What’s your creative process?


“Inspiration is for amateurs. The rest of us just show up and get to work.” -Chuck Close

“I’ve never believed that one should wait until one is inspired because I think that the pleasures of not writing are so great that if you ever start indulging them, you will never write again.” -John Updike

For all you creatives out there…how do you stay motivated? I’ve read lots of writer’s routines, and Anne Lamott’s book Bird by Bird is a real staple of mine. But sometimes (most of the time) that just doesn’t cut it. The day to day of creative activity and thought comes much harder. There are an abundance of quotes regarding inspiration and hard work that I try to remind myself of (like the ones above), but I’m hoping to develop a manageable routine. Do any of you have a routine you stick to? Or are you more of a “as the wind moves me” type of person? I’d be interested in hearing how you keep the work and juices flowing.

P.S. I have found John Updike’s quote above to be incredibly true. Isn’t life outside of work always what we’d rather be doing?

(photo by my wonderfully talented friend, Josiah Norton)

2 thoughts on “What’s your creative process?

  1. This is something I often agonize over. I think of how Madeleine L’Engle said (something like), “If I don’t write, I will die.” And I think–well, maybe I’m not a writer, because I don’t think I’d die if I stopped writing…

    As much as I’d like to carve out an hour or two a day, I just don’t, and I never have, even in the times when I’ve been unemployed. I’ll get a seed of an idea, and it will germinate for a while, and then when it feels like it’s ready to bloom, I make myself sit down at the computer and it just happens. That means I’m not a very prolific writer, but it’s what works for me right now…

    1. Joy, I am exactly the same way! Or, that’s how I’ve always functioned and I’m looking to change it. I’ve never thought about dying from not writing, and even thought it is something I want to do quite often, it’s the same for me- even when I was unemployed and had all the time in the world, I didn’t do it. Why is that?? I’ve always been the person who lets an idea stew and simmer for a while before I feel it’s ready to be put on paper. But I wonder how many more things would come out if I just sat down and wrote without direction? I’m not sure. It’s just the discipline I’m lacking and looking for more of. 🙂

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