Creative Process

Seinfeld is muted on the TV, soulful sounds of Bright Eyes' Lifted resonate throughout the room, and I am writing.

We often think of art as a finished product. A book in our hands, a painting on our wall, a song through our speakers. While it may become any of those things, all art starts somewhere. Every artist has his or her own creative process—the unique way in which we manifest our ideas.

My creative process wasn't built in a calm world. It does not prefer a quiet room, nor will it hide unnoticed in my morning coffee. It is instead a biting beast that prefers to kick and claw and gnaw its way onto my page. I must be willing to heed when it calls, and put in the time necessary to tame it into art.

I had a curiosity for writing at a young age. It turned into a means of escape from my parents' constant arguing as I grew into adolescence. In the confines of fantasy, I taught myself how to tune out distraction. I didn't really notice it until the last twelve or fourteen years—that I can't just be alone with my thoughts. It was about the same time I got serious about writing, and started spending huge chunks of time, sometimes days on end, penning novels.

Somewhere along the way, I started to miss it—the cacophony that I'd grown so accustomed to when I wrote as a child. It's not that I want to relive those dark times, I just... need a reminder that that's where it all started. A distraction that isn't really a distraction. I guess that's why I always have music playing over the TV. There's just enough going on to push me to stay in my head, to open my guts, to spill them into my stories.

I know what I'm capable of as a writer, I push myself to reach my potential, and I understand the type of environment that I need in order to create my best work. If you're looking to be more prolific, pay attention to what makes you the most productive. Maybe you need better music, or no music, or a muse. Maybe you really do need a coffee shop full of eyes staring back at you. Whatever it is, figure it out, and get to work.

Michelle BredesonComment