Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Bewilderment

In this slowing time of mine, though I’m still creating, I really need some extra boost to keep me going.

For those who have been following this blog for a while, you all know that I’m currently reading books on creativity by Eric Maisel. Well, I have to admit that since early June, that was when I semi-hibernated, I felt like I was on overdrive. To give myself a decent break and to re-tune the creative engine, I stopped all my readings. But since my official slow-down, I went back to the “The Creativity Book”.


To quote Maisel on Week 17: “An everyday creative person makes an effort to embrace bewilderment.” When I read of this, I thought to myself: No problem. I’ve been embracing the chaos of writing 1st draft all these months. And I’m perfectly o.k. with it. I also thought maybe Maisel’s book was not right for me at this stage. So I put it down and went back to tackle the rewriting of STOS # 1.

But the phrase “embrace bewilderment” kept swirling in my mind and I couldn’t focus on writing. The only way to get rid of it is to bring it to the boil.

I went back to re-read that chapter a couple of times and there was one sentence which really jumped out at me.

It might mean that you’re on the verge of a breakthrough that can only occur if you let out a real shriek: “I have no idea what I’m doing!”

Bingo! That’s it!

I did embrace the bewilderment (not knowing) of creating stories. But I rejected the "not knowing" when I was working on rewriting / editing. I actually expected myself to know everything about the story after the first draft. The “I should know” attitude not only brings in frustration and pressure. It is crippling the rewriting process and literally places the story on hold.

I have to admit that I’m still pretty much in the dark and just like what Maisel says: "I have no idea what I’m doing!"

I need to surrender myself to the story again. And let the story re-write itself. Or as Maisel suggests: I’m prepared to work blind.

9 comments:

Caroline said...

Sometimes you need to just jump in blindly...see where the story takes you...

WrightStuff said...

It's so true. Sometimes if you don't think about what you're trying to write and just sit in front of the keyboard and start writing anything then suddenly the story begins to unfold from somewhere deep within you - bewildering!

laughingwolf said...

good to work 'in the dark', you get to feel your way around :O lol

KnittingJourneyman said...

Oh geez...it's good to know it's ok to be utterly lost! I've been there myself too long as well.

Angie said...

Thankyou sooo much for your heart felt comment, it brought a happy tear.
It must be something in the air, I too have felt out of touch, its all part of the ebbs and flows of life I suppose.
Nice to know that you are still creating in all the bewilderment, keep those fires burning!

Leone said...

I really like that - embrace bewilderment! Really that is what creaivity is about. I find myself getting very frustrated because I don't know how to paint and it is continually a process of learning and discovery. I have just started to do some crazy quilting and again it is about learning and discovery. I am in this cycle of wanting to do all of these things and then get frustrated because I can't 'just do them'. If I learn to embrace bewilderment I sure my creativity will go much more smoothly. Thank you for sharing these quotes.

Hybrid J said...

Hi Everyone,

Appreciate all you lovely comments. And let's all groping in the dark and see who bumps to what or what is bumping us? I have a funny visual that we are all blindfolded in a dark room playing hide & seek. Hmmm ... what's going on with me? ;)

Valerie said...

Hi, I don't know how I got here, but here I am. I'm sorry you're struggling. I agree with WrightStuff and Caroline. Rightly or wrongly, I rarely work with a plot. I start with an idea which usually gets thrown into the trash can by my characters. Assemble them, they'll tell you where to go. Good luck and try not to worry. Worry just gets in the way. Wishing you huge success.

Hybrid J said...

Hi Valerie,

What a wonderful chance meeting. Welcome to this little blog and thank you for sharing your writing experience. And you're quite right about letting the characters leading their way to the stories. They sure know it better than us, the writers! :)