I’ve spent a lot of time lately thinking about creativity. The definition of creativity is essentially a combination of originality and appropriateness. When I write, it always feels terribly unoriginal, and the utility, purpose, or suitability of the words I type remains open to debate.
And yet, here I am. Writing something I’m sure innumerable people before me have expressed before, perhaps more eloquently (or not). How redundant is this post? Who cares? If we were constantly worrying about the originality of our ideas, we’d never get a word out. There’s this thing called historical creativity, it’s what we consider real innovation. When some remarkable individual proposes a wholly new concept to society, something unheard of, that’s historical creativity. The rest is just personal creativity, when a novel bit of information occurs to a person, and they get all excited.
So let’s focus on personal creativity. Maybe it’ll get us to historical creativity. Or it won’t. But that’s perfectly alright. I’m trying to remind myself, you just happen to be privy to this little monologue. With every little idea that springs from me into written form, the screaming on the inside quiets. Isn’t that worth it?
The idea of writing drunk and then editing ruthlessly while sober has always struck me as incredibly peculiar. Being drunk lends itself to a lot of things, one being brutal honesty. If you later edit the things you wrote while drunk, will the honesty be lost? What happens to the crazy flow of thought that comes with slowing down the brain? I’m not sure who’s noticed, but being drunk is excellent for slowing down that maelstrom of sub-par ideas which hits ever writer while they’re in full control of their faculties.
Having your brain a little off-kilter might help slow down the words bursting out of you. And you can make all sorts of unexpected connections which would have otherwise been drowned out. Writing is hard, it’s important to try out whatever makes you feel like you have more control and gets you to that sweet spot where what you’re writing doesn’t feel like nonsense.
That’s the general takeaway I have from my own writing experiences. Writing drunk is a bit like writing angry, it makes you write more passionately than you would when you’re over-thinking every sentence. So write when you’re over-whelmed in some way. Who knows where it might lead. (Don’t develop an addiction for the sake of your writing, that’s a terrible idea. As bad as lazy writing in a movie-script is. Deadpool, baby-I’m referencing you.)
But what do I know? I might or might not be currently inebriated.
Writing has always been something that came naturally to me. While others groaned and moaned when perfunctorily told to write 200 words on an obscure topic, I was happy to set out. Sometimes it seems like I have too much to write and not enough time to do it. How do you pick one thing to write about, when you have 10 ideas floating around your head, each muttering in a voice strangely like your own “Pick me, pick me”?
I never quite got the hang of brainstorming, that magnificent thing everybody swears by, I prefer a more go-with-the-flow style that led to a lot of scratches and striking out before my main method of putting thoughts into words became typing. Typing has made it so much easier for me to articulate all that I earlier couldn’t. Now I can have 20 documents with various topics, and I can get back to them whenever I feel like I need to get more out about whatever I am thinking. But, I wonder, does the fact that I can get back to it make me lazy to write or does it remove the pressure of finishing something even when my mind turns to mush?
The laptop allows for easy cataloguing of my work, but sometimes I think I would have been more motivated to write if it wasn’t so easy to open a file, find my place and return to the topic. I guess you have to see which outweighs the other, and use whatever seems best, just like when you choose one way of saying something over another.
I have found that the sound of people around me typing gives me a new sense of happiness in my own work that I don’t usually have, when mine are the only fingers flying across a key-board in an empty room. I don’t know why I find the sound so inspiring, but when I hear the clack of innumerable keys, I feel like I should be typing faster and faster, as the words pour from my mind. For once, I don’t labour over every word and keep hitting the faded button to the upper right corner of my keyboard.
I am one of those neurotic people who is constantly aware of all the noises around me. Finding sounds around me motivating and inspiring rather than driving me out of my mind creates a very pleasant change.
The peculiar sound of typing on a laptop or desk-top key-board makes something in my mind click, and I feel the thoughts come to me in nicely arranged phrases. Instead of the solitary tapping of the keys, I hear a bunch of hands, creating music to my ears. I just keep on typing, until I have nothing more to write.