by Dr. Bob Weathers and Laurie Stevens
# No Wasted Motion
There is no wasted motion when it comes to navigating toward a creative outcome. Be confident that all your experiences in life and education are logged in your mind and will be used by you in some form. This is why you can go to conferences, take classes, and communicate with fellow writers. Nothing is ever wasted. Your brain will file and categorize everything you do and come across.
#2 Right and Left Brain
UCLA psychiatrist Dan Siegel, articulates the left brain hemisphere’s specialties of logic, linear, A-Leads- to-B thought. Contrasted with that is the right brain hemisphere with its gifts of intuition, grasp of a big picture, and creative imagination. Understand that you possess both hemispheres. If one day you are more left-brain oriented, then use it to construct specific details in chapters such as dialogue.
#3 The Creative Process
In regards to that right brain process, seeing the bigger picture (such as organizing a plot), know that original thinking includes letting go. This letting-go process connotes “incubating”, the technical term researchers use in creativity. Here we allow mental space for unique synthesis or drawing together of the non-obvious.
In other words, each of us does indeed have the capacity, even the birthright to create anew. One way to do this is not by doing, but by doing nothing. Be still, receptive, and open to receive creative inspiration.
But how do we do this?
#4 The Beginner’s Mind
Along with relentlessly utilizing our best intellect when it comes to mastering the skills required in creative writing, there also exists the imperative to find our way back to what the East calls “beginner mind.”
This perspective requires our seeing things through the eyes of a child.
Take time away from the day-to-day grind by breathing, relaxing, and shifting gears. Nature can be a good coach. A walk down the street or a workout in the gym can help you unplug and rediscover your beginner’s mind.
#5 Teach to Learn
The best way to learn is to teach. Few things sharpen the mind more quickly than explaining your work to someone else. Putting yourself out there for all to see can do this. By entering contests or teaching skills to another writer, you open yourself up to feedback and constructive criticism.
The poet Rumi noted: “Those who insult (critique or challenge) me are simply polishing the mirror.” So, get your mirror polished! Read books. Edit books. Whether you are correcting someone’s mistakes or admiring his unique approach to a subject matter, you are honing your own craft.
#6 Less is More
One really good practice in writing, speaking, in life, is to subtract. Pare back your content. The temptation in human discourse is to generate always more. More pages written, more plot complications more developments, ever- increasing details about the characters we have created... Always more. We are suggesting you learn the subtle, sometimes even painful art of expressing more by saying less.
An ancient Chinese saying puts it this way: “In the pursuit of knowledge every day something is added. In the practice of wisdom, every day something is dropped.
#7 Think Globally (Act Locally)
Deliver your message. Are you being true to your initial inspiration?
There is a moral component to all we do, including in the process of creative writing. If you have uncovered through your own creative process that which is potentially transformative, healing, or inspiring to others, then it is absolutely incumbent upon you to seek the most skillful means for communicating the knowledge widely. That is why your work has importance. This concept should be enough to clear your mental path. How can your idea be judged negatively if it was an organic thought that you conceived for a purpose? Reread this if you find yourself forgetting the fact that you matter. Above all, a writer is a messenger
Dr. Bob Weathers holds a Ph.D in Clinical Psychology and a Master’s of Arts in Religious Studies. As Curriculum Developer at California Southern University in Irvine, he recently developed their Addiction Studies Certificate and mindfulness-based training. An expert in therapeutic counseling and recovery coaching, Dr. Weathers lectures widely on the connection between creativity, spiritual development, and emotional well-being. He drums avidly, a testament to his lifelong involvement with music. Dr. Weathers can be reached at email@example.com.
Laurie Stevens is a screenwriter, playwright, and bestselling novelist. Her novel The Dark Before Dawn is the first in a psychological suspense series. Deep into Dusk is the second. The series has garnered multiple awards including being named to Kirkus Reviews “Best of 2011,” receiving top honors at the London and Hollywood Book festivals, and winning both the Southern California and Los Angeles Book Festivals. Psychology and forensics interest Laurie and she enjoys researching and writing about both. She lives in the city she writes about: Los Angeles. To learn more visit her website at http://www.lauriestevensbooks.com. Follow on Facebook at Laurie Stevens, Author