I really enjoyed your piece, Eli! It very much resonated with me! I keep finding posts and comments like yours that are so in sync with Julia Cameron’s The Artist’s Way (1992),* to which I’ve become a convert over the past few years. I guess you really do find what you look for. Perhaps you’re familiar with the book. A huge part of Cameron’s program aligns with your sentiments in this post. Cameron spends much text encouraging the child in us to play–even, or especially, in a messy way–at art, in whatever form.
If it is to “work” for you and your readers, I think initial creative writing (both fiction and non-fiction, even journalism and scholarly work), like any art, has to feel something like play, something with a natural flow and ease and subconscious hum about it. Editing is the real work, as it calls for a more analytical mode and purpose, the imposition of structure upon the raw, lovely “mess.”
Coming across your post, Eli, also reinforces my last post, a response to resisting perfectionism in favor of simply making art. A perfectionist approach to play certainly is no fun, just as it is often counterproductive to even the adult-like goals of one’s writing. Initial, rough drafts of creative output should be a flawed fountain of fun.
Many people do not enjoy their professions, trades, or jobs, and the same can be true for writers, but it doesn’t have to be.
Play-write instead of playing “right,” and you’ll be on the right writing track.
See my previous posts on the theme of perfectionism vs. the artist’s way (a.k.a., the way of beautiful imperfection). They make up almost one-third of my total number of posts, I’m just realizing after compiling the list.
- Reflection on “Abandoning Perfection,” March 23, 2015 (direct response)
- On Process: Verse Writing, Part IV: Reflection, March 18, 2015
- On Process: Verse Writing, Part II: Developing an Idea, Trying a New Form, March 11, 2015
- Is Writing a Single Bad Sentence a Signal of Bad Writing?, February 26, 2015 (direct response)
- The Perfect-Pooch Parade, February 17, 2015
- Thoughts on “How to Be a Confident Writer,” January 29, 2015 (direct response)
- Classic Learning, January 28, 2015
- RE: Re-re-re-revision, January 19, 2015 (direct response)
- On “Writing Without Hope” by Jennifer Lynn Krohn, January 1, 2015 (direct response)
- Synchronicity: Coincidence, Answered Prayer, or Something Else?, August 26, 2014
- 2013: contents inventoried the “artist’s way”, January 23, 2014
- Practice makes . . . , January 16, 2014
*Disclaimer: I feel compelled to note that, although you may notice a pattern of “promotion” here, I solemnly swear I am in no way in the employ or service of Julia Cameron or her associates and have no financial incentive to promote her work. I just like it–clearly! 🙂 Looks like it’s time for a new category page.