Creative thinking skills can be learned. To develop and improve these skills we have to lose our self-consciousness about what we write. This self-consciousness can take many forms but most of it revolves around the same thing – fear.
ARE YOU SCARED?
If you are afraid of what people will think then your writing will reflect that. You will self-censor continually. Your mental editor will never switch off. Your true creativity will struggle to emerge and your work will be stilted and stifled.
Much of our fear is about what our family and friends will think about our writing. This is only natural. We like to be liked – don’t we?
We put our deepest thoughts on the page and when we do so we are opening up our inner world for inspection. No matter how much we deny it this is personal and the personal can hurt. So how do you protect yourself?
ACCEPT THE TRUTH
Accept that not all those reading will like what you write. In fact some of them will absolutely hate it. To write freely you will have to somehow navigate your way to a place above the realm of emotion and work your way into creativity.
The more you write the less you will care about others. Immersing yourself in your story is the best way to steer your way to developing true creative thinking. As you focus fully on your story you will learn to forget your fear.
HOW CAN WRITERS FORGET OUR INNER FEARS?
Maybe you think it is easy for me to tell you to ‘forget about what others think.’ Maybe you are even thinking that it just ain’t quite that easy.
Fair enough, but there are techniques you can use that do work. One of the best ways to develop your creative thinking skills is to tell yourself that nobody is going to read what you write. This makes you feel freer to write more of what you want to write and less what you think others will want.
DON’T CREATE YOUR OWN REGRETS
Focus on the regret and sorrow you might feel if you realised on your death-bed that you have been living a lie. Imagining knowing that you didn’t do what you wanted because you cared too much about what others think.
But what happens if you do care? Is your book or story guaranteed to be successful if you write according to what you guess others think or want?
TRENDS COME – TRENDS GO
There are no guarantees despite what the various gurus may say. I know there is a current trend to tell writers to write according to the latest trend or algorithm but in reality, unless you write with the speed of that algorithm it will have changed by the time you have finished. You won’t create good writing and worst of all you won’t enjoy doing it. So focus on your story and your own truth – nobody else’s truth.
After my very first book, Piggy Monk Square was published I began to worry about the way I was portraying its location.
I truly felt I was portraying the area as fairly and honestly as I could, given that I had lived there for seventeen years and, I was writing fiction.
But I still worried until a friend reminded me that truth lies in the eyes of the beholder and that as long as I wrote my truth I would be fine.
OPINIONS DIFFER – WRITERS CRY
Opinions will always differ so writing to try to court everybody’s good opinion is a waste of time. A complete waste of time – your time.
Many of us writers exaggerate the importance of what we write. In reality people don’t care that much.
Many members of your own family won’t read your book. Some of your friends won’t read your book. Some that do read it won’t comment. Why? Who knows? The answer is it’s probably because they don’t like it.
Yes. it’s true – many people won’t like your writing. There are audiences for different books. Ever go to a bookshop with a group of friends and find everyone choosing the same book?
LIVE YOUR OWN LIFE – IT’S THE ONLY ONE YOU’VE GOT
Many readers have a set criteria for books they enjoy. You probably do too. Accepting that this is also true of your own work will help you develop your creative thinking skills and set you on the path to creative freedom.
Other people have their lives to live and you have yours – live your own life and do what you want.
I don’t believe a writer should have to be an ambassador or diplomat for their country, race, class, or any other aspect of their background, but I do think a writer should be true, first to themselves and then to their story. After that – it’s all in the eye of the beholder.
If you would like to learn more about developing your creative thinking skills click here.
If you are stuck for ideas try some creative writing exercises.
Bye for now.
P.S. I would love to hear what you think, so don’t forget to let me know in the comments box.