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Hardcore creativity is a learned process

September 05, 2008  Author: Anthony Pacheco Category: The Craft   0 Comments

Nicole reminded me that hardcore creativity is a learned process.

You can read endless musings and books on this concept, even so many forget this truism. The necessity of understanding the inner child that wonders, and putting this thinking to paper, is so vital it almost defies description.

Here’s how The Hack works on creativity following the rule of three:

Write everyday
Hang with Writers (virtually, in person, wherever)

Write everyday
It is not just a habit. It increases my writing talent. I become better at writing because I frequently write. A part of that is the self-encouragement of creativity. Such a simple concept really. I’m a simple man.

Hang with Writers
When I was young…er I would read books and flip to the author bio. Many of the books I enjoyed went like this:

…blah blah blah, currently lives in New York…
…lives in upstate New York…
…resides in New Your with his family…
…New York…
…New York…

What gives? As I got older, I contributed that to laziness and elitism. That’s where the publishers and agents were, that’s where you had to be. While there is a small smidgen of truth to that, that assumption was grossly unfair. These authors congregated geographically like the thirsty to the well. Creative people are drawn to other creative people in a glorious feedback loop of critique, improvement and revision.

Their friends, lovers, associates, co-workers, etc., all lent to the creative process. They were learning, and it made them better writers by being in the writing environment. What a golden age that must have been! How exciting to live in that time!

Globalization of information, of course, killed this era, but that is a different story. Let’s consider, however, this imaginary NY exchange:

Writer #1: “Hey Frank, how is the new novel coming?”

Writer #2: “Bloody awful. Just can’t seem to push past this one plot point.”

“When’s the last time you sat down and banged away at it?”

“Last week.”

“Well fuck, Frank, how the hell is the book going to write itself?”

“I know, I know…”

“Let’s go. Let’s down a few martinis and get you laid.”

“Oh, twist my arm!”

Now tell me, is this exchange that imaginary? Frank is a creative person at his core, but Writer #1 (a true friend) is feeding his creativity and not just by being a supportive, but helping Frank in his quest to put to words something magical. Frank is not experiencing life–he is learning. He’s not going to magically forget how he pushed through to continue his writing.

The interwebs is a wonderful tool to connect with likeminded people. For the creative process, it is a spooky level of reinforced feedback approaching ecstasy.

I’m a sucker for a good, creative story.  Reading to improve The Craft, Can Not Be Denied. It’s not just a hobby now, it makes me a better author of fiction! How awesome is that?


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