Flirting with Faith

Flirting with Faith


Creative Discipline…an Oxymoron?

posted by Joan Ball
I have never been one to set writing goals.  In fact, despite the fact that many creative and prolific writers swear by them, there is something about having to write a certain number of pages or for a certain number of hours every day that sucks the creative wind right out of me. I prefer the romantic notion of waiting for the muse to inspire over the practical matter of sitting down and hammering out a certain number of words a day.  
But, in writing as in life, the practical often trumps the romantic and we are forced to create within the bounds of deadlines and responsibilities.  For me, that means delivering a 60,000 word manuscript to my acquisitions editor by February 15, 2009.  This is not a loose deadline.  I am contractually bound to make it happen.
To get there, I’ve set a personal goal of writing 1000 words a day, six days a week for six weeks. 
In an effort to prevent self-sabotage, I’ve decided not to “bank” words.  If I write 1500 words today, I still have to write 1000 tomorrow. If I succeed in writing at this pace I will have a rough draft by December 15 and two months to rewrite and edit.  I’ve never done this before, but I think this sounds like a workable plan.
And yet, I keep wondering…
“What about creativity?”
“What about beauty?”
“Is it possible to write (or paint, of sculpt) artfully on a tight deadline?”
“Is creative discipline an oxymoron?”
Would love to hear your thoughts… 
         


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Trish Ryan

posted November 24, 2008 at 5:04 pm


Rest (or don’t rest, as the case may be) assured, it can be done. Creativity and beauty don’t vanish when we write on a timeline. If anything, they’re less likely to be lost in an endless cycle of self-editing.
Some of the best papers I wrote in college were, until the night before the due date, just notes and quickly-jotted thoughts strewn out all over my dorm room floor. In the end, they all came together.
Happy writing!!!



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Jennifer (Conversion Diary)

posted November 27, 2008 at 1:48 am


I’m excited to discover your blog — we have so much in common, down to writing a book about our similar backgrounds.
I’ve wrestled with these same questions, and have realized that I’m often at my most creative when on a deadline. As painful as they are, deadlines force me to stop over-analyzing things and just *do it*, otherwise I tend to get bogged down in second-guessing myself.
Can’t wait to follow your progress!



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