How I Stay Creative

The wonderful Mel Finch of Crushed Caramel kindly nominated me for a 3.2.1 Quote Challenge! Originally created by Rory over at A Guy Called Bloke, today’s particular topic is ‘creativity’. Mel is a fantastic blogger with a sparkling personality who shares such heartfelt life experiences for readers to appreciate. I’m truly grateful for her for considering me, and for getting me thinking about such a fascinating topic!

Rules:

• Thank the Selector.

• Post 2 quotes for the dedicated Topic of the Day.

• Select 3 other bloggers for an honorary mention in ‘3.2.1 Quote Me!’

Note: Although this is the topic for today there’s no specific deadline to it, meaning you can answer whenever you choose.

Quote 1:

This was one of my favourite inspirational quotes when putting my thoughts onto paper: believing that the stories I thought of were truly worth writing because I had real genuine faith that they would work. I could have thrown in the towel, trashed my drafts, taken the easy option & quit early.

But I didn’t.

Writing (for me, anyway) has always been a big way I explore the world and express my inner emotions onto a blank canvas and…I sort of write the stories I wish I’d had when I was younger, so in writing them I hope one day they’ll reach other people who might need them. Or enjoy reading them. Or maybe just want more stories like them. Or whatever.

(Aww that’s super cheesy I’m gonna be quiet now 😀 )

Quote 2:

This motto was a huge inspiration to me when writing my first draft. There are literally thousands upon thousands of advice books and articles and websites dedicated to telling you – the aspiring blogger – how to write properly. I’ve found it deeply encouraging to stay creative, by not getting shackled down with rules and learning to do it your own way.

So, er…I have a confession to make…

*deep breath*

I LOVE dialogue as an opening line. I adore it. Whenever I flip open a book and the first line is snappy dialogue I’m like hell YEAH this is my JAM. 😀 😀 😀

There’s lists and lists and lists of TOP TEN WAYS YOU SHOULD NEVER START YOUR NOVEL EVER and “opening with dialogue” is always on them. Somewhere.

The gist being that it’s bad because a) the reader doesn’t care about this character yet so why are they going to care about this dialogue, right? b) they don’t have any context for it, instead you should start with something that gets the reader fully invested & emotionally pulled into the story, so on and so forth…

(And I’m not here to argue or contradict that – 99% of the time, the listed reasons why you should Maybe Not Do The Thing are perfectly valid concerns that should be taken into consideration)

But yeah: for me, dialogue opening lines pull me right in emotionally. For real. Nine times out of ten they’ll yank me in and have me engaged instantly in the story, the conflict, the stakes. Always have, probably always will.

But ANYWAY, the moral is, basically…

Whatever Mortal Writing Sin you want to commit, there’s probably at least one blessed reader out there who digs it and loves you for it. Maybe two. Possibly even five, if you’re lucky. Who crave the stories you’re writing and think they’re worth celebrating, however godawful you think they might be.

This. Is. Important.

Three things:

  1. Always reblog the Two Cake Theory.
  2. This is 1000% more motivating for me than any ‘real writers write every day’ preach message.
  3. Also “this cake is slightly less impressive and fancy, but I absolutely LOVE the way it’s topped with a strawberry, not a circle of cherries.”

See what I mean? Just because someone else did The Thing you were thinking of doing, and did it way better than you could ever hope to do, DOESN’T mean it’s stupid or pointless to go ahead and still try to do the thing anyway.

When it comes to creativity? There really is no “better”.

Sure, someone might be more technically accomplished than you – you might not be able to colour as nicely or craft a sentence that rings as poetically – but art is only really secondarily about that. It’s firstly about what you, uniquely, have to express, and how the precise way you express it might be what others desperately need to relate to it – even if it’s less flashy, less “beautiful”, and gets far fewer notes.

I promise you this: there are obscure fanfics with only a handful of notes that are the passionately re-read favourites of someone too anxious to comment. There are drawings scrawled by 12-year-olds in poorly-blended markers that are someone’s favourite because they spoke to something in their soul that nothing else did. There are covers of songs where your voice cracks and you cringe every time you hear it but someone thinks the way it cracked just at that moment added beauty to the song. There are angsty three-line poems you scribbled at 4am that someone once called “pretentious emo trash” that are loved by someone else going through exactly the same thing as you.

And I guarantee you, there is something unique about your art. Even if you’re “saying something someone else has said”. Even if you’re the thousandth person to take on the subject. Even if you feel like you’re not at all unique. You’re bound to express something, however subtle, that didn’t exist until then.

To me, art is about connection. And the more you create, the more chance you have of finding other people who experience the world the way you do. Whatever you want to write about, your audience is out there. They are starved of the stuff you’re writing about and they will love you to bits for sharing your inner self through your creative art.

