Forget knowledge management – Write Me. {The Creativity Bug}

Of late I’ve been getting the impression that I’m in trouble. And it’s my own fault for starting this blog. It’s also the reason why publishing posts seems to be getting more difficult rather than easier some days.

Write Me. The Creativity Bug

For a long time some alien but at the same time eerily familiar presence has been chewing on my mind. As I lived my life it evolved with my experiences. From time to time it seemed to fade away. This presence consisted of flashes of a story. A long time ago I’m pretty sure there used to be a different story in my head. But whatever happens, after a while something will come inhabit the space between my ears and haunt me.

Blogging – the winding path onto the moor of creative fever

When I first started blogging here, focusing on business topics, there was no problem at all. A lot of energy went into writing, editing, improving the structure of my posts, coming up with suitable images, and the like. But now…

  • Every time I start a new post about some business topic, the spectre of creativity whispers into my ear “Don’t write about that. Write the story.”
  • Every time I try to make a sensible post out of a potentially complex issue, my story will inch closer and tell me “Forget knowledge management. Write Me.”

Write Me.

To be honest, I’ve even made the tiniest of starts online. Since I’m so used to putting my thoughts onto a screen I no longer feel comfortable writing on paper when it comes to ‘big stuff’. So when I heard about a tool called PressBooks, which is based on WordPress, I went to have a look. I got an account (private) and checked the features. Then I made a few ‘posts’. And finally I started writing. Just to be writing.

Um. I got two crappy sentences out. Ugh.

I came up with several possible reasons for that.

  1. It’s fiction whereas I’m used to non-fiction. It may be ‘an historical novel’ or it may be fantasy – I’m not entirely sure. If it’s history this is going to take some serious research.
  2. Maybe paper is better at this stage? I used to ‘mommy-blog’ (keep a journal) offline πŸ˜‰
  3. I’m used to writing in English for non-fiction. Whether that’s going to work for fiction – I have no idea. I do know fiction is going to send me to the far corners of my English vocabulary. It would be the ultimate challenge. I like challenges. But is this one going to be too big?
  4. This story is mine. It’s lived inside my head for ages. My experience in writing those two sentences was a bit like, well, a warning. Like a first contraction. A warning that if I start this, I won’t be able to stop the process of going into full literary labor. A warning that it’s going to be painful. And messy. And if I ever manage to get out a first draft I’ll be up to my elbows in nappies and goo.
  5. Why oh why does it feel as though this story might take up a whole book? It might’ve been easier to raise a short story through infancy.

In short, it feels like I’m peering down from a dizzying height – I’ve just moved one foot slightly and dislodged a few pebbles. As I watch them tumbling down something, someone, is asking me: do you quite sure you want to find out how far down this will take you? Also, part of me is saying “Are you kidding? I don’t have time for this sh*t.”

Bitten by the creative writing bug

Why does this feel like the scene in ‘The Matrix’ where Neo is offered the two pills, one of which will show him how deep the rabbit hole goes? Having all these thoughts milling around like a herd of nervous sheep can’t be good for anyone’s budding writing process. Why is this so hard?

In deference to my personal creativity bug I have bought a little notebook just so I can try and sooth the writing itch for now, whenever I’m commuting by train… For jotting down anything that comes up. I’ll focus on ideas rather than sentences. If I’m lucky, my efforts may result in one tortured sentence per page to start with. Possibly πŸ˜‰

Worst case scenario – if there’s such a thing as a worst case here – is that I continue to produce crappy sentences for a long time. But I don’t think it matters so long as it helps me scratch this infernal literary itch.

P.S.: I’ve tried out my little notebook and I’m loving it. Because it’s unpretentious. It doesn’t tell me “Listen. I’m important. So whatever you put on my pages had better be worth my space.” It’s small – a bit over smartphone-sized, and the lines start right at the top to fit in as many lines as possible. No extra room for headlines. No nothing. It’s perfect.

How do you cope with the creativity bug? Do you blog about anything and everything – or do you find that things well out of scope keep nudging you saying: “Write Me” ?

9 thoughts on “Forget knowledge management – Write Me. {The Creativity Bug}

  1. For me, writing fiction and nonfiction – or blog and long form nonfiction – are different things. For blogging, I tend to just write what’s on my mind or next in a series of posts. For “writing” I need the exact right paper and pencil or pen, depending upon the topic. Sometimes I write at the keyboard, but often it’s on paper first.
    I was surprised to learn that Susan Cooper still writes everything by hand in marble notebooks, sitting on the ground with her back against a comfy chair. Then she enters it into the computer at the end of the day. Other writers have similar habits.
    I’m still trying to identify the “best” way for me, but I think what’s “best” is works at the moment.

    • Thanks Gina! I was a bit puzzled that some writers seemed to prefer writing (long form fiction) on paper.
      But I suppose my initial reaction is a side-effect of having done so much of my work (day job) in recent years online. I’ve (re)discovered that writing allows me to ‘feel’ my way through the things I’m describing – I don’t know how else to put it. The physical action of writing makes a big difference at the initial ‘ideas-to-words’ stage.

  2. tee hee – scene from the Matrix πŸ™‚

    I blog about things that strike me (aside from the main theme tale). I find, absolutely yes, some moments scream ‘write me’. For instance, a poem came to me today – resultant of having a drink with a girl from work on Friday. I left as I didn’t want to drink further but that meant she stayed, drinking. Do I ‘just go’ as she insisted, or do I babysit her for the night, as she was getting drunker and drunker? I even commented to my son I felt a bit bad this morning (Saturday) – should I have ensured her home? My son says he isn’t friends with “any of those drunk girls at parties” – he doesn’t like drunk women.

    So yes, some thing scream ‘write me’ and I say GO FOR IT.

    • My blog is usually about things I’ve read or situations I need to write about. But if it’s a business topic it tends to be a rather rational thing. This is different stuff altogether so I guess I’ll have to find out how to go about it.
      I’m sure someone wrote about sketching scenes they were trying to write. I’ll try various approaches and keep what works.

  3. I have a pair of sunglasses that look like Neo would wear them. I do write some technical non-fiction for work, but generally 99% of my writing is fiction. I do find blogging helps me step away from my work and focus on something else for a while, rebooting my brain back to my all-consuming stories.

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