Sometimes it takes a non-writing book to open your eyes to the realities of the writing process. Realities which despite you being very much aware inexplicably slip out of your consciousness.
This book, Music Habits – The Mental Game of Electronic Music Production: Finish Songs Fast, Beat Procrastination and Find Your Creative Flow by Jason Timothy talks about writing music but the thinking behind the creation process is very much applicable to writing.
Here are the top tips I picked up.
1) If you’re just starting out, your attempt at creating won’t be great. Accept that always. If it’s not great, it’s alright.
2) Most creators don’t finish anything ‘big’ they start. Why? They have high expectations. They put an excessive amount of pressure on themselves. Moral: Don’t create as if the fate of the world depends on your work-in-progress.
3) Perfection paralyses. It immobilizes you in most cases. Don’t try to create a hit of the century. The end result : you’ll end up not finishing what you started. If you do, you miss the chance of creating many imperfect pieces that will help you do better in the next piece.
4) Call a work done if that’s the best you can do at your current skill level. Don’t fuss over it or abandon it because it did not reach the standard of the masters. If you finish as many pieces as possible and move on to the next one, you’ll see improvement in your skill level over time.
5) Never neglect unfinished or shelved pieces you’ve worked on in the past just because you didn’t like them. Revisit them from time to time. See if you could ‘refurbish’ them. Who knows your creative juices might get flowing and you may end up with something worth publishing.
Real Food for Thought
Here’s one that really gave me food for thought. Sometimes when our writing doesn’t go well, we think there’s something that we ought to learn to help our writing. So, we seek instruction in the form of a tutorial or course. Jason advises against this.
He advises you to create with whatever you have. Your existing knowledge is enough to get you going. He says never learn anything new that you’ll not use in your work. Taking courses and going through tutorials is nothing more than a ‘legit’ way of avoid writing.
But I would assure you that reading Music Habits – The Mental Game of Electronic Music Production: Finish Songs Fast, Beat Procrastination and Find Your Creative Flow will not take you away from writing. Instead it will recharge and energize you to keep the words flowing. writing.