Thursday, August 2, 2007

Creative Moments

What readers have helped me with so far (see yesterday's post) is the idea of taking what time is available, even if it's just a few moments or minutes, and to use that to create. To dedicate some time daily to creative pursuits and to watch what happens. This is a perfect technique for me to try now.

Come the fall, I want to be caught up on my personal affairs, work, and projects enough to be able to devote several hours each morning and immerse myself in creative activities, primarily writing. I have read Walter Mosley's article in this month's O Magazine, entitled "This Year You Write Your Novel" (from his book with the same title), and wanted to share an excerpt that impacted me profoundly:

"The most important thing I've found about writing is that it is primarily an unconscious activity. What do I mean by this? I mean that a novel is larger than your head (or unconscious mind). The connections, moods, metaphors, and experiences that you call up while writing will come from a place deep inside you. Sometimes you will wonder who wrote those words. Sometimes you will be swept up by a fevered passion relating a convoluted journey through your protagonist's ragged heart. These moments are when you have connected to some deep place within you, a place that harbors the zeal that made you want to write to begin with.

The way you get to this unconscious place is by writing every day. Or not even writing. Some days you may be rewriting, rereading, or just sitting there scrolling back and forth through the text. This enough to bring you back into the dream of your story.

What, you ask, is the dream of a story? This is a mood and a continent of thought below your conscious mind---a place that you get closer to with each foray into the words and worlds of your novel.

You may have spent only an hour and a half working on the book, but the rest of the day will be rife with motive moments in your unconsciousness---moments in your mind, which will be mulling over the places your words have touched. While you sleep, mountains are moving deep within your psyche. When you wake up and return to the book, you will be amazed by the realization that you are further along than when you left off yesterday.

If you skip a day or more between your writing sessions, you mind will drift away from these deep moments of your story. You will find that you'll have to slog back to a place that would have been easily attained if only you wrote every day. "

This is what I want to do in the fall. Whether or not I ever finish my novel, whether or not it is ever published, I know I want to experience this---this inhabiting of the dream of my story, and moving in it, of writing from it. Walter Mosley writes three hours per day, which is what I would like to do this fall.

However, for now, with the time constraints I've chosen, I want to begin by having creative times even as moments! And having some creative time every day.


Heather said...

How exciting, to have all that time to look forward to using. Though, I will add, for me, just having one hour a day for writing is enough. I used to need longer, but taught myself to use time very economically. But I can't wait to read more about what you learn. Love the quote from the book. I have to say I agree with his thoughts, there. You are going to have fun when you do this. ;-)

Olivia said...

Heather, this is my CHALLENGE, to FIND the three hours that I want to spend immersed in the dream of my story. I have NO idea how I'm going to do this! The draw of the experience moves me, challenges me, to find a way to create this time. I'm hoping that by the time it is necessary to know how to do it, I will be ABLE to do it!

I agree with you; I think this will be fun. It seems possibly undoable at this point. I'm just believing that before I need to do it, I'll know HOW to do it, and be able to do it.

It's a scary/exciting place to be!

Karen said...

Oh, I'd love to partner up with you--check in every day to see if I've spent my time writing--I'm not explaining myself well--

What colors do you want for your banner? the one I did before doesn't seem to fit well, so I'm doing another--I've got a sky blue and a pink like the flower in wednesday's post--?? Any ideas? Let me know.

PS your encouragement re Katie means a lot. Thanks.