Sunday, February 17, 2013

Just Do It

As they head for me, it's not that they adore me so much. It's that I put out the cob corn/oats/barley. Today on our way to town, there is no cob but they live with hope.

Because I now read a few blogs by writers as well as those who want to write, I've had some thoughts on the whole process where it comes to creativity. 

The more you expose yourself to ideas and thoughts, the more your own mind will conjure up its own work. Read newspapers, magazines, listen to stories about life, find exciting images, explore interesting ideas and write/paint/sculpt or whatever it is you wish to be doing.

not quite yet spring on our creek but it's coming

I have written all my life but not thought much about what that meant until the last few years. It simply was what I did. I wrote novels. I wrote for groups I might be in. I kept journals. I wrote the blogs. I wrote letters. Writing was just always there, but I didn't see it as the essence of who I was.

It was easier to see it where it came to my friend, Diane, who has always painted. From the time I met her when we were both 21, I have never known a time she wasn't painting or drawing something. Maybe she thought of it as who she was. I don't know but it certainly was what she always did in various modes.

When I would say I'd like to paint but don't have any inspiration, she'd say-- just paint and it'll come. The few times I have gotten into painting heavily, that's exactly how it happened-- I'd paint and more would come from doing the first where i had no idea where it was going.


Writing is the same way. Just write. Expose yourself to ideas and then write without a clear idea of what you are going to do with it. Who cares? Just write. When you write, more will come to you.

The other night I had a dream that was one of the movie dreams. I woke with it still firmly in my head and believe its plot would make an interesting novella. I won't be writing it because now I want to finish the John Day, longer historical romance that has been sitting back for a year.  But the thing is-- the dream came because I have been writing. Creating leads to creating. Even when you don't know where your story will go, even before the dreams, just do it. 

This week I spent time creating a trailer for the Southern Arizona novel whose rough draft I recently finished. A trailer is a series of images and key words with music to create interest in the book for readers. It shouldn't give away too much but it should capture the essence of the book. What is this book really all about? If you didn't know while you were writing it, you will know before the trailer if finished as you work to reduce it to a few images and words.

Creating trailers is good for a writer. I don't think I could do one until the rough draft is finished, but as I worked on this one, I saw some elements that I should have emphasized in the story but had not. I went back and added some but will add more as I do more editing. The trailer told me a piece of the story that I hadn't seen until I worked with those images.

I highly recommend creating trailers. They aren't hard and they really do add a dimension to writing. In the link below are all of mine for the contemporaries. Some of the historicals do have trailers but those will only be here when their books have been ePubbed. 

Even if someone has no interest in reading the books, trailers can be fun to view.





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2 comments:

Tabor said...

I like exercises that help with creativity and this seems to be one of those.

Diane Widler Wenzel said...

Tabor, trailers do help creativity, I do agree. But do not belittle them as just exercises. When I think of writing exercises, I think of hand writing a stream of consciousness or brain storming diagrams. Exercises are not the end but a means to the end. Trailers are a complete and finished art form in themselves. Like any good art they enables us to see the world in a new way which of course leads the way to new ideas.