Are you in the thick of your writing process, but find yourself losing energy as you’re writing? Hi, I’m Amanda Rooker, Executive Editor at SplitSeed, and today’s writing tip is Element 5 in our series on the creative process. Element 5 is weeding.
If you’ve been following our tips on the creative process, you might be wondering, When do I actually get to write? I’ve got all these different practices that I’m doing in my life, but none of them are actually about the writing process. What I usually tell writers is that you know you’re ready to start writing your first draft when you can see the concept of your book as a full, single image in your head. For some of you that image may have appeared right when you got the seed of the idea. In that instant, you could see the full picture of what your book was going to be about, in which case that would be a great time to start writing. For some of you, you might have received the full image gradually, perhaps as you spent more time with the Source as time went on. Either way, I’d encourage you to start writing whenever you have that clear image of your full book concept visible in your imagination.
Usually by the time we get to Element 5 in the creative process, most people have a clear, single image for their book process, which means most people are writing their first draft. They’re in the thick of growing their idea. So, to follow our analogy with gardening, the plant has broken through the surface of the soil, and it is starting to visibly grow.
Now, if you have ever gardened, you also know that if a plot of soil regularly receives plenty of sun and water, other things besides the seeds you plant will also grow—in other words, weeds. So it is very important to be diligent about visiting your garden and pulling out the weeds that can threaten to choke out the growth you have so carefully nurtured so far.
The same is true for the creative process. For us as creative thinkers, the weeds are our negative thoughts or beliefs that can distract us from the writing process or creative process. Beliefs like, “I can’t do this…This is taking too long…I don’t know what I’m doing…Why did I ever start this?…This is a bad idea.” These negative thoughts will choke out the growth of your idea (which is probably growing exactly according to its design anyway), and will distract you from the sometimes long-term process that writing is. These are the weeds that we have to pull out.
So how do we pull out these weeds, these negative beliefs and thoughts? We use the power of our imagination. Most of you have heard that Einstein said the power of the imagination is the greatest power on the planet, and you’ll understand why if you practice the creative process for any length of time. So you imagine these negative beliefs as literal weeds in your garden. If you can imagine your idea growing like a plant in your garden, and these negative beliefs as weeds threatening to choke out the life that you have so carefully nurtured, simply imagine yourself pulling them out of your garden, so you can see your garden as a clear place that is hospitable for growing the idea that you’re working on, that you are in the process of writing about in the form of a book. So Element 5 is weeding.
For more tips, visit us at www.split-seed.com, and if this tip was helpful to you, please forward it to a writer that you know.