Which leads me onto…

Quote 3:

Do whatever the hell you want, honestly.

You can write an opening scene that does everything EVERY advice page tells you to do with an opening scene…

…and it can still be dull and limp and complete horseshit.

You can write an opening scene doing everything every advice page warns you NEVER to do with your opening scene and it can still be fabulous and engaging and wonderful and an utter joy to read. ❤

But seriously…every writer ever is just making it up. Whether a world-famous author, devoted fanfic writer or upcoming new poet, we’re all just making the rules up as we go. Cherry-picking what seems to work, and polishing up what doesn’t (yet) and making it the best you can be proud of. Don’t worry about writing it right, just write it – and then make it right later. The rules don’t actually matter, punching those damn keys does.

Just write your thing, dude. You’re fine. It’s your thing. Just do it.

Basically…

…if you can pull it off…

literally who cares

¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Closing out with a truly magical Disney tribute by Lindsay McCutcheon because:

a) Disney is always a win. *Dothraki whisper* It is known.

b) They transformed the world of creative animation, you guys. 💐

c) I’m a simple lad who likes pretty vibrant colours, also A+ clean seamless transitions WOW

To continue the Creativity theme, I’d like to give a special shoutout to:

Sadje – Keep It Alive

Jenna – The Sunshine Artist

Di – Pensitivity101

They’ve written some fantastic insights on how creativity has inspired their own blogging journeys – please show them some love by checking their websites out. They’re well worth your time! 😀

Hope you have a lovely weekend! Good luck with your blogging adventures!

Tom ❤

29 thoughts on “How I Stay Creative

    1. Very true. 😀 It’s easy to get constricted with rules and limit yourself to what’s been done before because it ‘works’, always great to try what feels right even if it’s new and daunting.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Hey Tom, first and foremost thanks for playing the tag, and secondly what a fabulous creative post you have made here, totally agree with everything you have both written and quoted!

    In the words of Socrates, just bang the keys boy, bang em hard and bang em fast!

    Rory

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you ever so much! ❤ Such a kind thing to say. Glad it resonated with you – it's been a big personal lesson for me to keep going & be proud of how I can improve myself. Plus Disney is always a win, so there's that 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  2. What a great post. I particularly like the first quote, since it speaks to me right here and now. The two cakes comic is GOLD. It makes total sense.

    As far as opening of a book is concerned, I found it very curious to hear what you and the professionals have to say. Truth be told, I never really research anything technical about writing. I just do it. Only recently, have I realized that there are some things you need to figure out. Although I usually think of a description for the beginning of a book, I don’t see a dialogue being anything bad. I definitely don’t drop a book just because of it.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you ever so much! ❤ Glad you enjoyed it. These quotes really resonated with me through my blogging journey. And yes, there are conflicting arguments about whatever makes a book opening 'good', but ultimately as long as it sweeps the reader into the writer's world and makes them care, THAT'S what really matters 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I think it’s definitely important to follow our own rules. I mean advice posts and books on technique are great and all – but at the end of the day, create in a way that puts the smile on your heart.

    Beautiful post! ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Very true! I’ve shared a few posts on general advice that I’ve found particularly helpful, but ultimately it’s up to you, the artist, to inspire your own creative flair & have conviction that what you’re creating is worth it. 😀
      Glad you enjoyed reading it! ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  4. When I first thought of starting a blog, I told myself I didn’t want to spend too much time ‘writing’, but focusing instead on my photos. Now that I’ve begun, I love the writing process and get so much wonderful feedback from my readers on my writing. It helps remind me at those times where I question what I’m doing to write what I want to write, do it for myself, and not try to predict what others want. That brings me back to a joyful place.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Very true! Since I’ve started this, crafting new stories and trying new genres has make me a much more versatile writer & having such great feedback from readers keeps me motivated to create more for their enjoyment. Glad you enjoyed it! 😀

      Liked by 1 person

    1. ‘Blast and bother!’ he groaned. ‘My w-i-p novel and short stories start with dialogue too. Oh lackaday, what rotten luck!’ 🙃
      Glad you found it so relatable, Chris. Hope you have a lovely weekend too! ❤

      Like

    1. So glad you enjoyed it, Ellie! 😀 Yeah, it’s been particularly encouraging when editing my WIP story & not losing heart. Best of luck with your future short stories too! ❤

      Like

  5. Hi Tom! I must say this is one of my favourite blog posts ever. It read so sincere and I genuinely was chuckling along the way. I love the quotes which you put in and how you described what they mean to you and why you chose them! Very creative post ! I screenshotted the cake animation 😁😁

    Liked by 1 person

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