant to "understand" but merely to stand in awe, appreciate, and create!

Kasie West said...

Yes, crazy. That's that state somewhere in between sleep depravation and characters speaking to you in your head, right? Yeah, been there. Love your post, so true.

DebraLSchubert said...

Kasie, Either that or the state where you rework your query a million times and still don't think you've got it right! (Not that I'd know what that's like...)

Lilly said...

Hi Debra, once again a wonderful post. You so deserve a blogging award too. Congrats on being recognised by your fellow bloggers. I have to go and check out Examiner.com too.

I love the creative process. I am never short of ideas but I lack the discipine often to follow through. I am still in awe of people who have written books. Thousands of words and pages.You are right, the fear of rejection can be great I imagine. The only thing we have which nothing other than death can snatch away from us is death. We have the power to ensure they are never lost by writing our storeis down and sharing them. How magical is that. Cannot wait to read your stories one day in a book. It will happen. And soon. Have a great weekend, and you are right I so should have said, Deidre does Dallas, duh!!!

writtenwyrdd said...

Writing is a very spritual process. That feeling of being bigger than your skin, a knowingness and flow... It is addictive, isn't it?

DebraLSchubert said...

Lilly, I love your openness and honesty about life. You're a breath of fresh air! And if anyone could write a book, it would be you. You are so full of great and humorous ideas. (Deidre Does Dallas - hee, hee!)

DebraLSchubert said...

WW, (Love you moniker!) First of all, thanks for stopping by. Spiritual and addictive - pretty awesome combo!

Julie said...

Thanks for stopping by my blog yesterday and helping boost my comments over 100 for my blogiversary!

I'm totally stalking you now.

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