Creating Can Be Like Pulling Teeth

Creating is not easy. If it were, wouldn’t everyone do it? To create, for most nowadays, is to put something of ourselves out there for others to see, and judge. It’s not a normal job, for most. We don’t, normally, get a steady pay cheque; therefore, it’s deemed a hobby or a sideline or just that-thing-she-does. It’s not, normally, a physical activity; therefore, we’re not doing something for our health or against someone else or a clock. The creativity I am familiar with is very individual and lonely.

And, sometimes creating can just plainly be like pulling teeth. You end up banging your head on the computer because the hero wants to be the villain and the villain changes to hero, erasing line after drawn line, mixing paints for the right shade that just will not materialize, re-throwing the clay as it refuses to take shape.

So, what to do when that creative tooth won’t budge?

Throw words up on the computer screen. Yes, just type the dang words. Talk to yourself via the computer. Tell that blank screen what you want, or need, on it and just type away and slowly the written shape will show itself. Allow the mistakes, that’s why we have edits. Listen to your characters; let them go their own way, that’s the surprised joy in creating them—bringing them to life.

Because nothing we create will ever be perfect in our eyes, you must allow the non-perfect line to stay drawn and the colour to be what it is. The beauty of clay is contained within its imperfections.

Think back to your very first driven need to create. Was it to be perfect or to be free or was it—is it—because of you being you.

4 thoughts on “Creating Can Be Like Pulling Teeth”

  1. Chris — thanks for a thought-provoking post. The hardest thing for me when I'm blocked or resisting or whatever you want to call it is to just sit down and do something! That first step/word/whatever is the hardest.

  2. I LOVED this article. This is the way I feel most of the time about creating that first draft. Not very often in the course of the novel do I find a free-flowing stream of creativity. Thanks for sharing.

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